Gina Rodriguez Talks 'Jane the Virgin' and Standing Her Ground in Hollywood: "It Is Very Scary Territory"

A refreshing dose of real talk.

Gina Rodriguez
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gina Rodriguez is one of those people who, even at 5'3", fills an entire room with her huge personality. I caught up with the actress today at a Crest 3D White event (Rodriguez is a spokesperson) to chat everything from her love of Britney Spears to being a a woman in Hollywood—here's what went down:

Marie Claire: I just saw that Britney is going to be joining season two of Jane the Virgin...

Gina Rodriguez: Giiiiiirl! 

MC: When did you find out that was happening? 

GR: She's been very vocal about loving our show. She said something in a magazine, I can't remember for the life of me which one, but everyone was like, 'Omigod, did you see that Britney said she loves your show?' and I was like, 'Get out of here.' I was dying. She's my childhood. She's my everything. She's fierce. To me, she was the first pop star I had ever known or idolized. 

Then, I got an email from my creator saying that she was joining us, and she was like, 'You're not allowed to text or tweet or say anything about it yet.' And when I tweeted Britney, after I could say something, I told her that I had fallen out of my chair. Because when I first got the email, I literally fell. I went full to the ground. 

When I tweeted Britney, I told her that I had fallen out of my chair. Because when I first got the email, I literally fell. I went full to the ground."

MC: The only appropriate reaction. 

GR: The *only* appropriate reaction. But she seems pretty freakin' lovely. 

MC: And she's going to be the foil to your dad on the show.

GR: Think about it—my dad, Britney, me. 

MC: The trifecta.

GR: Boom! So stoked. 

MC: Who else would you want to guest star, if you had your pick?

GR: Well, I definitely have talked about Luis Guzman, who I totally want to come on. I want him to come on as my dad's brother or like, maybe, a long lost brother of my mom? Because of my grandfather, who passed away, maybe it's his random son. But, definitely, Luis Guzman. Definitely want Adam Rodriguez...

MC: For...reasons

GR: Listen, Jane needs a third love interest, doesn't she? Clearly. 

MC: No question.

GR: I definitely want Rita Moreno to come back. Because she's amazing and wonderful. I would love for my grandfather, not the one who passed, but my dad's...maybe to be Edward J. Olmos. Jimmy Smits has to be on. Because we had talked about him last season. But like, Enrique Iglesias and I want Ricky Martin and I want America Ferrera and I want Salma Hayek. I just want everyone. And anyone who wants to come play, is more than welcome to come play.

I think that we're definitely living in an era where women are much more vocal and unafraid to be vocal, which is a very exciting thing.

MC: Recently you've said some pretty powerful things about women—and Latinas specifically—in Hollywood. What do you think about women's progress right now?

GR: Anything that I hope to see in Hollywood I try my best to be. So I think that's the number one thing. Being the change you wish to see in the world and practicing what you preach. Which isn't always easy all the damn time. But it's a necessity. I do think we're definitely living in an era where women are much more vocal and unafraid to be vocal, which is a very exciting thing. I was talking to my mom about this, and she was like, 'You know, back in my day, we would be terrified to be saying some of the things that are being said.' So that's an encouraging thing, in the sense that we are progressing to a place of fearlessness. And fearlessness of any backlash or repercussion for speaking our mind and standing our ground. 

I've always kind of been that human being, as much as I possibly could, for the issues that pertain to me personally. And I love that I feel okay to speak with honesty and truth. It is very scary territory, women in Hollywood is a very scary territory, because we are needed—in Hollywood and beyond—and we ain't going nowhere. Women are powerful. And it's amazing to hear more women speak out on things that matter.

Jane the Virgin season two premieres October 12 on The CW.

Samantha Leal
Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.