7:00pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'Jane the Virgin' Star Talks Michael and Jane's Big Step: "They've Been Through a Lot"
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Monday's episode of Jane the Virgin, "Chapter Thirty-Six."]
Monday's emotional hour of Jane the Virgin welcomed Rafael (Justin Baldoni) and Petra's twin baby girls into the world. But they weren't the only ones who had something to celebrate. Moments after Jane (Gina Rodriguez) helped Petra (Yael Grobglas) through her epidural-free double delivery, Michael (Brett Dier) got down on one knee and proposed to Jane outside the hospital — and she happily accepted.
It's the second big victory in as many episodes for #TeamMichael fans after what was a rough first half of the season (Michael punching Rafael in front of Jane, Michael almost getting fired). But will their rekindled romance really go the distance this time around?
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Dier about Michael's season-two evolution, his more "honest" relationship with Jane and his soon-to-be-rekindled bromance with Rogelio (Jaime Camil).
Did you ever worry about whether Michael could redeem himself after his fight with Rafael earlier this season? How difficult was it being painted as a bad guy?
I obviously root for Michael, and it's hard sometimes when your character does something out of character. But at the same time, you have to justify your character because you have to always be on your character's team. You can't root against him or be mad at him, like, "Why did you do that, man?" You have to justify it so you can be as truthful with that. That was something that I had to do, and I knew that the consequences — it would definitely cause an uproar on Twitter. But at the same time, I just wanted to tell Michael's story and still hope. I know Michael, and he's a good guy underneath his problems. I know that some people have different opinions of him, but I think that he definitely is going to be a better person from that. That's the kind of person he is.
This engagement comes not long after their reconciliation. What do you think is the reason behind the rush?
There's a lot of figuring out to do even afterward. Engaged doesn't mean you're married; it just means you're engaged. Michael and Jane were engaged once already, but it didn't work out. Nothing's official. Nothing's for sure, ever, especially with this show because they always like to make you think one thing and then turn it around. With Jane and Michael, there's a lot to talk about, but at the same time, they're also a lot stronger than how they were before. They've been through a lot. They've thought about it a lot. Michael's thought about it a lot. He knows that she has a kid with another guy, that he's willing to be there for her now 100 percent. He's left all his ego and all his fears behind. He's had a long time to figure that out, so I think they're both stronger people at this point.
How will those changes alter their relationship as a whole this time around compared with season one?
They're going to be completely honest with each other no matter what. I think that is something now that they've both realized has to be done. And so, there's that, which is the most important thing in a relationship anyway — honesty. And obviously, Michael wasn't honest before, so he's learned from that, and Jane's been through a lot too. She's a mother now, and I feel like being a mother, she's had more responsibilities and she's get her head on more straight with just herself, even though she's not really sure what she wants in her love life, between the teacher, Rafael and Michael. But I think now she's reached a point where she's always, underneath, loved Michael. Some things can come up and block you from seeing that, but they've both reached a point where they're willing to make this work. But at the same time, nobody knows what's going to happen because something terrible could happen and they could call off the engagement again. It's never official.
Obviously Rafael is not the biggest fan of Michael. How does he react to the news, and how will Michael deal with him going forward?
Rafael's definitely really pissed off. (Laughs.) That's going to be a problem for sure. There's going to be a lot of tension between them too. Since he's got the girl now, he's done a lot of self-reflecting, and he just wants to forgive Rafael for everything and apologize to him because he's the one that punched him in the mouth. (Laughs.) [That] wasn't a good thing to do, but that's haunted Michael ever since, so I feel like Michael knows he has to apologize to this guy. He's got to accept him in his life, and that's the end of it. That's the only option now. But Rafael was the one who got punched in the face, so he obviously has a whole different view on that and rightfully so. So I think they're definitely going to have some tension. They work together on the Mutter case, or at least they try to work together. It's going to be a lot of tension, a lot of drama, like usual. (Laughs.)
Looking at just Michael, he's a much different person than when we first met him. He had the painful breakup with Jane, he almost got fired from his job, and he watched Nadine get killed. As an actor, how has it been to navigate the evolution of the character?
