5 Things You Never Knew About Gina Rodriguez

The inside scoop on our January cover star.

Jan Welters

Everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting, talking to, or—you know—just *watching* Gina Rodriguez knows that the 32-year-old Chicago native is basically an open book. But she still has some secrets. Or did. Until she told us this:

1. Her favorite TV show is Six Feet Under.

2. She performed as a salsa dancer at age 7 with a youth dance company. At 13, she taught swimming lessons to children with disabilities.

3. Her favorite TED Talk is Elizabeth Gilbert's "Your Elusive Creative Genius."

4. Her parents wanted her to become a lawyer. (Which, quite obviously, did not happen.)

5. When applying to NYU, she told the interviewer, "I'm going to make it. So either NYU can claim me, or another college can." (She says now: "Such an asshole. What was I thinking? It was this confidence that my mother and father gave me. Claim your life. Claim what you want.")

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Be sure to check out the cover star in Marie Claire's January issue, on newsstands now.

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

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