Actress Gina Rodriguez is one of three women featured on the cover of Glamour’s October issue, dedicated to fierce women who are changing the game in TV.
In the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Rodriguez has been using her role as Jane to shatter stereotypes about Latinos on-screen and to become a role model off-screen.
“People say this is a Latino show. But, this is just a show that happens to have people with ancestors who come from other countries. None of us wants to be defined anymore. We’re human, dude," says Rodriguez to Glamour. "I feel like I was meant to do something—and nothing about me, genetically, is gonna stop me from doing that. Jane feels the same way,” she said, speaking about how “Jane the Virgin” has changed the game for Latinos in television.
The 31-year-old actress caught her big break with “Jane the Virgin,” which won her a Golden Globe. She used her acceptance speech to say she represents, “a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes.”
A recent study conducted by the University of Southern California found that only about 30.2 percent of speaking characters across the 700 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2014 were women. From across the 100 top films of 2014, 73.1 percent were white women compared to only 4.9 percent Latina women and 5.3 Black women.
Television does have a higher percentage of women getting major roles than movies. A study by the Center for Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, 42 percent of all major characters in TV from 2013 and 2014 were women. But, the majority of TV’s female characters still tend to be white.
Glamour's October issue, which hits newsstands September 15, also features other strong female roles. Emma Roberts is featured for her starring role as Chanel Oberlin in the new upcoming show “Scream Queens,” and Taraji P. Henson for her role as Cookie Lyon in FOX’s, “Empire.”
Rodriguez said that playing Jane has taught her to let go and have faith in her dreams.
“She’s (Jane) taught me that you can be many different things at once. Yeah, she doesn’t have sex, but she’s not uncool. She ain’t two pounds, but she’s sexy. And playing a character who realizes she has no control over her future helped me understand my journey,” said Rodriguez.
The second season of “Jane The Virgin,” premieres on Monday, October 12 on the CW.