BEVERLY HILLS, California — “I’m not a virgin!” With that, Gina Rodriguez jokingly announced her arrival at a function room of the Beverly Hilton, ready to face a platoon of international journalists eager to “grill” her about her talked-about TV series Jane The Virgin which is into its Season Three (premiering on Sony Channel anytime this month) and for which she won a Golden Globe Best Actress in a TV Comedy.
Nobody (this Conversationalist included) expected the happy-go-lucky to tear up halfway through the presscon. That was when she recalled how moved she was by the support of her Filipino fans (her account was briefly recounted in a previous Funfare column but discussed more extensively in this piece).
Tagalized (Season One) for local viewers by ABS-CBN, Jane The Virgin easily caught the interest, especially of teenagers who were drawn to the story of Jane Villanueva, described as “a girl who lived by the rules” studying to become a teacher, working her way through school by working as a waitress at a hot Miami hotel, never forgetting the lesson her grandmother taught her about the importance of saving herself for marriage, until she was accidentally artificially inseminated. Well, what happens to Jane in Season Three is worth waiting for.
Excerpts from the international presscon:
Since you started the show and you’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of things, what’s your proudest achievement in that respect?
“Oh, that’s difficult, because, you know, I love to celebrate — like nothing holds like a certain priority in my life. I think that when I go after something, when I set a goal and it’s accomplished, I love to celebrate that, because then it invigorates me to go after another goal. So, I don’t know if one means more than the other. And then like when you look at the grand scheme of your life, it’s like maybe the best thing that ever happened was that my sister successfully delivered my niece because it was a very difficult delivery, and so like you think, well, there’s that.
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“And then there’s like your career, and your career just can never trump that, you know. So, I am happy that my sister is with us. I would say it would be creating a foundation with my siblings, the We Will Foundation, actually doing something that we said we would do 15 years ago, you know. It’s really nice to be able to do what you love, have all these doors opened and then you can like do what your heart has always wanted to do.”
The show is almost always described as addictive, and people binge on it. What is about it that is so compelling and that makes it addictive viewing?
“I think because it’s the ability to laugh through life’s experiences. There’s nothing better to me than to laugh at social commentary and without judgment to be able to talk about immigration reform in a light-hearted way, and I think it’s addictive because we haven’t seen honesty portrayed on screen as often. I think we crave some honesty and some wit and I think our writer does both of them very well. I hope that works. I hope that’s what it is. I was just in Europe and I traveled with my parents for a little bit and to see how well it’s received around the world is like the greatest gift ever. Yeah, when they don’t even speak your language and they are like talking to you and you are like, I don’t know — just hug me, let’s just hold each other, it’s because of you. So, it’s very cool, it’s very cool.”