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'Jane the Virgin' Co-Star Happy for Show's Success

10 Sep, 2015 By: Chris Tribbey

The first season of the rom-com series “Jane the Virgin” received almost universal critical acclaim, earned Peabody, People’s Choice and AFI awards, and saw series’ star Gina Rodriguez (Jane) take home the award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes.

And yet Andrea Navedo (who plays Jane’s mother, Xiomara, and was previously seen in “Remember Me” and “Washington Heights”), is still shocked that The CW series has been such a hit.

“I’m surprised, not because I didn’t think it was good, but because I was worried we wouldn’t get noticed, and that people wouldn’t buy into the creepy premises,” Navedo said. “I’ve always loved it — it is a great show — it’s just not on one of the major networks, and because of that I didn’t think we would get much attention.

“I’m so happy CW took a chance on a different type of show, different from what they do usually, different from what most anyone else does.”

The CW’s risk paid off, enough so that a second season will debut Oct. 12. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the first season as a five-disc DVD set Sept. 29.

One look at the premise shows why the series could be considered a risk for any network: “Jane The Virgin” tackles what happens after Jane, a 23-year-old, religious, hard-working Latina (Rodriguez, previously seen in “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Army Wives”) becomes artificially inseminated, completely by accident, during a routine checkup. Worse, the father is married, Jane’s former teenage crush … and owns the hotel where she works.

Throw in a jealous ex-fiancé who’s a detective, a shady Czech crime family member, a fiercely religious grandmother, and a famous telenovela star (who happens to be Jane’s biological father) and you’ve got enough drama to fill 22 episodes in just one season, with plenty more to go.

While The CW’s “Jane the Virgin” is loosely based on a decade-old Venezuelan telenovela “Juana la Virgen,” Navedo stressed that it’s only where the new series’ premise came from, and is not a step-by-step, shot-by-shot remake.

“We weren’t required to watch the original, but a lot of us took a look to help us out as actors,” she said. “It is really only loosely based, it doesn’t follow exactly. It just springboards off the artificial insemination idea, and the relationship between the mom and the daughter.”

Among the cast — which includes “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Justin Baldoni and “Ravenswood’s” Brett Dier — Navedo was quick to single out the performance of Jaime Camil [who plays Rogelio de la Vega, Jane’s biological father]. “It’s hard to keep a straight face around him on set, and it’s great to see him getting recognized for his work,” she said. “It’s well deserved.”

For the DVD release, Warner includes the behind-the-scenes featurette “Jane the Virgin: Immaculate Creation, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and a second featurette, “Getting to Know the Cast of Jane the Virgin,” in which cast members interview one another.

For the second season, Navedo was careful not to give away much, other than to point out that Britney Spears would be making a guest appearance during the fifth episode, and that some weddings may be around the corner for some of the characters.

“We’ll see,” she said.

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