Jennie Snyder Urman Q&A: ‘Jane the Virgin’ creator
“It’s so huge. If you had told me a year ago that I could even dream in that sphere I would have been like ‘Really?’” admits “Jane the Virgin” series creator Jennie Snyder Urman during our recent webcam chat when asked about the Emmy buzz building for her hit CW comedy series. “As a TV writer, I’ve watched the Emmys forever and it’s a really hard thing to go from watching it to imagining that anything you’ve created is in that conversation. And the fact that it [Emmy nominations] would blow my parents minds.”
While Urman adapted a Venezuelan telenovela, she was determined to make “Jane” it’s own entity: “I always feel like with an adaptation if it’s done and its done well you wouldn’t want to just repeat it. There would be no point to me taking the exact DNA and putting it on here. It wouldn’t be inspiring or exciting for me because everyone had done all the work.”
Hers is the first CW series to earn honors from the AFI and Peabody Awards and it contended at both the Golden Globes and TV Critics Choice Awards as well, with series star Gina Rodriguez winning Best Comedy/Musical TV Actress from the HFPA. The star and the show also reaped bids at the upcoming Television Crtiics Assn. Awards.
Urman has entered the pilot in the Comedy Writing category at the Emmys: “I wanted to be able to tell the story of Jane’s decision of what to do with this baby in the pilot but that we had to start like a million other stories so that when you came back you would be interested in all of the people around her because this doesn’t just impact Jane. I wanted to make sure you were interested in all the other people too. So it was a hard pilot to write. It was definitely the hardest I’ve worked on a pilot.”
She praises her leading lady: “I don’t think I really understood the character until Gina came in. She was the third person to audition and did the part and suddenly like a lot of things got unlocked for me, like who Jane was. The performance she gave in the audition is the performance she gave in the pilot. There was nothing to tweak. She’s just a gift.”
To learn more about Urman’s creative process, her thoughts on the Emmys and critical reception, and how she feels about the rest of the “Jane the Virgin” cast – and which was hardest to cast – be sure to watch our complete exclusive video chat.