The CW’s breakout series Jane the Virgin is one of those shows that immediately draws you in: a young Jesus lovin’ woman accidentally gets inseminated while at a routine gynecological exam due to the missteps of an emotionally distraught Doctor… come on, it’s the perfect recipe for hilarity.
Yara Martinez, who plays Dr. Luisa Alver, the eccentric yet magnetizing woman who knocks up (with a syringe) the virgin in question, has quickly become a fan favorite on the rookie series and has developed quite the following. Her budding (and dysfunctional) romance with her stepmother Rose (Bridget Regan) now dubbed #Roisa has ignited massive response from the fandom and the show hasn’t even concluded its first season!
Martinez, who is widely known for her role as Theresa Lopez on ABC Family’s The Lying Game, as well as Adriana de Portago in Amazon’s original series Alpha House was kind enough to chat with me post Sin Rostro reveal, Luisa and Rose’s backstory and makes the hard decisions: Team Rafael or Team Michael. Onward!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Tell us about Dr. Luisa Alver, on Jane the Virgin?
YARA MARTINEZ: Dr. Luisa Alver is an ex-alcoholic. Well, she’s an alcoholic, I guess. You can’t be an ex-alcoholic. She was a gynecologist and she accidentally artificially inseminated a young girl named Jane (Gina Rodriguez), because the night before she caught her wife cheating on her, and she wasn’t in a good, clear mental state. So, she made an “oops”- a goof. So, not only did she artificially inseminate this girl, she artificially inseminated her with her brothers sperm, his last batch of sperm. Is that what you call it? (laughs) A batch of sperm? It sounds so weird. You can tell I did my doctor research for this. It was his last batch- medical term. And I impregnated her with his sperm, and I also happen to be having an affair with my father’s wife- with my stepmom. (laughs) That’s the most complicated character description ever. But she has a heart of gold, and she has faith in the future, and she focuses on the bright side.
MM: Yeah, I mean realistically, without her there would be no show. If she didn’t make that mistake, Jane would just be a run of the mill virgin!
YM: You know what, when I get to set, I’m going to tell everyone that. I’m going to remind everybody, “You guys! There would be no show if it wasn’t for me.” (laughs) But it is true, you’re right. It’s a funny way of thinking of it.
MM: So, now that we’re fourteen episodes into the season, do you think Luisa still thinks about the mistake she made and how it’s impacted her family life and career?
YM: The way that it played the last episode, it was like there was so much information being thrown to her, that I don’t know, I as an actress wasn’t focusing on that. It was more just like receiving all the information and metabolizing that, but I’m sure that she has to think about the mistake and also, she can’t practice anymore. She has no one and it all started because she artificially inseminated Jane.
MM: We finally got to see the backstory of how Luisa and Rose got together. Those Roisa fans were eagerly awaiting that. Did you expect the fans to respond so well to this story line with Bridget Regan?
YM: We were hoping that they would really like it. Definitely when we were in our nude underwear and pasties in a pool (laughs), we were like, “I think people are gonna like this!” But you never know. We were hoping that everyone would love it and think its fun, and funny, and sexy, and all that. So, we are happy about it.
YM: Social media is such an interesting thing, because I don’t take it seriously and I don’t know how seriously everybody else takes it, you know? So when I get videos of Bridget and I with songs to them, I just think it’s really funny and fun. I don’t really read into it much. But you know, people are like, “Oh my god. I love you so much, I’m gonna die!” or you know, whatever. It’s funny, if somebody told me that on the street it would be weird, but on Twitter, it’s okay. (laughs) It’s different in person but on Twitter I just think it’s harmless fun.
MM: And I think the show does a good job of live-tweeting with the fans and getting everybody hyped up.
YM: Yeah, I’m horrible at that. Everyone else is such a pro! My brain gets like cross-eyed when I try to do it. I’m just so slow. I’m like can’t I just write these people a note and use pen and paper? I’m just not fully comfortable yet with social media. I guess I’m still finding my Twitter voice or whatever.
MM: Yeah, you’ll ease into it. You’ll be a pro in no time.
YM: I just retweet everything, or like favorite. That’s the most I can handle. (laughs)
MM: Those are both good starts. Everyone involved with Jane the Virgin seems to genuinely enjoy working together. What do you love most about the show and how’s it working with Bridget and the rest of the cast?
YM: It really is a love fest and it’s the real deal. It’s not something that’s painted on or faked by any means. I love my character. I really love how wild the storylines are and how much I get to play with it and the freedom that I get with that. I love seeing Gina and Justin (Baldoni)- all the cast. I just love seeing them work. It’s really wonderful, and I’m absolutely in awe and crazy about Jennie Urman. It’s really wonderful having a female show-runner and writer and a female lead, like Gina. It really just affects the tone of everything- how everything feels. We have more female directors on Jane than I’ve ever had working in my entire career. So the awareness that comes with having a woman in charge, is something that I’m really grateful I get to experience. I love, love, love Bridget. I’m a total fan of hers as an artist, as a business woman, as a person, as a mother. I just think she’s amazing. We’ve become good friends.
MM: That is awesome.
YM: Yeah the show is a major blessing.
MM: I think, in the business, it’s great to a see a show doing so well that has these strong females behind it: writing it, directing it, starring in it. It’s really nice to see that in Hollywood these days.
YM: It’s really nice to witness it and be a part of it. It’s very exciting.