As the final episode of Jane the Virgin is upon us, the cast got super emotional at the start of their PaleyFest panel. Star and executive producer Gina Rodriguez shed some tears as she and co-star Justin Baldoni remembered when they first started the show and how they had the opportunity to share their gifts with the world. The emotional moment soon turned into a fun lovefest and moderator Leanne Aguilera from Entertainment Tonight attempting to pull spoilers for the fifth and final season the cast. Show creator Jennie Snyder Urman and the cast kept tight-lipped, but they did spill some details.
Rodriguez, Baldoni and Urman were joined on stage by Andrea Navedo, Yael Grobglas, Elias Janssen, Jaime Camil, Anthony Mendez and Brett Dier. Missing from the panel was Ivonne Coll who was working on the spinoff Jane the Novela but was certainly there in spirit. Nonetheless, no time was wasted in details about the final season.
As questions were asked to the actors about the fate of their characters, they nervously checked in with Urman to see what they could and could not talk about. That said, they couldn’t share much, but some tea was spilled about certain characters.
For one, Urman revealed that we will find out whether or not the narrator voiced by Mendez, who has been a prominent heard-but-not-seen character on the show, has a connection to the family. Urman and Rodriguez revealed to everyone that she found out about the narrator’s connection years ago. Second, we all know that Dier’s Michael will be returning and as much as he wanted to talk about what happens, he was hushed by everyone on the panel. However, it was revealed that his fate is revealed within 40-50 seconds of the first episode, we’ll find out what happens with Michael — and it will definitely cause some drama.
One of the biggest reveals of the night was that Rodriguez has an epic seven-page monologue in the first episode that was shot in one take — and it’s an episode that she directed. Rodriguez was up to the challenge and said that the show is genius and that Urman is “the best parts of Jane”.
“I wanted to make a joyful show where there was a heroine in the center who was good and complex,” said Urman. She also said that she felt a lot of pressure to make sure the Latinx representation felt good to the team.
She added, “I wanted to authentically represented these characters and how women could be different in so many ways. It was much more than I could have expected.” The representation rang true as the series tackled many topics including immigration which she said became more urgent and important as the country and world changed.
Navedo and Rodriguez also addressed the Latina representation and how the show gives complex, authentic Latinx storytelling that was not present in the past. They also talk how the characters reflect the women in their lives.
“It means so much me,” said Navedo. She adds that in her life, strong Latina held the house together and she didn’t see that in media. When she first started acting, Navedo said she knew “the odds were stacked against her.” She admits, “I almost quit acting. If I had I wouldn’t have been part of Jane the Virgin.”
Rodriguez echoes Navedo in being raised by strong women and felt that this show makes others like them feel seen.
“I feel very lucky,” said Rodriguez.
At the end of the panel, Urman and Rodriguez shed more tears over how much of an impact of the show when it comes to representation of women and a different kind of story that people aren’t used to. The cast added to the sentiment with the authenticity of the Latinx community, having women in front of and behind the camera and that the message of the show makes people feel seen.
“What I think about art is that it creates tolerance and healing,” said Rodriguez. “Jennie took it and boy, did it create healing for so many.”
“I hope that the show created more space for empathy, compassion and more understanding of what we have in common and celebrates what makes us unique,” adds Urman. “I hope it brings joy and validates kindness.”
Jane the Virgin will return for its fifth and final season Wednesday, March 27. Jane the Novela been ordered to pilot by the CW with Rodriguez as executive producer and narrator.