Gina Rodriguez Reveals Origins of the Time's Up Movement: 'We Had to Band Together and It Was Not an Option'
Gina Rodriguez was a keynote speaker at the “Women to Watch” Day event organized by Create & Cultivate and Fossil in Austin. The Jane the Virgin star talked about supporting the Time’s Up movement in Hollywood, her upcoming movie Annihilation and dealing with anxiety.
“Every time I have a problem or go through anxiety, I talk about it,” she said. “Because then it’s either I jump over the mount and finally get over it, or I’m able to see what I really need to do to attack it. So we’re talking about it. Don’t stop talking about it.”
Another topic she didn’t stay quiet about was supporting the Time’s Up Movement, which empowers women in Hollywood against sexual harassment. Rodriguez says the movement was formed through generosity and empathy, and she is proud of Annihilation cast mates Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson for being at the forefront of it. “Out of that camaraderie was how Time’s Up was able to kind of happen. It wasn’t birthed out of Annihilation. But a lot of the women in Annihilation are on the forefront of that movement. … It was like the precursor. It was preparing us to understand we had to band together and it was not an option,” she emphasized. “There could not be a weakness in our chain and we had to be as strong as a tree trunk. And we had to do that on Annihilation and then we did that right away after, when the movement started to push forward.”
The actress, of Puerto Rican descent, also shared her admiration for Portman. “You meet artists sometimes and they break my heart. They need a mirror and they need 10 minutes to talk to themselves. But then you meet others, and you’re like: ‘Teach me how to be that way. Teach me how to be a leader with such grace and poise and no ego and accountability.’ And that’s Natalie. She was next level.”
Rodriguez also discussed her directing debut on Jane the Virgin. “When it came to directing Jane as the star of the show, as a woman, as a Latina, I was like, I need to come so correct that I cannot be denied. That they cannot stop and say, ‘Well… .’ And then my episode happened to be the highest rated one of the season,” she says. “That was the most incredible experience. I’m going to do more next year, our final season.”
The 33-year-old star said she wants to keep playing characters that will inspire. “I want to play Lolita Lebrón, she was a Puerto Rican nationalist. She was a badass,” she revealed. “My grandmother has loved her since I can remember. She was pretty intense, badass women activist in Puerto Rico and has an interesting story. She was released from prison and passed away and I would love to know more about her story.” Rodriguez concluded that art was a powerful weapon for social change. “With art we have the ability to create tolerance and opportunity and spread love.”