Jennie Urman Q&A: ‘Jane the Virgin’ creator
“It felt like Episode 11 we were shooting a pilot in the middle of a season of TV,” explains “Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Urman (watch our exclusive video above), speaking on the aftermath of not just killing off main character Michael Cordero (Brett Dier) but also leaping the series three years into the future. “We were re-introducing people back in after three years, and especially after such a cataclysmic event, how do you make it interesting and also true emotionally? This year was particularly challenging on a storytelling level, but also rewarding.”
Urman, whose hit CW series “Jane the Virgin” has made history on the awards front for the network, says the decision to have Michael succumb to heart failure from a previous gunshot wound was especially hard because of her bond with Dier. “It was the hardest thing, and how hard it was is just a testament to who he, how close our bond was and to the cast and just how much I loved writing for him. All those things together made it really hard. He’s just a dream. It would have been easier if he was an asshole, then you wouldn’t think twice, but who Brett is made it infinitely harder.”
She also admits to making things hard on her main character Jane this season, played by Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez. However, Urman says one of the main reasons she had confidence in the show’s bold moves this season was because she knew the audience was in good hands with her award-winning star. “That was another reason that I had faith that we could continue past Michael is because I knew that Gina, her acting, was going to be holding the audiences hand and showing them the pain and making them root for her to find the joy again. And knowing that I have this actress where’s there’s nothing she can’t do makes me work harder. I don’t take her for granted.”
Though the series itself has amassed several nominations and wins from the Golden Globes, Peabody, AFI, Critics Choice, TCA, People’s Choice and other awards, it’s managed just two Emmy nominations over the past two years, for narrator Anthony Mendez. This year “Jane” hopes to break in across the board after such a strong season and resurgence in its ratings, but will Urman submit the breakthrough Episode 11 for Emmy consideration? “There was a degree of difficulty in reinventing the show, the sets, catching people up,” she details. “I loved that one. I loved the season opener and the second episode. It’s hard to think about. There are a lot of episodes this year that I loved and am proud to be a part of, so I’ll have to think about it.”
To hear more about the third seasons bombshell plot twists, if the series may have changed its endgame for Jane, and which character Urman would play in her own show if given the chance, be sure to watch our exclusive interview above. Also watch our interviews with Gina Rodriguez and Brett Dier.