If social media is any indication, Jane The Virgin fans are still sobbing over a heart-wrenching finale that featured Jane putting aside her romantic relationships in order to focus on giving birth to a little boy. Though Rafael was disappointed that Jane didn’t want to reunite after he apologized for breaking up with her earlier in the season, we saw him fully embrace Jane’s decision as he dedicated himself to fatherhood. Jane’s former fiancé Michael had a huge part in Jane’s final hour too, as he declared his love to Jane and even escorted Xo and Rogelio—who drunkenly tied the knot in Vegas—to the delivery room in a high-stakes race against the clock.
Apart from the delivery drama, we saw Petra scoop up the last of Rafael’s sample sperm and, in a heart-breaking cliffhanger, fans witnessed a mysterious nurse named Helen kidnap Mateo. So what’s next? Here, Jane The Virgin star Justin Baldoni answers questions on what’s to come for Rafael, Jane and oh-so-adorable baby Mateo.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Fans were absolutely shocked as the season finale played out. What was your reaction when you read the script for the season finale and saw that baby Mateo was going to be kidnapped?
JUSTIN BALDONI: I actually sent an email to the whole cast two days before the our table read and said, “Let’s not read the script before the table read so that we can see what it’s like to be a fan and experience it that way.” Everyone was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” We had heard little things here and there, but we got to react the way the fans would, it was a lot of fun. I will say that I had a hunch that the baby would be stolen. My first thought was, “Who would steal it?” It could have been Petra, but I had no idea it would be Sin Rostro. At the table read, scripts were being thrown, everyone was laughing and it was fun to have that moment of what it would feel like to see the episode as a fan.
I can’t believe you would wish that on your own baby.
It’s not that I wanted to wish that on the baby, but I’m a storyteller. I’m a creator, so when I was thinking of ways I would want to end the season, that was something that popped up because of course we would want the craziest cliffhanger ever. The fact that they had planned that blew my mind.
What do you think is Sin Rostro’s motivation for stealing Jane and Rafael’s baby?
I honestly don’t know. That’s what’s so cool about it. I think maybe part of it would be to get close to my sister, Luisa. I have a feeling there’s another twist that we don’t know about yet. What we’ve noticed is that whatever [showrunner] Jennie Snyder Urman’s brilliant mind creates has a reason. We saw that last night, where every character came to fruition. I am biased, but I think that Jenny and the writing team did it perfectly. I can’t imagine it could have been done better. What was also nice is that you have an ensemble cast and everybody got a chance to shine last night.
I agree—and something that I know fans were gratified to see was that Rafael finally worked up the courage to tell Jane that he still loves her. Jane refused to take Rafael,but will she change her mind in season 2?
There’s a lot of different aspects to their relationship but at the same time, we have to remember that these are two people who are now parents. They are now bonded for the rest of their life, whether they want to be or not. But there are feelings involved. Rafael wants to be with her and he’s in love with her. But it was never about not having the courage to tell her. He was trying to do what was right and by making that choice, he actually ended up hurting her and himself. That’s a very real thing that happens. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Rafael has lots of good intentions. He broke up with her for her benefit. He broke up with her for his son’s benefit. He wasn’t doing it for himself. Of course, the audience thought that he was selfish, idiotic and all these things but if you get into the mind of Rafael, you’ll see that what he was doing was trying to change the patterns of his own childhood. Sometimes you do things for the people you love and that’s more of a love story than whether they would have stayed together.
Do you think baby Mateo will have a sibling next season?
Will Rafael have two babies? I have no idea what they’re planning, but I can tell you that it will be so much fun. And as an actor, getting to play a character with this many dimensions and layers is the greatest gift.
Which aspect of Rafael have you enjoy playing most? The sweet lover, the playboy, the wounded son or the manipulative ex-husband?
As a person, the romance and the chemistry is the closest to who I am. For that, I can just tap into me and my wife. I am a romantic. I love love, I love expressing myself so when it comes down to it, it’s about me and Gina connecting, I love those moments because it’s real and organic and fun. But selfishly as an actor, I like being able to dive into Rafael’s vulnerability, just everything that’s happened with his mom and dad and trying to put a classy business man front. It’s stretched me in ways I didn’t realize the show was going to do.
