After last year’s uproar for shutting out the CW’s critical and awards darling “Jane the Virgin” from all the major categories, Emmy voters seem to have owned up to their mistake by packing a special FYC table read and Q&A event at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles earlier this month. Laughs, cheers and tears filled the theater during the live table read, which was led by creator Jennie Snyder Urman and Emmy-nominated narrator Anthony Mendez. Listen to an audio recording of the event above.
Moderator Mario Lopez asked Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez about the importance of her character Jane being an example to all girls and shying away from stereotypes. “We’re all artists in this room and there comes a time when you start thinking about what kind of art you want to make and what kind of human being you want to be and how you start to shape your character like your human character,” the Gold Derby TV Award winner explained. “And I thought to myself, I want my nieces and nephews to have role models that they can look up to that make them feel relatable, that make them feel like they’re involved in the conversation. I grew up a lot like Jane where I spoke English in the house and my grandmother spoke Spanish, so I had this duel identity but I identified as just being a human being and that’s why I love Jennie’s heart. She writes for a human being because we all want the same things.”
Urman explained the process of adapting a Venezuelan telenovela about the incredible story of a virgin who was accidentally artificially inseminated and spoke of juggling fantasy and reality. “Our show has three different layers: there’s a very grounded level, then there’s the very fantasy element with the hotel and to Jane growing up that would be a fantasy, and the broadest which is the telenovela within our telenovela. And we just try to keep our transitions tight and hopefully speak within all three.” Even more fantastical, it seems, was the casting of the title character. “It’s like a more romantic story than even meeting my husband. I just remember watching [Rodriguez] and seeing her and just wow. It’s like you have a character in your mind and so many times you’re trying to get things to sound like what’s in your head and that was with this entire cast, who makes it 20 times better than what’s in your head.”
“Jane the Virgin” has prevailed at the Golden Globes, People’s Choice, AFI and Peabody Awards, and contended at the Critics’ Choice and Television Critics Association awards. All of that awards love and a third season renewal is not something the cast takes lightly according to star Justin Baldoni. “You get to be on a network that does 22 episodes. You get to work with people that you love that are giving and generous where there are no egos where everyone shows up to work and then out of work they do good with it. And then we get to do something like this? There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t look at each other and say how blessed we are to be right here on this show.”
Be sure to listen to our exclusive audio of the Q&A to find out why Jaime Camil‘s audition for “Jane” was considered very Rogelio, what guest stars and directors have to say about the cast, what TV academy employees admit to doing during their lunch break that involves the CW hit series and more.