Ms. Santiago started a business in which she paints portraits of pets.
Ms. Santiago worked on the film "One Hot Summer" playing the role of ''Anabel Aguilera.' The film was shot in Puerto Rico.
Tessie's latest film, the direct to video release of "The Cell-2," will be sold in stores starting on June 16th, 2009. One can view the trailer for the film at:
Additional information about Ms. Santiago's career is also available at:
Tessie's new film The Way Back Home with Michael King and Ruby Dee will premiere at the 15th Annual Florida Film Festival on April 1-2, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The film is also being premiered in West Palm Beach, FL and in Los Angeles, CA.
Tessie will appear in UPN's One On One on May 15, 2006, with Queen of Swords cast mate Crisitian De La Fuente.
Tessie played the character Jennifer in Michael Curtis' UPN Pilot Old School aka The Originals in the 2003-2004 US TV season. The woman who played Xena's daughter, Adrienne Wilkinson, also tried out for that role.
Though Tessie seemed to be letting her hair go lighter after her run on Good Morning, Miami, she was wearing it dark for her role on Curb Your Enthusiasm and again for the film The Way Back Home.
Tessie starred in the stage version of Love Allways in Miami in 1997.
While still in High School, Tessie performed onstage in the role of the Narrator in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat.
Ms. Santiago: (Regarding the controversy surrounding the use of a Cuban-American accent to portray her character on "Good Morning, Miami")That accent adds to my character, just like Megan Mullally's choice to have her voice eight octaves higher than what it normally is [on Will & Grace]. That may be misconstrued as stereotypical, but it's just a character choice. And it's funny.
Tessie: I play not just a strong, intelligent woman, but a strong, intelligent Latin woman.
Tessie: I am Cuban. I'm from Miami and I found it very funny.
Tessie: The hysterical part of my character is what makes her funny.
Tessie: Having a comedic role is a nice change-of-pace for me.
Tessie: My grandfather and grandmother were blondes with light-colored eyes.
Tessie: There was a time when people couldn't even fathom the idea of a woman fighting. Now, people love to see a woman in a position of power.
Tessie: It's easy to play the Queen. Just play the strong woman and fight and outwit all these men.
Tessie: That accent adds to my character, just like Megan Mullally's choice to have her voice eight octaves higher than what it normally is.
Tessie: There are people in my life who are a lot like this character, well, this character is an exaggerated version of these people.
Tessie: Miami Cubans are going to love it that one of us is on TV.
Tessie: Comedy is always based on stereotypes.
Tessie: I have a lot of friends that are like my character, mostly relatives.
Tessie (about her role on Queen of Swords): I had to train using whips and daggers, learn flamenco and how to ride a horse, all while wearing a corset!
Tessie: I come from a long line of strong women, I took to the whip pretty quickly.
Tessie: There's many different levels to my character and I thought that the easiest thing would be to play Tessa, a real person. But it's easier for me to be the Queen. To just throw on the mask. I'm so much more confident. It's easy.
Tessie: That may be misconstrued as stereotypical, but it's just a character choice. And it's funny.
Tessie: I think [the accent] will add color and life to the character.
Tessie: We're a comedy. It's heightened reality.
Tessie (about Good Morning, Miami): We've only done the pilot. We haven't found our rhythm yet. As the show goes on, the characters will have more levels and the show will be a lot better.
Tessie: Queen of Swords was my first professional job out of college and it was a lot of fun and hard work overseas.
Tessie: I love that people are seeing that Hispanics don't have to be associated with a certain look.
Tessie: When I was growing up, I was put into ballet and piano, things that were considered to be girl stuff. But now so many little girls come up to me on the set and say, ' I want my mommy to put me in fencing.'