“I did not have any prior warning. I found out with everybody else when I read the script,” admits Yael Grobglas as we chat via webcam (watch above) about her character on “Jane the Virgin” having a twin. She now plays both the diabolical Petra Solano, who just gave birth to twins, and Anezka. “At the table read I was jumping between the two characters, between an accent and the physicality for each one. It was like a really weird one-woman comedy show.”
The actress explains, “I tried to make Anezka as different as possible from Petra. When I got on the phone with [creator] Jennie Urman, she told me a bit about Anezka and her personal space issues and how when anybody comes up to hug her she jumps back and yelps and scratches.” She reveals the key to finding the character: “My cat Pablo gets ‘the fear’ from anything so I just thought that was a really good definition for Anezka.” Even so, it has still been a challenge. “If I’m filming Anezka’s side first, I have to know what Anezka is reacting to off of what Petra is doing. So it’s not like I get to react off anyone, I have to really plan everything in advance.”
Grobglas is pleased to be so prominently featured this season and gives full credit to Urman. “Having Jennie writing for you is like Shakespeare writing you a play. They trust us and they let us play and bring our own thing. Every single person in our cast knows just how lucky we are a) to have a job, b) to have a job that we love, and c) to have a job where we love everyone. It’s just an incredibly rare combination that we should be thankful for every single day.”
If she is nominated for Comedy Supporting Actress, she will have to submit an episode to Emmy voters. “I’m torn between one of the twin episodes where both Petra and Anezka are there because it’s such a great opportunity to be able to show two different characters and the birthing episode which was really one of my favorite moments in my career. There was both drama and heartfelt moments but also a lot of physical comedy that really embodied everything that I love doing as an actor.”
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