5 Things You Never Knew About Gina Rodriguez

The inside scoop on our January cover star.

Gina Rodriguez
(Image credit: 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.")

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.

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 Latina.com, 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.