Gina Rodriguez
Actress Gina Rodriguez attends The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA "Jane The Virgin" screening at the Dolby Theatre on March 15, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Getty

Last Sunday, Gina Rodriguez attended the 32nd Annual PaleyFest in Los Angeles with hit show “Jane the Virgin” cast mates Yael Grobglas, Andrea Navedo, Jaime Camil, Justin Baldoni, Ivonne Coll and Brett Dier, as well as showrunner Snyder Urman for a discussion panel. During the conference Rodriguez spoke about what the future of television should look like and what her character Jane means to her. “Jane is a woman I wish I was more like… You rarely get the opportunity to even audition for a woman who is so strong and empowering and fearless and driven… and a virgin.”

Rodriguez also spoke about how networks and show writers should approach a show’s story line whether they’re trying to represent a minority or not. “As an actress and as a woman of color, I’ve been talking about this matter so much because it seems like such an algorithm, people are like, ‘How do we do it? How do we get into Latinos’ minds?’ Like it’s different. I’m like, ‘Is it different? Because I don’t feel like my mind is different,'” she said. So she had two pieces of advice for writers: “One: you need to write for human beings — that goes for any underrepresented ethnicity. We’re human, we all want the same things, we all want love and success, we’re afraid of failure, we want people to like us… You write for a human being… And two: Cast the best actor and I bet you they will explode, that is what happens, cream rises to the top.”

When Urman was asked how she had created such a culturally accurate world without being Latina herself, she said specificity is key, “I set out to create very specific characters… the more specific you get with characters, the less they become stereotypical. I think it’s about writing people, not writing race,” Urman added.

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