Jane the Virgin showrunner on sex scene
Can you believe girlfriend finally did the deed?!
In a scene that was literally years in the making: Jane finally had sex.
Yup, after two seasons and several nail-biting, will-she-or-won’t-she scenes, Jane (Gina Rodriguez) finally did the deed with her new husband, Michael (Brett Dier). But of course, this being Jane the Virgin — a twisty show that always delivers a hiccup or two in even its most romantically-inclined scenes — Jane’s big moment didn’t go exactly as she had imagined.
Here, showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman reveals the decisions that went into constructing Jane’s big sex scene.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did this feel like the right moment to have this type of momentous scene on the show?
JENNIE SNYDER URMAN: There were a couple of reasons. After we were done getting through Michael’s recovery, I asked the writers if there were any other stories we wanted to tell that would pull out the remaining irony of a story revolving around a married pregnant virgin. The consensus was that we were done, we were ready — we felt any more stalling would be to the detriment and credibility of the show. It felt like the right moment. Jane was married, her husband was recovering, and we wanted to move into the next phase of the show.
Why represent Jane and Michael’s first time — and then her first so-called “successful” time — through animated sequences?
I always wanted it to be something that felt like a fit in our magic realism world. Like how can we tell this story that’s different from other shows and specific to Jane and our universe? One of the writers pitched it and it felt like the right way to show what we were interested in the story, which was the emotion of it. The first clip was going to feel really short, like after all that build up, that was it? We wanted the audience to feel the same thing that Jane is feeling. And then we wanted the second clip to feel more fun, and different — that you’d feel a bit of what they felt when Jane and MIchael solved their sexual stumbling block. The animation was so that the audience could become invested in the emotional aspect rather than the technical details, especially because of our limitations of what we could show.
Jane doesn’t get as much satisfaction from her first time as she expected — which runs a bit contrary to what we usually see on television. What was your rationale behind the decision to create a scenario that strays from the norm?
As a character, Jane has such enormous expectations about sex because she’s seen all the romance shows and read all the books where it went perfectly. So we thought, “What is the cumulative effect of all that? How does having those expectations affect the actual experience?” Beyond that, the show really lives in this space between fantasy and reality, and how Jane adjusts to the reality and finds beauty in a fairy tale version of a real situation. So I wanted the show’s interest in debunking the myth of happily ever after to be part of Jane’s experience. We are a very female-centric show and I wanted to do a story about a woman trying to achieve sexual pleasure. That felt like the right journey for this character.
Would you ever change the name of the show now that Jane is no longer a virgin?
No, not officially. We’re obviously going to play with the text at the beginning. We’ll be striking through the Virgin or exploding it off the screen. We’ll change it to “Jane the person who doesn’t like her mom’s boyfriend” or what have you. Jane’s identity was wrapped up in being a virgin for a long time, so as long as we keep playing with the title and adjusting it, it’s a fun way for us to show that identity is so much more than just one thing.
Speaking of identity, Jane says she feels like she lost a part of her identity with the loss of her virginity. That’s not something you often hear on screen. Can you talk about what you wanted to explore there?
We wanted to look at the flower, which is this symbol she’s held onto for so long and then look at the reality of what that actually did to Jane — which is that she lost something when she lost her virginity. And if you think about the term “losing your virginity,” it really does imply some sort of loss. That’s something we wanted to have Jane feel, and that moment between she and her mom was, I think, the most important part of the show. Jane was ready, married, had a baby and hadn’t had sex, so we wanted it to be a surprise to her to learn how much of her identity was wrapped around being a virgin. We wanted the character to understand that it was okay to be conflicted, so then she can move forward.
What are the chances Jane will get pregnant before the season is over?
Jane played Alba’s sister Cecilia in a series of fantasy-driven scenes. What did you want to achieve by having that character figure so prominently through the episode?
Well, a few things. We really wanted to set up that Jane was focused on what happened between them in terms of Cecilia’s sexuality and how she wasn’t able to write this character until she let go of these virgin/whore paradigms. She needed to get into who that person really was, which mirrored her own journey. Once she stopped defining herself by her sexuality, she was able to write a more fully realized character. That’s what we were playing with there. And in terms of long-term storytelling arc, Alba’s sister and her sister’s family are going to start coming into our world so we wanted to set them up as well.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan guest star in this episode. Having them as guest stars would have made an event of any episode — why feature them in this one?
We’ve wanted them to be part of the show for so long. Having them in this episode came straight from the story, with Xo giving up something that Jane associated so strongly with her childhood, which dovetailed into Jane’s journey towards having sex. Once we latched onto a story about Xo’s career, we knew we needed Rogelio to call in a major favor. Luckily, they were available and were fans of the show. It was a magical day on set when they came.
Any hints about what’s in Elena’s Bible, and where Luisa now stands with Rose?
The Bible is going to lead to really something gigantic and surprising in Rafael’s life that will shake him up and shake up many situations. And with Luisa, well, we don’t know. Does she come back or will she take up Rose’s proposal to have Thanksgiving together and “live the rest of our lives on an island somewhere.” We’re not sure at the end of the episode how Luisa responds, and I’m excited to see what audiences will think as that plays out.
Now that Jane has lost her virginity, what will be the major plot point that drives the show forward?
The sex gave us some stories but wasn’t a major plot. The plot now will deal in the difficulties of motherhood and balancing her career. She’s also a newlywed, which is hard, especially since she has a kid from someone she used to date is hard. It’s the same kind of stories, except now she’s a person who’s had sex. If she and Michael fight, they maybe have a quicker route to make up now. [Laughs] That’s about it.
Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Jane the Virgin