The stars of JANE THE VIRGIN had something in common even before they met on The CW’s hit series, now in its third season. They both appeared on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL, though at different times. Here, they open up about life at Forrester Creations. The season 3 finale of JANE THE VIRGIN airs tonight at 9pm EST on The CW.
Soap Opera Digest: Justin, you were on B&B first, playing Graham in 2010.
Justin Baldoni: Yes, I was the photographer/rapist.
Gina Rodriguez: Seriously? Geez!
Digest: It’s true. He tried to slip Hope a drug and intended for her to be his next victim.
Baldoni: Yes, he was a bad dude. But it was a great experience. I like playing bad guys because usually they don’t think they’re bad. Everyone thinks they’re the hero in
their own story, so it was fun. I have so much respect for actors who do soaps. Learning their lines so quickly and shooting like 40 pages a day? That’s a lot.
Rodriguez: They’re fantastic. I always say that memorizing 40-50 pages a day was a precursor for me to be able to be up for doing JANE. It was the master class I needed, and I didn’t even know I needed it.
Baldoni: Gina can memorize just by looking at something.
Rodriguez: That’s all because of my doing a soap opera — and that’s no bull. I’m not saying this because I’m talking to Soap Opera Digest, either. It’s what I tell
everyone about how I learned to memorize dialogue so quickly, because you had to do that every single day.
Digest: Gina, what do you remember about playing Beverly?
Rodriguez: Beverly was a foster child who was, in a sense, taken in by the gracious Stephanie Forrester. With the help of her friend Dayzee, Beverly got an internship at Forrester.
Digest: And even caught Rick’s eye.
Baldoni: Oh, wow!
Digest: Word is that the show wanted to keep you around. Is that true?
Rodriguez: They did. But at that time, the film I had done, Filly Brown, that I had going to the Sundance Film Festival, started to build a lot of traction and I was getting offers to work with the networks. I have to say, Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] was very loving in knowing there were some potential opportunities out there for me, and he didn’t want to hold me back from exploring —
Baldoni: So, he set you free? That’s beautiful!
Rodriguez: He set me free, and he will always have my loyalty and my love for that, for sure. He projected more into the future than I ever could have then.
Digest: How did it feel to be playing such an important social issue like foster care on a soap?
Rodriguez: It seemed to really resonate with viewers, and they did it very well. We went to different foster homes here in Los Angeles, and I got to meet a lot of the young foster kids. That kind of started the wheels turning for me, when I was figuring out what I wanted to do with youth in real life and how I was finding my own voice, and what kind of voice was needed to fill in the gaps.
Digest: Justin, Graham went to jail for his crimes. Think he’s still there?
Baldoni: I do believe he’s probably in jail still. In the story, we found out that he was responsible for other rapes, so I’m sure there were probably even more that hadn’t
come to light by then.
Digest: Justin, tell us about your documentary series.
Baldoni: MY LAST DAYS is a documentary series about life, told by people who are dying. It’s a very aspirational look at life. We follow six real-life superheroes who are living life to its fullest, doing incredible things. It’s about hope and passion and life, and all the things that we should be celebrating in television. That’s one of the reasons we both love doing JANE so much.
Digest: Has JANE’s success changed your life?
Baldoni: Of course! Any time you’re on a show that’s successful, everything changes. Since we started, I have a beautiful wife [Emily]. I have a new daughter [Maiya], who turned 1 year old [in June]. Life is beautiful.
Digest: And Gina, you have a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical.
Rodriguez: I do!
Baldoni: It was like watching my sister win a Golden Globe. I’m so proud of this girl. It was the best thing ever. She’s all heart.
Digest: How would you say season 3 is going so far?
Baldoni: It’s a wild ride! I think it’s even crazier than season 2, and that’s a lot to top.
Rodriguez: And, I’ve got to be at work at 5:30 tomorrow morning, so that’s the glamour of Hollywood, folks.
Digest: Think you’d ever revisit your B&B characters?
Baldoni: Absolutely. Graham probably made a lot of friends in jail [laughs].
Rodriguez: You know what? I would do anything for Brad Bell; 100 percent. The only thing about that, though, is I’d love to leave it open for another Latina to be discovered — because that’s what happened for me.