When you go through things that are really, really hard, it's an opportunity to better yourself, to forgive yourself and become a better person, if you take it that way. Or it could screw you up, and you could turn into a miserable, horrible human being. It could go either way, but I think Michael is that kind of person where he takes the bad things that are happening to him and he reflects on it and he tries to become a better person, even though he's not perfect. Because he's been through so much, it's really helped him as a character to learn forgiveness, to learn how to control himself. Like when he punched Rafael in the face — that's something that he probably fears now. The thought of punching someone else in the face scares the shit out of him. He's just got a big heart, and he's been through a lot too. He's seen dead bodies, and he's only in his late 20s, and that obviously affects you. If you know people who have been killed, like Nadine, that's something that would totally affect your character. He's had a tough life for sure with his job and the whole thing with Jane, but he's one of those people who will try to become a better person from it all rather than let it affect him negatively.
What can you say is coming up for Michael's work?
There will be the investigation with Mutter. You've got to think of this like, Sin Rostro was a bad, bad person, but Mutter is the woman who killed Sin Rostro — or so we think — so Mutter must be even more notorious, more intense and violent. This is like another crime boss who has more power than Sin Rostro, I think. So that will be a really, really intense, dangerous storyline as well, and I'm excited to find out what happened with that.
How does Jane's side of the family react to that engagement? It seems fair to assume Rogelio will welcome him back with open arms.
It's different too, but Michael hasn't really seen that family for a long, long time. It's nerve-wracking to see a family that you were really close with once, and then a year goes by. … There are a lot of nerves around the family when they're all together, but at the same time, I think it's going to push them back into a nice little happy family now.
The bromance between Michael and Rogelio is something that the fans really responded to. What do you think that friendship brought out in Michael that we hadn't seen before?
Rogelio doesn't really have stable friends. It's usually show biz friends or somebody who wants something from him, and I feel like Michael doesn't want anything from him. At first, Michael just thought he was kind of crazy, but now he's grown to really love this guy. I don't think he would say it to him because I don't think Michael's that kind of guy to say, "I love you, bro" to another guy. But he does feel he has love for Rogelio for sure and cares about him and doesn't care about his fame. Michael is just there for him, and it's cool to see that with Michael because you never really see too many friends hanging around with Michael.
The Rogelio bromance is something that I think is going to be better than ever, because now there isn't something that's holding Michael back from being friends with him. He's with Jane for now, and because he's with Jane, he feels, "OK, now I can fully embrace this friendship that I've always had with this guy that I felt kind of weird about." Now it's going to be a full-blown bromance.
Is Jane going to be threatened at all by how close they are?
I don't know, maybe. That'd be funny. (Laughs.)
What are some of the other obstacles ahead for Jane and Michael now that they are engaged again?
There's a lot to talk about between them. They've been through so much, and they haven't really talked about it. So there are going to be a lot of conversations. It's hard when you're in a relationship and something really bad happens that pushes you apart. And then coming back together again, you have to approach it with no ego and just be there for the other person.
What is the likelihood of a wedding happening before the end of the season?
Honestly, I don't know. It could go either way. Anything could happen, that's the thing. It's something that gives me anxiety too, and I'm sure some of the Team Michael fans, because as they know, as this show goes, they flip it on its head a lot. You could be excited about something and then something completely opposite happens, and you're like, "Oh, crap!"
The other big question that comes up in this episode is whether Jane will finally decide to lose her virginity. What is your take on that?
I think [showrunner] Jennie [Snyder Urman] said that if that ever happened, it would still say the title, Jane the Virgin, but the Virgin would be crossed out with a marker, which is a pretty clever idea. It could happen with any guy. It's something that the fans are going, "When's it going to happen?" and "Who's it going to be with?" I don't even know who it's going to be with or when it's going to happen, but it's got to happen, right?
Lately, she's been at least considering it, so it feels like it might be something she and Michael talk about.
It's definitely going to be a conversation, for sure.
Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.