More outtakes from the photoshoot Gina did for LA Times earlier this year have been added to our gallery thanks to my friend Claudia, who is the webmaster of The McDonnell Rule. I also added a photo from a session Gina did for Variety while filming the “Variety’s Actors on Actors: Emmy Edition” back in March.
Last summer I was invited to dinner with Gina Rodriguez and the mostly Latino cast of Jane the Virgin, the comedy-drama that was set to air on the CW network later that fall. At the time I knew only that the show was inspired by a Venezuelan telenovela, Juana la Virgen, and that its lead, Rodriguez, was the much-buzzed-about actress from the Sundance Film Festival indie hit Filly Brown. A few hours and many laughs later, I knew we’d be hearing more from this off-the-charts-charismatic star.
And boy, have we. Jane the Virgin, with Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva, a virgin who gets mistakenly inseminated and impregnated at the doctor’s office, is returning for a second season. The show has also been picked up by multiple foreign markets, won the People’s Choice Award for favorite new TV comedy, and earned Rodriguez a Golden Globe win for best actress in a TV series, musical, or comedy. She is only the fourth Latina to win an acting Globe since the awards’ inception, in 1944. The Puerto Rican beauty’s joyful acceptance speech was the highlight of the show that night, with the loving shout-out to her father running on an endless loop on social channels that evening and the morning after. “My father used to tell me to wake up each day and say, ‘Today is going to be a great day; I can and I will,’ ” she said. “Well, Dad, today’s a great day; I can and I did.”
For Rodriguez, 30, this moment was years in the making. Born and raised in Chicago, by parents who moved from Puerto Rico, the actress got her first taste of the spotlight by dancing salsa professionally all through high school. After convincing her parents to let her pursue acting, she enrolled at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Her career started slowly but surely, with her booking her first leading role in the film Tiny Dancer right after graduation. A bevy of guest spots (Army Wives, Law & Order) led to Filly Brown in 2012, and Rodriguez’s portrayal of a struggling rapper earned her much critical praise. Soon after, she landed the prime role as Jane the Virgin.
I couldn’t wait to catch up with Rodriguez over breakfast in New York City this spring. We were dishing before she’d hit the chair, discussing everything from our favorite salsa singers to her standing as the unofficial spokeswoman for Latino representation on TV.
Vamos, let’s chat!
GBL: When you and I first met last summer, Jane the Virgin hadn’t aired yet, but the buzz was quickly building. Fast-forward a few months: Not only is the show a tremendous hit but you’ve also won a Golden Globe. Did you ever imagine all of this?
GR: I never could’ve guessed that we would come this far this quickly. And across the world too! I was recently in China, and a guy stopped me on the street and said, “You’re Jane the Virgin!” And my boyfriend was like, “That 40-year-old Asian dude did not just stop you!” [Laughs.]
GBL: Your acceptance speech was a highlight of the night. I jumped off my couch to cheer for you! Is your head still spinning over it?
GR: I was so scared—I didn’t have anything written! Actually, my father spoke through me in that moment. He always told me that in order for things to happen you have to believe they can. And that is the truth. Continue reading
“So, what’s your policy on ‘pussy’?” inquires a polite Amy Schumer regarding what can and can’t be said during THR’s annual gathering of Emmy-contending comedy actresses. If the ensuing conversation — held inside a Manhattan studio where, at one point, one of the six women offers another oral sex — is any indication, nothing is off limits when feminism and comedy collide: From rape and death threats on Twitter to the absence of women in late night (“Les Moonves is asleep in a cave somewhere far away,” offers Lena Dunham as an explanation) to hanging their hopes on Hillary Clinton, Schumer, 34 (Inside Amy Schumer); Dunham, 29 (Girls); Gina Rodriguez, 30 (Jane the Virgin); Ellie Kemper, 35 (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); Tracee Ellis Ross, 42 (Black-ish); and Kate McKinnon, 31 (Saturday Night Live), prove they are as fearless as they are (f—ing) funny.
What was your most mortifying moment performing comedy?
KATE MCKINNON I did stand-up at the Aspen Comedy Festival once, a tight two and a half minutes. I asked the booker afterward, “What did you think?” She said, “There wasn’t enough for me to judge, but what I saw, I didn’t like.” I went to a Starbucks and cried.
LENA DUNHAM But look at you now!
AMY SCHUMER I was opening for [comedian] Dave Attell at an Improv in Washington, D.C., and was walking past the White House. This woman came up to me; she had kind eyes. I’m like, “She’s a fan!” I was like, “I’m a comedian,” and she goes, “These people are on a hunger strike; would you perform for them?” I then noticed there were 40 people there with signs showing how long it’d been since they’d eaten. I called some friends, and I was like, “I shouldn’t do this, right? [Comedian] Jim Norton was like, “You gotta take the gig.” (Laughs.) So I tried to write hunger-strike jokes. These people looked like everyone in The Exodus.
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS You have such a good soul.
SCHUMER So I performed, and no one laughed.
GINA RODRIGUEZ They were hungry!
SCHUMER I made jokes like, “Hey, at least no waitresses will be distracting you here!” But I bombed. They put a video of it online, and I found out later they were a known terrorist organization. Making people laugh is what I can do to give back.
The night she won the Golden Globe for her warm, funny and versatile work as the kindhearted title character in the CW comedy “Jane the Virgin,”Gina Rodriguez brought her whole family — Mom and Dad, her two older sisters and their husbands — to the celebrity-filled InStyle after-party at the Beverly Hilton. They hung out for about an hour, people watching, but Rodriguez mostly sat with her parents while her sisters Iveliss and Rebecca tracked down Channing Tatum for a selfie.
Once that mission was accomplished, Rodriguez and her parents headed back to her one-bedroom Santa Monica apartment, where the 30-year-old actress made up her couch (“Of course, my mom and dad get dibs on the bed”) and conked out early. She had to be on set at 5 a.m. the next day.
“The reason I got the Golden Globe was because of my job, so I needed to make sure I wasn’t a hot mess the next day,” Rodriguez says. “Yes, they probably would have cut me a little slack, but I didn’t want to disappoint.”
You could chalk up Rodriguez’s refreshing humility and lack of pretense to the fact that she’s just now establishing herself eight years after graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and hasn’t had time to hone a diva attitude. But that wouldn’t take into account the moment at that InStyle party when “Jane” creator Jennie Snyder Urman, fresh from crying like a baby over Rodriguez’s Globe win, made a beeline to meet the actress’ father so she could pick up parenting tips. “I want my daughter to turn out like Gina and her sisters,” Urman says. “So I was asking: ‘What did you say?'”
Jane The Virgin Gina as Jane Villanueva Season 5 premieres on March 27th on the CW
Jane is a religious young Latina who is a waitress in a hotel in Miami. Her life takes a big turn for the unexpected when her doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her during her checkup.
Jane The Virgin: The Novelas Gina as Jane Villanueva TBA
The series will be a telenovela anthology in which each season is based on a novel “written by” Jane the Virgin lead character Jane Villanueva and narrated by Jane, too.
Miss Bala Gina as Gloria In Theatres February 1st
Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.
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