When it comes to reliable scene stealers, you can count on Jaime Camil’s deliciously vain telenovela star Rogelio de la Vega to run away with every episode of The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” A social media-obsessed narcissist, Rogelio is a larger-than-life character who borders on cartoonish, if only Camil didn’t invest him with such heartfelt emotions. In “Chapter Thirty-Eight,” Rogelio is at work on a French Revolution episode of his show, and horrified to discover he has a cap on the number of guests he can invite to his daughter Jane’s wedding. He schemes to introduce Jane to his “dear friend” Charo, so she’ll make the cut.
Camil: “We’re very, very tight as a cast. I’m from Mexico and I’ve heard some horror stories about cast members who can’t stand each other. What we have on ‘Jane’ is a blessing. We do table reads for every single episode one day before it starts to shoot.
“Rogelio lives in this crazy universe, and at the same time he has beautiful, heartfelt scenes with Jane and [her mother, his on-off love] Xiomara. With all the craziness somehow they manage to keep him grounded.
“The characters are built from our guts out. Even when Rogelio delivers a ridiculous line like, ‘I want my daughter to have the pleasure of knowing me,’ you have two choices: push the character away or hug the character. And you decide to hug the character. We might be living in a ridiculous universe but if you confront the characters with sincerity and honesty I think that’s why we get away with the things we do.
|“I want Charo to live with me in my house. I want to have her in my pocket whenever I need cheering up.”|
“I do love situational comedy, clowning and slapstick, I approach that with a lot of respect. The goofier you are, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be funnier. I love a good Steve Martin, Martin Short scene where they’re being super physical — I don’t mean to compare myself — but I relate to their type of comedy because they do crazy stuff but come at it in an honest way.
“The person who has the most fun with my character is probably our costume designer. [Filming the French Revolution scene] I was sick as a dog, I will never forget. There’s a reason we have insurance so we can postpone, but it’s a very complicated show to do. I remember I hated the wig, it was pulling my hair and the pins were like arrows in my scalp. It was a horrible feeling because I was sick. Of course, the more ridiculous Rogelio looks, the better for the show.
“I want Charo to live with me in my house. I want to have her in my pocket whenever I need cheering up. I’d never met her — my character has been talking about her since the first episode. When she arrives she is so full of life, I wish I had 10% of her energy in my life. She’s a tour de force and so disciplined when it comes to being on set. It was a joy. She kept telling me to take Vitamin C. It was like, ‘Yes, Charo, the medic will bring me some, I promise.’”