If you had to defend Rafael as the best match for Jane, what would you say?
I think one of the most important things about a partner is their willingness to change. I think that Michael pretty much started out as the good guy. He started out as someone that was already a good match for Jane. Rafael was not. He had a kind of seed of the man he wanted to be but he was not even close to being that man. Over the course of the season, I think who he was and who he’s become are two completely different people and its all for the love of that woman and his child and his desire to have a life that’s different and family he’s never had. I had to defend Rafael, I would say it’s his unwavering commitment and desire to be a better person for Jane, and to be a better father than his own. I think that’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.
Will your character propose to Jane again next season?
Look, I think if it was Rafael, he would propose every season until Jane says yes. But I really don’t know. It’s complicated, especially if you’re going to have Petra in the mix with a new element to the story, which is the seed he didn’t know he had.
Speaking of marriage, do you think Xo and Rogelio will try to make marriage work?
I think that’s a very funny storyline because what you have there is the sanctity of marriage from Alba’s perspective, and a big thing for Xo will probably be abuela’s approval. So that might present some issues and I’m sure that there are some consequences for Rogelio’s career. Who knows what consequences will come from that crazy night?
Do you think that Jane’s writing career take off next season? Or will it be put on the back burner to find and then raise Mateo?
I hope her writing career takes off. I think that would be a cool story. I also think it would be great for women to know that just because you have a child, doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams. I think that one of the beautiful things about the show is that we’re showing that its ok to be a strong, female, heroine that has dreams and has morals and values. I think that’s what Gina does so beautifully. I don’t want Jane to feel that she has to give up on her dreams because of the baby. That’s not what I would want for my wife or any woman.
That leads perfectly into my question, which comes from a fan via Twitter. How did playing a father-to-be on TV help you tend to your wife during her pregnancy?
Well I am a huge believer in God and in angels and I can tell you that the fact that we got pregnant at the middle of the season was the great gift to my character. God really blessed us in our lives but he blessed me as an actor because there are a lot of things our imagination can’t touch.I don’t think I could have really tapped into that feeling of being an expectant father and having an unborn child unless I was really going through it. The fact that I got to go through it at the same time as Rafael really strengthened the foundation of what I was building this character on. And I think the biggest thing was that I got to screw up on TV. I would take real notice of the things was Rafael doing was doing wrong and how Jane would react,so that when I went home, I wasn’t doing those same things. I mean, how rare is it to have a baby on TV and a baby on the way in real life at the same time?
What did you think of to help you cry during the birth scene? It was definitely an emotional scene, but there’s something special about watching the manly man, the stud muffin crying.
When I think about my own baby, I break down. I’m so excited to meet this little person and for me, I was thinking about “Wow, this is going to be real.” And boom! The tears came out. I think as much as we need to change the stereotype of what it means to be a woman today, I think that we also need to change the stereotype of what it means to be a man today. And for me, I think it’s important that men know it’s okay to cry.
What are you looking forward to most in season 2?
Honestly, I’m looking forward to showing up at table reads and being in shock and in awe at how great of a show we’re on. It’s so great to be part of something that’s so special and so unique. The fact that we get to come back for 22 episodes next season and take our fans on a ride and re-experience our characters is going to be fantastic. I’m looking forward to enjoying every minute.
The end of the show signals a bit of a break for you. What are your plans during the summer hiatus?
My production company Wayfayer is growing. I can’t announce where we’re doing it, but we’ll be doing a second season of my documentary series, My Last Days, which is about people dying of a terminal illness and how they live inspirational lives. So I’ll be spending the summer having a baby and balancing that with short documentaries. And we’re creating a lot of television right now. I also have my first tech company launching this summer. It’s a mobile platform called Shout. It will be the first-ever score of how good of a person you are based on what you say online and what your friends say about you. Then it will give you a chance to raise your score by saying nice things about the people in your social network. It’s cool. We’re launching that in about a month. I’m also in negotiations to direct my first studio feature, which we’ll hopefully get to announce soon.