Gina Rodriguez: Actor, Director, Activist

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By Valentina

In her fictional life Gina Rodriguez has dealt with unexpected babies, unexpected love life, and an unexpected career. But her real life has been just as exciting. Gina Alexis Rodriguez started acting around 2010. She was born July 30, 1984 in Chicago, Illinois. Gina’s starring role on Jane The Virgin has led to much success in acting and directing, which she is using to bring change to the acting industry. Gina Rodriguez is an inspiring example as an actress, director, and activist.

Gina Rodriguez’s breakout role was in a top hit show Jane The Virgin, a TV show on the CW Network that is loosely based on the Venezuelan telenovela called Juana la virgen (Juana the Virgin). Gina played the loving role of Jane Glorianna Villanueva. Jane grew up living in a loving Venezuelan home with her mother, Xiomara Glorianna Villannueva -- Xo for short -- and her very religious abuela (grandmother), Alba Glorianna Villanueva. Xo and Alba have always loved Jane a great deal, but even still they all know that Xo’s life was derailed by her pregnancy with Jane at the age of 16. That’s why, when Jane was 10 years old, she took a vow to God and her Abuela, that she will save herself until marriage, which she righteously upholds. After she is accidentally artificially inseminated, Jane decides to keep the baby, a very complicated choice due to the fact that her boyfriend, Michael Cordero, a police detective, is planning on proposing! Meanwhile, the unintentional sperm donor turns out to be an old crush from a yacht club. She navigates the crazy love triangle with the help of her mother, Xiomara, and grandmother, Alba; together they are a group of kind, powerful, complicated women. Jane dealt with many challenges and obstacles all throughout the show. She had to deal with a completely chancy life, which Jane wasn’t used to because she always liked to be prepared and plan. She had a medical altercation which would change her life forever. At the same time she was balancing out her waitress job at the Marbella Hotel, which unintentionally, her sperm donor, Rafael Solano’s father owned at the moment. She was trying to write her first romance book. She was trying to get ready for a marriage with Michael, but that didn’t end up happening because Jane started to have feelings for Rafael! Jane’s life was really, “Straight out of a telenovela!” as many of the show’s characters observe. Gina Rodriguez is an amazing actor. She has been in multiple movies and TV shows such as: Someone Great, Miss Bala, Scoob, Smallfoot, Ferdinand, Our Family Wedding, and much more. Gina is also rising to become an amazing director.

Yes, Gina Rodriguez is an amazing actor. Yes, that is what she is known for. But that’s not all! Gina Rodriguez is trying to rise as a director. Gina has started her directing career on season four of Jane The Virgin and directed much more of season 5. She was also a slight director in the movie Someone Great, In the movie, Gina plays Jenny Young, but she was also a producer in the movie. She has also been a producer and director in other movies and shows. She directed an episode of Charmed, and was a producer for: Carmen Sandiego, Diary of a Female President, Jane the Novela, Jane The Virgin, Someone Great, Illegal, and Marie Claire Young Women’s Honors. Gina Rodriguez is obviously talented. But in addition to her talent there is always something she looks for; where does her latin identity fall into place?

Gina Rodriguez has one thing that she carries with her every time she has an acting or directing job: her latin heritage. Gina Rodriguez was born in Chicago, Illinois to Puerto Rican parents, Magali and Genaro Rodriguez. Although she was raised in Belmont Cragin, Chicago, she and other members of her family have always called themselves Puerto Rican, not American. Gina takes any opportunity she can to advocate for Latin American people. In 2016 she told Latina Magazine, “A strong leader is one who creates other leaders.” This means that Gina is devoted to “encouraging young girls to take control of their lives, to spread kindness…” No matter where she goes, Gina is loyal to this message. On a recent trip to Miami, a girl the age of 10 approached Gina. “She’s Puerto Rican, and she’s very excited that I’m Puerto Rican,” Gina remembers the little girl saying. “She goes, ‘Gina, I saw you at the Golden Globes. And, you know, no Latino actors won anything.’” In the four years since Gina Rodriguez won her Globe, only two Latin actors have won at the ceremony. “I go, ‘You noticed that, huh?’” And the little girl asks, ‘When are we going to get there?'” Gina told her, “I’m working on it.” It’s the little things in life that make the world change, and Gina is leading the charge.

Gina Rodriguez is an amazing role model because she isn’t just an actress nor a director, but is helping to change the world by being an activist. Lets just say Gina is an amazing person over all and is inspiring people all over the world. As Gina always says, “You can, and you will!”