Straight From Hollywood
Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez is having fun imparting the show’s ground-breaking message.
Life imitates art for young Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) in the Golden Globe-winning dramedy Jane The Virgin (2014- current). Like the telenovelas that 23-year- old Jane and her family so adore, her life has spun ridiculously out of control. And why’s that? Well, virginal Jane just found out that she was accidentally impregnated by her doctor and the father isn’t her fiancé – it’s her married boss whom she has a monster crush on. While the show’s premise is deliciously over-the-top, it turns out that Gina is seeing the serious side of her job…
The show is both dramatic and funny at
the same time, right? Yes. It’s lots of fun. It’s comedy and drama in one actionpacked hour. They don’t call them soap operas, but they’re like a soap opera. I look at my life and go, “Actually, you know, my life is like a soap opera” – maybe not the artificial insemination part but everything else [Laughs]. Jane the Virgin is an intriguing title. What were your thoughts when you first heard it? When I auditioned, I saw “Title Character” and thought, “Hmmm, not bad!” Then I read the breakdown and went, “Wow! Heightened reality.” Then I read the script. [Show creator] Jennie Urman is brilliant and amazing at writing strong women. There’s nothing better than being able to play strong women in today’s world. I believe that artists not only have a responsibility to help people escape their reality but to also be a gatekeeper to following your dreams. With social media and the way people perceive media, it’s a tool of education. We need strong role models in the media so that we can liberate kids who don’t believe they can. Jane isn’t only strong, she’s chasing her
dreams and choosing something that’s not the popular choice. She’s saying it’s okay to say no to sex before marriage. It’s okay to listen to your parents and want to be respectful. It’s okay to make really tough decisions and follow through with them and have integrity and keep her morals intact. That’s the character I want to play. I want the next generation to see that it’s okay to choose the unpopular choice. Since the title of the show is about a virgin,
who had the sex talk with you? I grew up with amazing and strong women – my mom, two sisters and my grandma. My father is this incredible man who respects women and holds them to the highest regard. He was surrounded by them. He did a really good job in reminding us how special we are and everyone is, that we should hold the same respect for ourselves and others. He kept telling me that I could be anything I want to be. The sky is the limit. That’s a treasure I was given. Treasure the person you are, in the skin you have. Being somebody who isn’t a size zero in Hollywood can get your mind a little tricked up. The idea of sexuality can trip you up. Maybe that’s why I was a tomboy for so long. The idea that I get to play a character who holds onto her virginity as a gift to give someone else… we can all relate because whether or not we can get our virginity back, we all have a gift to give and we all deserve respect and should give it in the same regard. So my dad had that talk with me. The women were in front of me as such great role models, going after what they wanted. They never let anybody stand in their way and they weren’t going to give up their gift easily. Now we have a platform to remind girls that, hey, maybe it’s not the popular choice but it’s an awesome gift to be able to give someone.
Jane with her babydaddy-to-be Rafael