By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief
Coco Eco Magazine: Despite the whirlwind, you’re so grounded. What or who has influenced you?
Gina Rodriguez: It’s a collection of experiences and learned behavior by four fantastic role models; my parents and my two older sisters. Every single person in my family is driven and ambitious to go after their dreams, and does just that. My eldest sister is an investment banker and my middle sister is a doctor. Even though I became the crazy artist, there was no limitation to those dreams because of what my family instilled in me. They helped me realize that with my art, I can contribute to create change within my industry. So that’s what I continue to strive to do.
CEM: You blew everyone away in Filly Brown. Did you already know how to rap?
GR: No. As I started off in dancing growing up, music was in my blood. I listened to hip-hop, but there was no formal training or pursuit of a career in music prior to Filly Brown. I was very lucky to have incredible music support in that film, Edub, Khoolaid and Reza, who created a safe environment that allowed me to try a new art form. And then fall in love with it.
CEM: What inspires you when considering roles?
GR: I turned down projects after Filly Brown because I am focused on working towards making a shift in the industry. Too often the only opportunities Latinas have are ones that we have heard many times, such as the maid story. There is nothing wrong with it, but it contributes to a perpetuated stereotype that keeps Latinos and their reputation in a very specific light. I want to use my art to change that light. So that means turning down certain roles that only repeat that story. We need new stories, like the ones of my siblings being the doctor and investment banker. Holding out for the right project will always be important to me, but not for my bank account. (She laughs)
CEM: Why was Jane the Virgin right for you?
GR: It was a new story, it was a fun, fearless roller coaster and a risky comedy, but it was heroic and brilliant and I wanted to be associated with that. Jane is a strong woman, who goes after her dreams; is hard working and kind, forgiving and fun. It was about time there were opportunities for Latinas like Jane, and that’s what I was praying I could be a part of.
CEM: What was it like to win a Golden Globe?
GR: I don’t really think I know how to put that in words. Outrageous. Stupendous. Pinch me. Now punch me. Is this a dream? Ok back to work. Got to prove I am worthy of this award. Terrified. What does this all mean? Grateful. Grateful. Still in shock. And I really don’t think that even sums up 1% of it.
CEM: And where do you keep your Globe?
GR: On my TV stand.
CEM: You mentioned your Dad in your Golden Globe speech. How is important is your family’s support to you?
GR: My family is the reason I believed my crazy dreams could actually come true.
CEM: You appeared on Oscar’s red carpet wearing the winning gown from Suzy Amis Cameron’s RED CARPET GREEN CHALLENGE competition. Why did you want to wear that dress?
GR: I think it is incredible that we can have sustainable clothing that is chic. I loved the daring nature of the challenge, and want to keep challenging myself in living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
CEM: How was your first experience of the Oscars?
GR: Incredible. But again, I think big so I’m excited to see what it will feel like when I go with something nominated. So that’s the goal. I’ll tell you how that one feels.
CEM: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
GR: That war wasn’t profitable. If it weren’t, people wouldn’t kill in the “name” of something.
CEM: What’s next for you?
GR: A book. That’s my next goal. Outside of acting that is something I am working on, and have a huge place in my heart to accomplish.
Gina, a multi-talented, award-winning, young actress, touted as ‘the next big thing,’ is already using her fame to shift the entertainment industry’s predictable portrayal of the Latino community in American culture. This self-confessed tomboy, who by her own admission is “not some super sexy Latina,” is taking the world by storm with her fresh-faced beauty warmth, strength, and authenticity. Having missed the Oscar party but nailed the audition, she is now confirmed to star opposite Mark Wahlberg in Lionsgate’s oil-rig drama, Deepwater Horizon, directed by Peter Berg. Her career is literally on fire, but despite her new experience with fame, there is nothing virgin about how she’s handling it. Gina is popping not only Hollywood’s, but also the world’s cherry, and owning it.
Photography by Russell Baer
Styled by Sarah Griffin Berns
Make Up by Jenna Anton, using Antonym Cosmetics
Hair by Melissa DeZarate