Welcome to the third annual Women in Television issue, which celebrates some of the industry’s most incredible women and asks them to debate the problems facing females working in TV. From fair pay to power imbalances and speaking up on set, they get vocal in this unmissable interview…
Rodriguez, 34, rose to fame as the titular star of acclaimed comedy Jane the Virgin, which is currently in its final season. In 2015, she was the first actor on the CW Network to win a Golden Globe, and this year donated the money that was set aside for her Emmy campaign to pay for the college tuition of an undocumented Latina student. She set up I Can & I Will Productions to tackle the lack of Latinx representation on- and off-screen
My favorite TV show growing up was Martin. I love comedy and Martin Lawrence was revolutionary in that time because there weren’t many people of color on screen. He lived with his wife Gina in a small apartment… It just felt much more relatable than, say, Full House, which definitely wasn’t the way I was raised at all.
Growing up as a Latina in the United States, I didn’t see us portrayed positively on TV. When you see certain images repeated so often, the reflection of representation on screen makes you feel a certain way about yourself. You tell somebody over and over again that they’re something, eventually they’re gonna believe it. I just wonder how much more tolerant our society would be if there weren’t such stereotypical roles portrayed for so long. If Latinos weren’t always portrayed as the villain, would we really feel a particular way about that community? If Muslims weren’t portrayed as the terrorists, would we feel a certain way about that community? I don’t think so. Art does, I believe, create tolerance. It can be responsible for healing so much – when it’s a reflection of reality.
I grew up economically challenged. We did not have much, at all. When I would do small short films or things for barely any money and I could barely pay rent, my father would tell me: “Don’t worry about the money you’re making now. You prove to them how much you’re worth!” And I used to think, “Do I know how much I’m worth? Have I been taught how much I’m worth?” Now, when I get blessed to be the lead or get a big film, do I know my worth? And do I know how to ask for my worth? How do you get that when you’re not taught it?
When I get the chance to watch television, I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – they’re really awful people and they remind you that there’s funny in the world of awful. I started watching Vida, which is very cool – I’m really proud of [screenwriter] Tanya Saracho for creating something new and revolutionary. And The Good Place brings me so much happiness and light-heartedness right now. But if I was going to award anything, I’d say Black Mirror. We should be using it as a guide to what we shouldn’t do in our culture.
I feel extremely listened to as a woman on set. Very empowered. Very respected. Jane the Virgin is female-led – 70% female writers, 70% female cast, 70% female directors – so it’s very common to see women in high-powered positions on our show. I know that’s not common, so I don’t take that for granted. At all.
The TV show of my life would be called I’m Just Trying.
Watch Season 5 of Jane the Virgin on Netflix now
Gina was in attendance at the Eva Longoria Foundation dinner last night. I’ve added photos to the gallery. She looked so beautiful! Enjoy.
Gina was in Florida this weekend along with America Ferrera, Eva Langoria, Zoe Salanda, and Rosario Dawson, for the Latina’s Stand Up Election events. I’ve added photos of her appearances as well as a photo session she did with the girls. I love how politically active Gina is. It makes me even more of a fan girl.
Gina was in attendance at Variety’s Power of Women event a couple of days ago. I’ve added photos of her from the event to the gallery. She looked lovely and fierce. Enjoy!
Gina Rodriguez is no stranger to a fight. Inside the boxing ring, she’s trained in muay Thai. Outside the boxing ring, she’s a Latina in Hollywood who’s been fighting for inclusivity for as long as she can remember. And with her next film, Miss Bala, she’ll combine both of those skills to become an action star.
“I had been dying to do action for so long, and it’s very difficult because people of color don’t have as many opportunities,” the actress tells EW. “And that’s not even like a ‘Woe is me.’ That’s just a reality, and that’s okay. That has been a reality of mine for many, many, many years. [With Miss Bala], Sony made a big-budget action film with a 95 percent Latinx cast and 95 percent Latinx production crew. It’s revolutionary. It’s just really great to live in these spaces that for so long I didn’t have the opportunity to.”
The Jane the Virgin star plays Gloria in Miss Bala — for which EW has the exclusive trailer and first-look photos — a remake of the 2011 film, in which Rodriguez’s character travels to Tijuana after the death of her parents. There, she’s forced to work for a crime boss after witnessing a murder. And to make matters worse, the crime boss also kidnaps Gloria’s best friend. So not only does Gloria have to figure out how to save herself, but she also has to figure out how to save the one person she considers her family.
“It’s a reconceptualizing of the original film, and it’s more modern,” Rodriguez says. “[Gloria is] someone that’s actively trying to save herself and her family. I think that’s really amazing because a lot of the women in my life, they actively work toward keeping their families safe, and they actively try to fix situations. There’s no woman I know in my life that just sits back. Women aren’t necessarily always portrayed as proactively trying to save ourselves in action films. It’s very empowering to see those stories because I know that’s what the women in my life do.”
The remake is directed by Catherine Hardwicke and follows Gloria as she fights to free herself (and her best friend) from an extremely dangerous situation. The result is what Rodriguez calls a “classic action roller coaster,” but despite the title translating to “Miss Bullet,” Gloria uses more than just guns to get herself out of the aforementioned situation.
“It’s a very realistic protecting of herself,” Rodriguez says of Gloria. “She uses her smarts, she uses her savvy. She uses many tools, and I feel like that is so what women do. We have so many different tools. We use it all — the illogical and the logical, the emotional and the rational. And it’s really incredible that we are capable of that.”
Rodriguez knows what it’s like to use many different tools to win a fight, and as far as her career is concerned, Miss Bala represents more than just her chance to be an action hero. “The opportunity to make this with my fellow Latinos and Latinas was next-level,” she says. “I’m like, ‘They’re going to let us do this?! They’re going to let us be in front of and behind the camera and they’re going to give us money to make this?!’ This is inclusivity. This is what I’m talking about.”
Watch the full trailer for Miss Bala, which hits theaters Feb. 1, and check out the film’s poster.
I’ve added medium quality screencaps of Gina from her appearance in the 2018 film Sharon 1.2.3. I hope to replace these in the future with better quality; until then enjoy! You can catch the film ondemand on most cable services.
Jonah is a true nerd turned successful business man who is living the dream with two gorgeous women named Sharon. But the dream gets too real when he meets a third Sharon and falls in love.