For a show about a girl who’s never had sex, Jane The Virgin has plenty of love scenes. And Monday’s episode gave fans more of what they’ve been craving—namely, a hot-and-heavy look at how Rose (Bridget Regan) and Luisa (Yara Martinez) fell in love.
It turns out it’s the only thing about Rose—including her identity, her hair, and her affinity for interior decorating—that’s authentic, Regan tells EW. “Her feelings about Luisa are 100 percent real. That’s her kryptonite.”
Monday night’s episode revealed how Rose, the woman behind crime boss Sin Rostro’s corrupt activities, seduced Luisa’s father five years ago as part of her complex plan to use his hotel as a front for her illegal plastic surgery ring. In marrying the hotel magnate, Rose broke Luisa’s heart, but never stopped loving her. “She has some serious impulses and some serious secrets,” Regan says about her character, a closeted lesbian. “I enjoy that—when is it not interesting watching someone with secrets? I’m drawn to that when I watch actors work.”
And you won’t catch Regan complaining about her love scenes opposite Martinez. “It’s nuts because for both of us, this is the most action we’ve ever gotten on screen,” she says, laughing. “And now we’re close, close friends.”
Though Regan refuses to spill details on whether Rose has really recruited Luisa to join her on the run, Bonnie and Clyde-style, there’s one thing the actress is willing to come clean about: She’s having the best time of her life playing a villain on not one but two shows this season.
Regan juggles kick-butt baddie roles on Jane and on Marvel’s Agent Carter, where she plays Dottie, a trained assassin and undercover spy. “My family is like, ‘This is incredible, we get to see you on TV all the time,’” says Regan. “It’s really fun… they’re just really delicious characters.”
There was just one drawback in booking two major TV roles this season: the process of memorizing pages upon pages of scripts. “There were a few weeks of overlap where my eyes were crossing a little bit,” recalls Regan. “But you know, the shows have such a different tone and a different voice. Agent Carter is set in the 1940s in New York City, and Jane is in present-day Miami. So yeah, I just dive in, whatever set I’m going on.”
Regan also has a special trick to help her keep her characters on the straight and narrow (pun intended). That’d be “binders full of women”—yup, as in the words of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“I have these thick binders with all my scenes, and I have photos on the front for inspiration,” Regan says, laughing. “For Agent Carter, I have lots of vintage dance photos from New York. I’ve based Dottie off Judy Garland, so I’ve go a lot of photos of her and stuff from The Wizard of Oz. With Rose, there’s some great women with big Miami hair.”
The reference binders are especially helpful because the San Diego native isn’t exactly the bad girl she plays on TV. “I’m a little more restless, I suppose, and silly,” Regan says.
It also helps that Regan has concocted an offbeat backstory for her character on Jane, who is a master manipulator, cheater and former drug cartel boss.
“I don’t even think Rose is her real name—she’s white trash Florida. Her name is Tiffany and she was raised with criminal parents,” says Regan, laughing. “She’s all about reinvention, that’s who she is. And this new character of Rose was created to ensnare Emilio and infiltrate the Marbella and start this surgery ring. She had a life before. She was running drugs.”
Does that mean that Rose will be back before the season’s end?
“I don’t know what I’m doing yet,” teases Regan, who’s also staying mum about returning for season 2. “I read online that Jenny was booking the hospital, the location for Jane to have her baby. So I know that will come into play somehow.”
Really, Regan—that’s all you’re going to give us? “I haven’t even read the script yet,” she protests. “They’re doing such fast turnaround—they shoot them and they literally go on air. It’s crazy!”
She’s just as coy when it comes to sharing details about the action that’s yet to unfold for Dottie, who’s been ordered to kill Peggy. “The next few episodes [of Agent Carter] are crazy,” Regan says. “It’s all building up to a big finale.”
Though she’s hesitant to drop any spoilers about either of her TV shows, one thing’s for sure: Regan isn’t particularly anxious to return to the role of ingénue or come-hither heroine. “My standards are pretty high now.”
Jane The Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW and Marvel’s Agent Carter airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.