Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez is featured in the September 2016 issue of Health Magazine.
During the filming of her new movie, Deepwater Horizon, Gina Rodriguez realized what it would be like to be in a truly life-threatening situation. Portraying a real woman named Andrea Fleytas, who was just 23 at the time of the 2010 oil spill (which the movie is based on), Gina found herself on set in the middle of explosions atop a 90-foot-high oil drilling rig. “I felt the heat on my neck. I felt the singe on my eyelashes,” recalls Gina. “I don’t know how she did it. Andrea is brave and brilliant.”
The same can be said of the 32-year-old Chicago native, who, since 2014, has been capturing hearts (plus a Golden Globe award) as TV’s Jane the Virgin. Offscreen, Gina is brave, busting through barriers. In the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite outcry, she started her #MovementMondays campaign to champion the work of people of color in the arts. She’s writing a book, I Can and I Will, to empower young people of all races, based on words of wisdom her dad taught her. She’s also a partner with Naja lingerie and their Nude For All line, built on the idea that there is more than one “nude.” The actress is brilliant, too, because she does things like lend her Golden Globes dress to a fan to wear to prom.
I read you did a lot of boxing to get in shape for this role.
“I obviously like to box, and I grew up in a boxing family, but I didn’t know [director] Peter [Berg] was so into boxing. I ended up boxing every day. I got so strong that summer, it was unreal. Mark [Wahlberg] would come when he could.”
What were you like back in high school?
“I looked like a little boy. I didn’t get my period until I was 16. I went to school with all the wealthy kids, and I was on financial aid, and they all seemed to grow up a lot quicker than I did. So it was difficult. These kids had Mercedes at 16. It was surreal to think, ‘Why isn’t this my life?’ But it made me work harder because I wanted it, too, and I knew I was gonna be able to get it: ‘Oh, this is not my life, but it will be one day.'”
Your Instagram features #MovementMondays, where you highlight the work of other Latino artists. Why is that important to you?
“I’m not trying to change the world with it; I’m trying to inspire the little girl or boy out there who doesn’t feel like he or she belongs—to remind them, ‘Look at all the heroes you have to look up to.’ I can use my platform to represent another community that feels like they haven’t been heard. I want to generate love, positivity, and support.”
When do you feel sexiest?
“When I’m making people laugh, I feel like a little sex goddess. I feel sexy when I look at myself in the mirror and that voice shuts up, so I can see every part of me and love it. It’s so interesting how we’ll avoid mirrors. But it should be like, ‘No, man, this is you, and this is exactly the way it should be.'”
Jane the Virgin premieres October 17 on the CW.
Photo Credit: James White for Health Magazine