In case you missed the memo, Gina Rodriguez is a big freaking deal.
Jane the Virgin has launched her into stardom and now Gina is directing, writing, and even hitting the big screen with her latest film Annihilation. But life wasn’t always this good for Gina. In fact, prior to Jane, Gina questioned whether or not she was good enough to make it in Hollywood. She told Self,
“I didn’t know my worth [at the start of my career] because the industry had such a specific perspective on what it should be as a brown woman. I had to start saying, ‘Well, I know if I work hard, I can show my worth,’ and I have been doing nothing but that.”
She did have enough confidence, however, to turn down roles that were stereotypical Latina and didn’t give her character enough meat.
But now that she’s finally got her foot in the door, she’s going big. Not only did she make her directorial debut on Jane this past season, but she’s ready to make her very own film, one she’s been mulling over for a long time.
“I’m ready to do my movie. Whether that means success or failure, I’m ready to go for it.”
“Obviously I come from a very specific lens and a very specific perspective. I, of course, would love to see Latino communities uplifted and celebrated in a positive light because our administration loves to show us in such a negative light. That’s going to be a part of my fight.”
In the meantime, she’s producing at least two films focused on Latina families, one of which has already been picked up.
And when she’s not busy on set, she’s fighting on the front-lines. Of course, she’s actively fighting for Latina representation on film, but she’s also become quite the ambassador for fighting the wage gap. This past Equal Pay Day, she gave tips on how women can get that raise.
“My white sisters definitely have a higher starting point, my black sisters as well. Latinos really do live in the lower end of pay.”
And it’s true. While white women get 77 cents for every dollar a white man makes, Latinas get closer to 55 cents — obviously a huge difference.
For Gina, all this activism is just one of the great benefits that come with her job and the limelight.
“It’s empowering and encouraging and viscerally stimulating to be a part and lend the little voice I have to this giant cause of beautiful change towards a more fair world, a more fair environment. It doesn’t take away from anyone or anything. It just makes everything easier and clearer and kinder and makes room for more possibility.”
Amen to that!
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.