Gina Rodriguez Shares Memories of Working With ‘Powerful’ Jenni Rivera

April 23, 2013 8:58 am

Gina Rodriquez, who stars alongside the late Jenni Rivera in Filly Brown shared with On Air with Ryan Seacrest the movie is one of the first to portray “the first, second, and third generation Latino story.”

The movie is the “story about the girl that was born here in the States, has Spanish speaking parents, eats rice and beans at the house but walks outside and has hamburgers and hot dogs,” explains the actress.

“It’s that dual identity that’s yet to be cast in Hollywood and Filly Brown hits that market on the nose,” Gina continues. “And that’s me. I grew up in Chicago, my parents are from Puerto Rico. Filly Brown is the American dream, following your dreams and aspiring to be something greater and coming from a Latino community and knowing there’s more out there for you.”

The breakout actress, who has been dubbed the latest “it” girl, also shared how it was to work with the late Jenni Rivera, who passed away in a plane crash this past December.

“I mean the thing is that Jenni Rivera stood for that powerful, humble, relatable Latina in the Mexican American culture and further and beyond in the South American culture and for me to be able to work with her I was like, ‘That’s what I’m talking about. That woman’s representing actually what we want to do.'”

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Gina has many fond memories of working with Jenni, but there is one in particular that stands out.

“The one memory I love so much is she came on set, the first day I ever met her, [and] we were going to do private coaching because she had never done acting before…and she rolls up in her tight little whip and she’s like, ‘Hey!’ to everybody and these little girls see her and they freak out, she rolls down the window, and the 13-year-olds were like ‘Jenni!’…and everybody ran to the car to protect her and she’s like, ‘I got this. Come on now.’ And she gets out and takes pictures with them and hugs them and holds them and says, ‘It’s alright, baby. I’m here for you.’ And was so connected to her fans and the idea that the only reason she was there was because of the people around her. To me, [I] was like, that’s what I want to be if I could be anything, that’s what I want to be.”

Listen to the full interview above to hear more from Gina. To catch Filly Brown in a theater near you, click here.