Very rarely do we find ourselves rooting for the villain, or at least the character on a television show causing so much heartache and chaos. For the adorable and quirky Monday night fan favorite, JANE THE VIRGIN, that person is Petra Solano. We first met Solano in the midst of stealing her husband’s sperm with intentions of getting inseminated as a last attempt to save her marriage. Since our first meeting with Solano we have watched her hold a man captive, steal more of Rafael’s sperm, and marry a man from her past. Now we get to watch Petra tackle a new challenge, pregnancy.
While many love and admire Petra (me being one of them) the obvious can’t be avoided. This whole situation would essentially not exist without Petra being, well, Petra. Jane (Gina Rodriguez) would never have met Rafael (Justin Baldoni) or had Mateo, she probably would have married Michael (Brett Dier) and would have become a teacher by now.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the lovely and talented (and nothing like her character) Yael Grobglas about her role as the likeable villain, Petra Solano on the hilarious and addictive CW telenovela-style comedy, JANE THE VIRGIN. I spoke with Grobglas about her time on the show, her character Petra, and what show’s she is loving on television right now.
First off I have to ask, are you team Michael or team Rafael?
Yael Grobglas: I’m team Michael. Just because there is something about him that throughout this entire time, he’s had Jane’s best interests at heart. He’s left her alone to make her own decisions and let her discover what’s best for her and I respect that. That was the right way to go about it.
The critics have responded so well to it and the fans love the show. How has this whole experience been for you?
It’s been absolutely outstanding! It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I moved here for the show and my life changed greatly because of the show. The cast have become a second family to me. I think what’s so great about our group of people, our cast and crew and everyone, everyone knows how lucky they are to be on the show. To get to work with people we really truly love, that’s amazing. Secondly, we get to work on material that we really enjoy. We get to do such a huge range of things and we don’t have to choose whether we are going to be funny or dramatic because we get to do it all. There is such incredible writing, it just makes our job such a pleasure. You see a group of people that are showing up everyday with such huge smiles on their faces and it’s been such an unbelievable experience, just having a great time making something we enjoy. Once it aired and we saw the love that we were getting for the show and for our characters from the fans and from the critics it was overwhelming to suddenly have that feeling that “oh other people are enjoying this thing that we enjoy making so much, this is the best thing ever.” It’s been like that ever since.
Your character is a really mean person but yet the fans responded really well to her, I mean I love her and a lot of the fans do as well. Why do you think people have taken to her even though she does such mean things? How is it playing a character like Petra?
(Laughs) Jennie Urman our creator from the very beginning told me what she had in store for Petra. She told me that Petra is not your typical villain. She enjoys writing in a way where one moment you love her, one moment you hate her, and she stuck to it. That’s what such a present for me, being able to play a villain but she’s not necessarily doing mean things to be mean. Don’t forget, she begins the show as her last resort getting inseminated by her husband’s sperm without him knowing about it. This is already a desperate move and this happens in the Pilot. Obviously that goes horribly wrong because Jane gets inseminated, and ever since then it’s just been her struggling to maintain this life that she wants to live. I think that the writer’s managed to really justify everything she does. You see her softer moments, her background, and her relationship with her mother (Priscilla Barnes). I feel like nothing comes out of nowhere, life happens to her and she’s just forced to deal with it and she deals with it in a way that might not be the way I would deal with it in real life or anybody else would. I think because of that wonderful writing people can have a soft spot for Petra (Laughs). She’s not mean.
She is dealing with a lot of stuff right now. How will we see her deal with the pregnancy later on, especially with Milos (Max Bird-Rindell)?
I don’t know yet; I think there are a few great options. I think it will be very easy to think Petra will be this terrible mother because that is all she knows, Being the villain that’s what you would expect. But I think maybe we will get to see a different side of her, maybe we will get to see Petra being this protective lioness of a mother and this whole different side of her coming out. I think it will definitely be incredibly interesting.
What shows are you loving on TV right now?
I am loving HOUSE OF CARDS, OUTLANDER, GAME OF THRONES, TRANSPARENT, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, there are quite a few shows.
You can watch Yael tonight on JANE THE VIRGIN at 9:00 on The CW and you can follow her on Twitter at @yaelgrobglas.