PRINCIPAL INFORMATION : Gina to let it leak that ‘Jane The Virgin’ was going to be renewed for a 5th season and that this one would be the last one ! She quickly resumed saying ‘Oh no! I do not know !’ so deal to follow !
As the keynote at the Fossil Pop-Up, Gina’s passion for female empowerment was contagious. When speaking on the success of Jane the Virgin, Gina mentioned, “What is so amazing about Jane the Virgin isn’t JUST that Jane is a Latina, but she’s a woman.” Growing up, Gina noticed the lack of representation in the media and looked at it as an open opportunity to show what she can do in the industry. Reflecting on the success of the recent box office hit, Black Panther, she said moments of representation so powerful like this, prove that you can never tell us that we are not profitable. You can never tell us that people do not what “You can never tell us that we are not profitable. You can never tell us that people do not want to see our stories.” source : createcultivate.com
When I spoke to Gina Rodriguez on a recent Wednesday night, I was still pumped from attending a press screening of her latest movie, Annihilation, earlier that day (a fact that Rodriguez met with delighted laughter, admitting that even she hadn’t seen it yet). I have very high standards for sci-fi and horror films—I expect to startle and gasp and cover my eyes—and this movie didn’t just clear my very high bar; it vaulted over it. But to be honest, even if it had failed to register on my scare-o-meter, I would have loved it for what it is at its heart: in Rodriguez’s words, “a human story and…bad bitches going into action.” In the film, which lands in theaters nationwide on Friday, February 23, Rodriguez plays Anya Thorensen, a paramedic who has volunteered to explore The Shimmer, a mystifying, dangerous, ever-expanding territory. Those who go into The Shimmer often don’t return.
The role fit Rodriguez like Anya’s well-worn fatigues. “The classic roles that are afforded to me—here, Gina, this is what you’re capable of doing—are usually roles I don’t even relate to,” she says, explaining that she identifies more with layered parts like the main character in Lady Bird than with parts inscribed by one-dimensional Latina stereotypes. Playing Anya? “It felt like butter.”
Rodriguez, 33, has Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition that wages war on the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that influence how your body uses energy. Hashimoto’s can lead to an underactive thyroid that doesn’t produce enough of these hormones, and symptoms can be devastating and wide-ranging, including fatigue, joint pain, memory issues, and weight gain, to name a few.
At first, Rodriguez says, Hashimoto’s felt like “the curse of a lifetime,” especially in an industry that places so much emphasis on size. The disease, though treatable, has no cure. For years after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 19 and Hashimoto’s at 26, and putting on weight that wouldn’t budge, Rodriguez preferred to deny what she was going through rather than focus her efforts on doing whatever she could to feel better. “To the core of my being, I know what it’s like to feel like there is no way I can win this, so where do I even begin,” she reflects.
She tried to rebel against what she knew her body needed by not taking her medicine on time, eating foods that she knew would make her feel terrible (looking at you, dairy), or deciding working out wasn’t worth it if it wouldn’t change her body. Eventually, she realized something had to give: “[Hashimoto’s] affects so many aspects of your life. I’ve had it for so many years…that rebellion of not taking care of myself can’t exist anymore.”
Over the years, she started taking her treatments seriously, changing her diet, and working out for health instead of weight loss. Though weight comes off naturally as a result of all her efforts combined, it’s also complicated by what roles she’s working on at a given time. To prepare for her intensely physical role in Annihilation, she weight trained and went vegan, so naturally, her body changed. When she spends 16-hour days on-set playing the titular character in the CW series Jane the Virgin—a role for which she’s determined not to lose weight—she’s at what she calls her “comfortable” weight, which she can maintain without an intense workout regimen and diet changes.
The sisterhood struck on the London set of « Annihilation » is still strong between Portman, Rodriguez and Thompson, reunited in a suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel ahead of the film’s Los Angeles world premiere. Sitting side by side on a couch with their legs curled up, the camaraderie came flooding back in waves of laughter and mutual admiration.
« I feel like [‘Annihilation’] is the kind of movie where if you’ve seen it only once you haven’t seen it, » said Thompson. « One of Alex’s references for this film was [Andrei Tarkovsky’s] ‘Stalker,’ which I watched a couple times in anticipation of making this movie, trying to figure out what that film is, and means. It felt like being inside of a meditation. »
« Ooooh! » gasped Rodriguez. « That’s poetic. It’s like being inside of a meditation. » « But you know what I mean? It’s a very meditative, lyrical film and we don’t have a lot of practice as audience members with that kind of content, particularly in American film, » Thompson continued. « I feel like we reject it quickly too, the way they did with Darren Aronofsky’s ‘mother!,’ which I loved, » added Rodriguez, gesticulating to the sky. « I thought it was Jennifer [Lawrence]’s best performance. It made me think for hours. Art that moves you in any which way, whether it’s positively or negatively — it’s working. » Rodriguez’s character Anya, a paramedic with a physical swagger, has an outgoing personality that masks her own addictive personality and deep-seated fears — a theme that resonates in Rodriguez’s own life. « I didn’t realize how much of my personal draw to the character was her reason for going into The Shimmer, » she admitted. « Her reason for going on a suicide mission was running away from her past and her addictive personality, her addictions, and her fear of mental illness, and her fear of losing control of herself ».
« I’m always battling the idea of mental health, » Rodriguez continued. « My fear of it personally, the history of mental health in my family, and not ever really facing it because in my culture we don’t really talk about mental health. I got to actually enter my own fear as an actor. » Also tantalizing for Rodriguez was the chance to step outside her popular « Jane the Virgin » TV alter ego. « Being able to play this very outwardly unafraid badass … was so dope, » she said. « As an artist you want to transform, you want to be anything, you want to be able to be capable of doing anything, and I felt like Alex was telling me I could. »
There was one caveat: She had to shave her head for the role just three days after wrapping on « Jane the Virgin. » « It was very fun to do and also really awful and scary, » she laughed. « It felt like night and day. They cut all my hair off and I was like, ‘Who am I?’ And then Alex was like, ‘Let’s go on a journey of wondering who we are!’ Oh man, it was crazy. » – « She had beautiful long hair, » Portman said , smiling at Rodriguez. « She was hair commercial-perfect. I shaved my head for ‘V for Vendetta’ and I loved it. The first time you feel rain or a shower on your bare head, it’s so magical. You looked so awesome with it! But it was very brave. » « I was very lucky I had them saying that the whole time, » Rodriguez grinned, pointing to her cast mates, « because I needed to hear it. » Thompson smiled slyly. « And a huge contingent of the internet were convinced that she and I were lovers in the movie. » – « I’m not gonna lie — I kind of wanted this, » Rodriguez teased. (source : LATimes)