“Jane the Virgin” returns Monday night with its second season, and a baby — or does it?
The Season 1 finale of the CW’s critically-acclaimed breakout ended with a major cliffhanger, as Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) long-awaited baby Mateo was kidnapped from the hospital, moments after the virgin mother gave birth. All signs point to villain Sin Rostro, but viewers won’t find out who took the newborn until the new episodes begin — with a very nervous new mother in Jane.
“I definitely want her to go into motherhood not losing herself, not losing sight of her dreams,” Rodriguez told Variety at the first table read for Season 2, along with the rest of the cast and series creator Jennie Snyder Urman, who said she’s both nervous and excited for the new episodes, following the comedy’s successful first run. Rodriguez added, “I want to live in the world of showing how a woman will go through these roles of losing herself and maybe fear, and then learning how to overcome that and learning how to refocus and how to do them both at the exact same time. I definitely want to go through that journey and see her establish a foundation for the family.”
Like Urman, Rodriguez also says there’s more pressure coming back, after critics and fans voiced their love for the show, which garnered history-making award recognition for the network.
“It is very different than last year. I think it almost matters more,” Rodriguez explained. “My love for it continues to grow more, and my desire for it to sustain that level that we gave it Season 1 is important. There’s no getting comfortable. We’re trying harder now. It’s interesting because a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, you must feel like now it’s a walk in the park.’ No. I have to go in hard. We really have to show that we were deserving of that first season and that it wasn’t a fluke.”
With a baby on board, the Villanueva ladies are expanding their tight-knit family — and will add yet another member, as Jane gets married this season.
“We know Jane gets married in Season 2 so I really want to see her make smart, or at least thoughtful, decisions when it comes to love, especially because she went through that risk last year of feeling this chemistry with Raphael (Justin Baldoni),” Rodriguez said, insisting that she does not know who Jane will wed.
But, does she have a preference in Jane’s husband when it comes to the team Raphael vs. team Michael (Brett Dier) debate?
“Actually no, I don’t,” the Golden Globe-winning actress said. “Toward the end [of Season 1] when Raphael started to hurt Jane, I was super team Michael. But then I got to a place where I realized I need to focus on just my baby and my love and that put me on a neutral playing field. The great thing about Jennie is she makes redemptive characters.”
The new season premiere does touch on the love triangle between ex Michael and baby daddy Raphael who tries to become a hands-on father in Jane’s good graces, but despite some flirting from both parties, Jane’s man is not made clear by episode’s end. “I love how we end this episode where we’re still in that elusive space,” Rodriguez teased, adding that she could marry someone who’s not yet in the picture. “It could be a third person.”
A potential new love interest isn’t the only new character that will show up in Season 2. Urman told Variety that we will meet Rogelio’s (Jaime Camil) first wife, played by Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, who will likely ruffle some feathers with Jane’s mother Xo (Andrea Navedo), plus Raphael’s half-brother, who’s yet to be cast.
Aside from new faces and a baby, Rodriguez shared that Season 2 will change a bit in tone, but keep the same unique comedic flair, which has only gotten better as the cast has gotten closer.
“I think that all the fans of ‘Jane’ are going to feel light. There’s still mystery and thriller and there are still open ends, but they are going to feel a nice calm that they deserve,” the star said, then raving of her cast. “We’re all so in love. We know each other more and we’ve invested more time in each other’s lives and each other’s spouses and girlfriends and boyfriends and children. The camaraderie we had before has just grown. We’ve got each other’s back big time.”
Part of that growing on-set family is Baldoni’s first child, daughter Maiya, who came to the table read at just seven weeks old, marking serendipitous timing to bring baby Villanueva onto the show.
“I definitely think that with Justin getting little Maiya in our lives, I feel like God works in the greatest ways because we brought a new member into our family. The baby just seems totally right,” Rodriguez said with a smile. As for her own preparation, now that she’s playing a mother, Rodriguez has had tons of practice with two older sisters and five nieces and nephews. With a laugh, she said, “I’m the baby whisperer!”