Gina Rodriguez is a prime example of women in Hollywood making a damn difference. The actress is best known for her role as Jane in “Jane the Virgin” on The CW, the fifth and final season of which is currently filming and giving me palpitations for how much I’m anticipating it. And since “Jane the Virgin” is coming to an end, Rodriguez will have to find other projects that she’s just as passionate about -- and she’s definitely showing us that she’s ready.
For one thing, “Carmen Sandiego” just dropped on Netflix on Friday, an animated series reviving Rita Moreno’s “Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?” with Rodriguez providing the lead voice this time around. She’s been pretty vocal about her excitement for the series, even donning a very Carmen-esque hat for a promo photo.
And at the same time we’re expecting “Carmen Sandiego,” Rodriguez is a leading lady in “Miss Bala,” an action thriller that finds her coming head to head with a cartel to save a kidnapped friend.
So, that’s two brand-new projects done and dusted, with a whole season of “Jane” on the horizon, a spot on Netflix’s hit “Big Mouth” and her production company, I Can and I Will, selling shows to Disney -- and she’s just getting started.
She’s claiming a director’s chair for herself.
“I stay busy because I was a struggling actor ‘til I was like, 29! There was so much of my life that was like, trying and failing and rejection -- I had a lot of sleep. So I’m ready to not sleep,” Rodriguez told USA Today. A legend -- and she’s going after as many credits as she can get her hands on.
Using examples like “The Vampire Diaries” and “A Star Is Born,” some of the best content comes from actors directing themselves (Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley directed a bunch of episodes while they played Damon and Stefan on “The Vampire Diaries,” and Bradley Cooper has a number of accolades and nominations for his directing “A Star Is Born). So it’s only right that Rodriguez has stepped behind the camera for “Jane.”
She also helmed an episode of the “Charmed” reboot, so there’s more credits a’coming.
Her main priority is Latin representation:
When Rodriguez first read for “Jane the Virgin,” she didn’t think The CW knew what they were getting into.
“I was like, ‘They know I’m Puerto Rican, right? And they’re cool with that?' I used to say I wasn’t pretty enough for the CW,” she told TIME. Growing up without people who look like you on TV messes with your head.”
So she’s making sure representation is present in everything she does. Even in “Miss Bala,” she pushed to do any stunt herself that a man would attempt, even if she’s not entirely sure she wants to become a face of action-packed, “Mission Impossible”-type film. It’s evident in the show she sold to Disney’s new streaming service recently, about a young Puerto Rican girl who we find out via flash-forwards becomes president. It’s an attitude she feels is non-negotiable.
“Are 50 percent of the writers women? The directors? Are those women intersectional? No? OK, let’s change that or find yourself someone else.”
Her relationship is somehow resisting the glow of Hollywood.
Rodriguez met her fiancé Joe LoCicero on an episode of “Jane” in 2016 when he guest-starred as a poorly-timed male stripper. The scene is still one of my favorites of the entire series, mostly due to Rodriguez’s squeal that defies physics.
But even though they’ve been together for years, their engagement was kept under wraps for a while, until she finally divulged the info to Us Weekly after subtly sporting her ring on Instagram.
With celebrity weddings getting more and more ornate as of late (don’t even get me started on Nick and Priyanka’s), Rodriguez told Us that she really just wants something small and intimate, and even nearly eloped after the Golden Globes earlier this month.
“[At] the Golden Globes, I loved my dress so much. It was the first time that I was like, ‘Can I purchase this dress after I wear it? I want to own this dress. And Joe was like, ‘Let’s just go right now! You’re done up, I’m done up. Let’s do it!’”
Even though the couple is still just engaged for now, Rodriguez and LoCicero have a sweet-as-pie relationship that anyone would be drooling over, but they keep it private -- there’s not much to know other than how into each other they are.