Jane the Virgin might not be a virgin for much longer.
That was about as much as Gina Rodriguez, the Golden Globe-winning actress who inhabits the part of the chaste Jane Villanueva on the hit CW show, was able to reveal recently.
The third season of the acclaimed series bows on October 17, with legions of fans around the world waiting to see if Jane’s new husband, Michael Cordero (played by Brett Dier), lives or dies after he’s shot on their wedding night.
Chatting during a CBS event at the Beverly Hilton recently, Rodriguez refused to divulge any spoilers. What she could say was that all her social media channels “blew up” in the aftermath of the cliffhanger second season finale.
“I had no idea. Well, I had somewhat of an idea. It’s difficult. You feel like a politician. People get so upset. My dad was like, ‘you’re going to tell me, right?’ I said, ‘Dad, you’re being ridiculous. I’m not going to tell you.'”
Still, there are other perks to being related to Rodriguez these days. The actress has joined forces with her two older sisters to form the We Will Foundation, which serves young women with scholarships in arts education.
“We’re doing something we said we’d do 15 years ago,” said the Puerto Rican actress. “We’re using the blessings for movement, for change and help, because I am the product of so much help.”
In between all the philanthropy, Rodriguez had also just wrapped filming on Annihilation, a science fiction drama feature film written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), and co-starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and what Rodriguez describes as “a nice little splash of Oscar Isaac, because who doesn’t want a nice splash of Oscar Isaac?”
CINEMA THREAD: Why did you want to do this film?
GINA RODRIGUEZ: When I first saw V for Vendetta, I knew I wanted to work with Natalie Portman and I wanted to shave my head for a movie. When I saw Ex Machina, I knew, just knew, that I’d work with Alex Garland one day. Then I booked Annihilation and three of my dreams came true in one.
CT: The last season of ‘Jane’ ended on a pretty dramatic note. What can we expect in the next season?
GR: We’re growing up. The characters are growing up. There’s going to be huge transitions and transformations. Jenny (Snyder Urman, the showrunner) keeps getting smarter. She’s so brilliant. We had a table read for the first episode. Going from the character I just played in London, and coming back home and not having my hair – I looked in the mirror and it was hard to see Jane. Then I was at that table read, and the words that Jenny writes…it’s like Jane lives inside me.
The way she writes, I’m one of the luckiest characters alive. You get lucky when you fall in love with a character like this.
Jenny gave us a little blueprint of our year. She’s never done that before. Before, I didn’t know what was going to happen to Jane, episode to episode. The third season is better than the last two seasons, hands down. I’m terrified as I have to tackle them.
CT: How would you say you and Jane Villanueva are similar?
GR: We’re both fearless. And we both live in honesty.
I’m a very honest human being because it makes me feel free. I think Jane feels the same way.
Where we’re different…I wish I was as patient and understanding as she is. At times I remind myself that one can make decisions for oneself, and that’s not selfish, it’s important. That’s something I’ve needed to learn because I’m a people-pleaser. Probably most actors are. That’s not the best thing because you’ve got to take care of you.
CT: The show is often called ‘addictive’ or ‘compulsive viewing’. What do you think gives it those qualities?
GR: I think being able to laugh through life’s experiences. The way she uses so much reality in this heightened, fantastical world allows you to kind of recalibrate how you feel about your life. There’s nothing better to me than to laugh at social commentary without judgement. It’s addictive because we haven’t seen honesty portrayed on screen that often. Jenny is the reason that people are addicted because the writing is very smart. We crave some honesty and some wit, and she does both of them very well.
CT: You’ve had some great guest stars on the show—Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Rita Moreno. Will you continue to bring on interesting actors in guest starring roles?
GR: There are two guest stars coming on that Jenny is super-excited about. They are really major. I want anyone who wants to come in and do good work. That’s what I’ve realized these past two years. We get so hung up on the name…but it’s more important to find the actor who loves the show and wants to be on it. That’s just a beautiful thing. Although who doesn’t have a fantasy of dancing with Britney Spears?