“It was really hard,” admits “Jane the Virgin” star Brett Dier after his character Michael died midway through the show’s third season due to complications from a thought-to-be healed gunshot wound. “When I had to do the death scene, after that scene I cried because I was like ‘Wow, this is really happening. This is it.'” Watch our exclusive video with Brett Dier above.
Dier, who was only in 10 full episodes of the third season before his character’s death, was used in subsequent flashbacks and due to the TV academy’s 50% guest star rule will compete in the Comedy Supporting Actor Emmy category this year. In those 10 episodes, Dier made sure to give everything he could as Michael had not just become a character to him, but a friend. “He became a part of me,” Dier explains in our interview. “Almost like a friend of mine. So knowing he was going to die, I really wanted to make each moment true. I wanted to commit even more to this guy and make it special.”
It’s because of that commitment that Dier was not only lauded by critics for his performance this season, but why Michael’s death had such an impact on the show and the fan base. Also of great impact was his on-screen chemistry with TV wife Jane, played by Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez. “There was no fear of failing with her. You feel so free and you don’t get in your head as much so you can actually commit to the role. Relationships like that in acting are very rare, so I will forever cherish those times with her. It was really cool.”
While Dier says he’s learned so much from his time as Michael, he admits that he’s learned even more from his fellow cast mates. “I mean this when I say this: everyone was so supporting and loving and not just to me, but to guest stars that would come on the show and the crew,” Dier recalls. “They’re just very loving and I honestly feel like that set the tone for the rest of my career. To welcome people and have that love for what I do, and really just show it and not just be there to do a good job. I want to be there to do a good job and to be a good person. And they set the tone for that, for me.”
Watch our complete exclusive interview with Brett Dier to find out if he’s been able to let go of Michael completely, his response to fans’ reactions of Michael’s death, his favorite scene to shoot as Jane and Michael, and more. Also watch our webchat with Gina Rodriguez.
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