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(Fictional) telenovela star Rogelio De La Vega of Jane the Virgin could have easily become one of TV’s most hated characters. He’s successful, he’s good looking and worst of all – he knows it. The actor/singer/dancer – but please don’t call him a triple threat – notoriously never shies away from praising himself and his many skills. And yet, Jane’s dad has become a fan favorite, as has the actor who portrays him, Jaime Camil, who just earned a Critics Choice Television award nomination for his role.
“Rogelio is really true. He delivers these stupid, ridiculous lines, but he delivers the lines with such profound sincerity,” Camil tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Instead of wanting to slap him, which is a normal attitude you would have, you want to hug him. The secret to Rogelio is making him a very true character, very sincere and very honest.”
Ahead of Jane the Virgin‘s season finale, THR caught up with Camil to discuss Rogelio’s feelings for Xo, what kind of grandfather he’ll be and how strong his loyalties are to Team Michael.
Most recently, Rogelio has working on this Vegas show with Xo. You have a lot of singing experience in real life, but did you know they planned to incorporate that into your character as well?
No. To be honest, our beloved cast is not in the writers’ circle of trust. We never know what’s going to happen with our characters. As a matter of fact, we found out who Sin Nostro was at the table read…. Honestly, when you go to [showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman], “Jennie, what’s going to happen?” “I can’t tell you.” “Jennie, come on, give me a break. I’m fully in the character.” “No, I’m sorry I’m not going to tell you.” … We don’t know what’s going to happen most of the time with our characters. But as actors, it keeps us surprised and it keeps us wanting to know more.
Rogelio and Xo are doing the show together despite their very recent breakup. Why do you think Rogelio still included Xo in his one-night show despite what they’ve gone through?
Rogelio is a gentleman. He might be eccentric and kind of crazy in his own way, but we have also established him as being a gentleman, as being a very decent guy. I don’t think that Rogelio’s personality would be something like, “OK, we broke up, so now I’m going to kick you out of my one-night-only Las Vegas residency.”
What kind of challenges will they face as they get closer to the show?
We don’t get to perform, at least not this first season, because as we are about to perform, Jane goes into labor so we need to come back to Miami to be with Jane. I don’t know if Jennie going to pick up the Las Vegas show for season two. I hope she does because it would be very funny to see the actual show.
Given everything that’s happened with Rogelio and Xo, does he still have feelings for her? Or will we see him with someone else next season?
You can see in his face that he really wants to say, “Yes, come and hug me. I love you. Let’s kiss. Let’s make out,” but I don’t know. Men are very proud. I don’t know when this situation will end, this fighting with each other, but probably soon because they are made for each other. They’re meant to be together. It’s just going to be a matter of time for them to get back together.
The arrival of Jane’s baby is going to change things so much for Jane and Xo. How will that affect Rogelio’s relationships with Jane and Xo?
It’s going to be amazing. Jennie and her amazing team of writers, we have established that Rogelio is learning how to be a dad. He thinks being a dad is giving away Mini Coopers, but fatherhood is way more than that. I can say that because I’m a father of two kids. I have a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a seven-month-old boy. My wife and I are big fans of parenthood and very hands-on parents. We love being parents. Rogelio doesn’t have the practice. He’s always lying about his age. It’s always, “Oh, I’m 34, I’m 35, I’m 36. Imagine now Rogelio having to try to understand and accept that he’s a grandfather – that’s not going to be easy. That’s going to be a fun situation to see how Rogelio all the gifts he will bring to his grandchild. Jennie is going to have a lot of fun with that
I can’t see Rogelio going by ‘grandpa’ or ‘grandfather.’
Just like his mom goes by the name glam-ma, have you started brainstorming fun alternatives?
I’m sure Rogelio is going to come up with 15 options in a matter of time.
One of the things that I’ve loved seeing in the second half of the season is Rogelio’s burgeoning bromance with Michael.
Me being a dad, I can tell you now that I would never approve of anyone dating my daughter, I mean anyone. Actually, I’m thinking about building a dungeon for my daughter until she’s 40 so when she’s 40, she goes out and if she comes back pregnant or even married, who cares? She’s 40, right? So I think that Rogelio is Team Michael because Michael is not actually going out with Jane right now. So maybe if Michael goes back to Jane or they start dating again, suddenly Rogelio will switch and then he will be Team Rafael. I don’t know how that’s going to go. Michael has more mileage with Jane and more years. He’s more respectful. He’s a safe choice for Jane so that’s why Rogelio feels that he is the better candidate to be with Jane.
Going into the finale, there’s this big question of who Jane is going to pick. It sounds like whomever she picks, Rogelio is suddenly going to pick the opposite side.
Exactly. For Jane not to choose would be an amazing cliff-hanger so hopefully she won’t choose in the finale and that will be left in the air. There are going to be a lot of cliff-hangers in the season finale. There’s a huge one with Rogelio and Xiomara. You’re going to be like, “What?! Really?!” I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s going to be fun. And yes, in the second season, you need conflicts between the characters so of course it’s going to be so fun to see all the conflict Jane has with Rafael and Michael and with the baby.
Jane the Virginairs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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