You probably know Gina Rodriguez as the star of the hit show Jane the Virgin, but there’s so much more sabor to this Latina celeb than meets the eye. As she prepares to say goodbye to the TV role that made her famous, Rodriguez is making major strides in Hollywood with her new movie Miss Bala.
In the film, Rodriguez plays a woman who tries to take down a Mexican drug cartel after her best friend is kidnapped. For the actress, this movie was an important step forward for Latinx representation in Hollywood (95 percent of the cast and crew in Miss Bala were Latinx). “Now we get to see this new girl, this new woman, that I don’t feel is often portrayed, especially in the Latino culture,” she said. As of 2018, Latinas made up 7 percent of speaking roles across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms, according to the report “Boxed In.”
Rodriguez’s passion for acting began after she watched fellow Latina actress America Ferrera in the 2002 movie Real Women Have Curves. One of her first roles was on The Bold and the Beautiful. Rodriguez’s soap opera background proved to be the perfect training for her 2014 breakout role as Jane Villanueva on Jane the Virgin. The CW show, airing its fifth and final season in March, beautifully pays homage to sassy drama-filled telenovelas.
Her role as Jane earned Rodriguez a Golden Globe for Best Actress. The win launched her into a new level of stardom — one she truly appreciates, especially as a Latina. “This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes,” she said in her acceptance speech.
What’s up next for Rodriguez? Two words: Carmen Sandiego. She’s playing the fedora-wearing icon in two Netflix projects: a live-action feature and an animated series, proving that she can do just about anything she sets her mind to.
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