For the most recent Jane the Virgin episode, “Chapter Seventy-Four,” Gina Rodriguez pulled double duty both as the titular star and as the episode’s director. It was the actress’s directorial debut, and she spoke to Yahoo about the monumental moment.
“I think it was the most freeing thing of my life,” she said while promoting her upcoming film Annihilation. That freedom, she says, came with being able to, for the first time, truly get into the head of series creator Jenny Snyder Urman. “Being able to direct and really get into Jenny’s mind, I felt so freed,” said Rodriguez. “I felt like I didn’t have to question. I knew what she wanted and I gave levels of what she wanted, and I didn’t have to negotiate.”
Rodriguez called it a “super challenge” to direct and act at the same time but said that something resonated with audiences: Her episode, which aired Feb. 9 and preceded a midseason hiatus, is the highest-rated episode of the season so far.
Rodriguez has spoken about wanting to eventually direct films, but right now she’s still reveling in the glow of her big debut. “It was awesome,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s always going to feel that way, but for Jane in particular, it was very freeing.”