Fans of Jane The Virgin will instantly recognize Anthony Mendez’s Spanish-accented baritone. As the series’ smooth-talking narrator, Mendez walks viewers through Jane’s soapy storyline with a clever, third-person perspective that’s cemented his unofficial status as one of television’s breakout stars. There’s just one thing: He’s completely anonymous.
“We’re trained to understand that when we do narrations, it’s not about us,” Mendez explains, noting that his wife often forgets that the engaging voice she hears on the show belongs to her husband. “Instead of being a regular narrator telling you the story, I see my role as the voice who’s in your head. I’m sitting on the couch with you, watching and recounting history.”
Though the bilingual voiceover artist—who has recorded spots for clients ranging from HBO Sports to Wendy’s—is credited as a cast member on Jane, his work process differs considerably from his on-camera counterparts. Instead of showing up at Jane’s L.A.-area soundstage, Mendez records his lines in an ersatz studio that makes the most of the master bedroom of his New Jersey condo. (Yes, really.) “I open up the closet doors and I record in front of it. It really captures all of the reflections of my voice—it doesn’t sound like I’m recording in an empty room,” says Mendez, who parlayed radio production into a voiceover career. “I would do it in the basement, but it has no windows and it would be really depressing.”
Each episode takes about two hours of voiceover work, including time spent on the phone with either showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman or producer Gina Lamar, who provide Mendez with directorial guidance—leaving Mendez plenty of time to record movie trailer spots, commercials, and auditions for future jobs. Then, at the end of the day, Mendez packs up the heavy soundproofing blankets and partition walls that make up his homemade vocal booth. “I basically box everything up and put it against the wall,” says Mendez, a native New Yorker of Dominican descent.
Though the acting gig is a bit unorthodox, Mendez isn’t eager to be outed any time soon by appearing onscreen. (That will be reserved for Jane‘s series finale, when the time comes.) But is the smooth-voiced performer open to the possibility of a cameo in Season 2? Teases Mendez: “It would be fun to make an appearance without saying any lines.”
Jane The Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW. Craving more? Check out EW’s most recent recap of the series here and watch the latest installment in EW‘s First and Worst video series, featuring Jane The Virgin star Yael Grobglas revealing everything about playing bad and about that time she slapped a co-star really, really hard.