After appearing as Beverly in seventeen episodes of the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, she starred in the 2012 musical movie Filly Brown. In 2014, she was cast in the starring role in The CW series Jane the Virgin. The role earned her a 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy.
After training as a salsa dancer during her childhood years, she studied theater at New York University's famous Tisch School of the Arts.
She worked and trained at the Atlantic Theatre Company.
She and her two older sisters grew up in a Puerto Rican family in Chicago, Illinois. In 2016, she began dating model Joe LoCicero; they became engaged in July 2018.