Elena of Avalor was Disney’s first Latina princess and come this fall she’ll be joined by Disney’s first-ever Jewish Latina princess. Cuban-Jewish actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler will guest star as the voice of the princess for the third season of Elena of Avalor on the Disney Channel.
According to a press release, this season will include a Hanukkah-themed episode featuring a visiting princess — whose name has yet to be announced — who is from a “Latino Jewish kingdom.”
“A little over a year ago, I had the honor of writing an Elena of Avalor episode featuring Disney’s first Jewish princess. Jamie Lynn Sigler knocks the role out of the park (wait ’till you hear her song!),” Rachel Ruderman, a writer for the Emmy Award-winning children’s TV series, tweeted.
The Sopranos actress, whose father is Greek and Romanian, was raised Jewish and visited Israel on Birthright in 2008. “It’s one of the most beautiful, inspiring places I’ve ever been to,” Sigler said of her trip. “I now have a greater understanding and motivation about preserving my Jewishness.”
She’s also been vocal about the influence her Cuban mother and grandmother had on her upbringing including dancing salsa and merengue with the help of her grandma guiding her hips. “We have videos of that from when I was super, super little of her putting her hands on my hips to make them move right,” she told the New York Daily News in an interview.
Sigler has also been vocal about the importance of Cuban cuisine in her life. “Ropa vieja is really my specialty… I make plátanos fritos and the best Cuban espresso, where there is so much sugar your spoon stands up,” she said.
So it’s evident that like her character, she’s a blend of both cultures and taking the role is both a professional and personal win for her. After the role was announced, she tweeted “I am so excited to voice Disney’s first Jewish princess.”
I am so excited to voice Disney’s first Jewish princess 💁🏽♀️❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/TISMnknDyQ
— Jamie-Lynn Sigler (@JamieLSigler) September 17, 2019
The third season of Disney’s Elena of Avalor will also feature a Dia de Los Muertos episode and a guest-starring role by Broadway actor Anthony Ramos, who starred in Hamilton and is the lead in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upcoming film adaptation of In the Heights.
The animated series stars Puerto Rican/Dominican actress Aimee Carrero as the teenage princess, Elena, who reigns over her magical kingdom of Avalor with the help of her sister Isabel, advisers, and her spirit animal Zuzo. The third season of the show premieres October 7.