Chicago’s Gina Rodriguez sees ’endless’ options for new ’Jane the Virgin’ season
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By Jocelyn Noveck | Associated Press
Immaculate conception (sort of). Engagement. Breakup. Childbirth. Kidnapping.
So much has already happened to Gina Rodriguez’s character in CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” it almost seems beyond what one person can manage.
“But she handled it!” Rodriguez laughs triumphantly. And the 31-year-old Golden Globe winner says she can’t wait to see what happens in the second season to Jane Villanueva. The only thing she knows for sure: She’s gonna be a mom. And she’s getting married — though she has no idea to whom. And she’s gonna meet Britney Spears, who’ll play herself in an upcoming episode.
“The possibilities are endless,” Rodriguez said in an interview last week, her famous enthusiasm bubbling forth with every question and even veering briefly into tears.
“I’m VERY excited to have Britney Spears on as a guest,” Rodriguez said. “And I’m excited to explore motherhood with Jane … the issues of motherhood, especially at a younger age like Jane is, and wanting to preserve her dreams, wanting to preserve herself.”
There is, of course, one small wrinkle: Jane’s newborn was kidnapped from the hospital at the end of the first season. By someone posing as a nurse. Rodriguez acknowledges some fans were terrified. “We’re going to resolve that really quickly,” she promised.
There’s a lot more Rodriguez is thinking about, besides plot developments. The fast-rising star just finished shooting the film “Deepwater Horizon” opposite Mark Wahlberg. On Sunday, she co-hosted the Teen Choice Awards. She’s also writing a book, titled “I Can and I Will: Tools My Daddy Gave Me.”
Beyond all that, Rodriguez sees herself as uniquely positioned to serve as a role model, both for fellow Latinos and for young people everywhere.
“Now I get to use my power for good,” Rodriguez said in the interview, at a Manhattan event promoting Crest toothpaste. “If I choose to. And I do! And it makes you feel really good inside, to think that just 30 seconds of my time to talk to a kid, or a minute of my time to answer a few tweets, and the effect that has.”
The Chicago-born Rodriguez, whose parents are from Puerto Rico, earned high praise for her Golden Globes speech, in which she said her award represented “a culture that wants see themselves as heroes.” She notes she has turned down roles that she’s seen as perpetuating Latino stereotypes.
“I would not be sitting here across from you if I had not decided on my integrity over [such roles],” Rodriguez said.
Among a number of issues she wants to be vocal about are the damaging beauty standards young girls are subjected to. “What’s beautiful about ‘Jane the Virgin’ is that we have many forms of beauty and we never discuss why they need to be recognized, they just are,” she said. “Jane is not your typical lead actress and we’re not harping over what she looks like and what she wears. She’s just a beautiful strong girl. She just happens to look not like our typical ingenue. I think that’s very powerful.”
Rodriguez’s eyes misted over when she described meeting teens who tell her, “I feel more comfortable in my own skin because of Jane.”
“I could literally start crying,” she said — and then proved it. “OK, I did my job. That’s what I was supposed to do this for, you know?”