It’s hard to keep up with Gina Rodriguez these days. Ever since her Emmy win for Jane the Virgin back in 2015, the actress has been making things happen both in front of and behind the camera, giving new life to the term "side hustle."
Besides her expanded Jane duties (she’ll both star in and direct an episode this season), Rodriguez has been working on a book titled I Can and I Will: Tools My Daddy Gave Me, rapping with Lin-Manuel Miranda to support Puerto Rico, and taking a seat in the producer’s chair, recently signing on to develop not one, not two, but three new series for The CW and CBS.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, the 33-year-old star also just moved into her first home, a sprawling pad in L.A., big enough to entertain her entire close-knit family. Earlier this month, she partnered with Stella Artois to capture her chic housewarming party as a part of their “Host One to Remember” campaign. Following the festivities, we caught up with her to talk about decorating, attending Kate Hudson's parties, her upcoming projects (including talks of a collaboration with America Ferrera that will "definitely happen"), and what life lessons she has learned along the way.
InStyle: Congrats on your new place! What’s the best part about being a homeowner so far?
Gina Rodriguez: Everything! I’ve been saving for a home and working towards this accomplishment for a while, so it’s been really exciting to decorate, rearrange furniture, and find new art. I just finished my movie room that has a big projector screen, so that’s cool. It’s nice to have a sanctuary to come home to. I think it did something to my energy, too!
Are you into feng shui?
Well, the energy of the house is really amazing. I think it's because it's very open and uncluttered. I have a nice gym and an office too. Pretty much everything that I need to make me feel great.
Your video with Stella Artois gave us a peek at your housewarming party. What’s your hosting trademark?
Well, food is obviously important. I feel like I need to start mixing it up though because I’m always making either tacos and guacamole or really good barbecue. My friends and family know they’re going to eat well at my house and then probably play some games.
Who do you think throws the best parties in Hollywood?
Kate Hudson, hands down. Not only is she a wonderful human being and I love her so dearly, but her yearly Halloween party is my favorite. The costumes are always great, and she has everything covered, from the decorations to the photo booth. Also, there is so. much. food.
So are you going this year?
If I can, I will! That's for sure. I don’t have a costume yet though.
If you could pick one person, living or dead, to have a drink with, who would it be?
Oh, I would love to have a beer with my great grandmother. She was such a boss. She lived until she was 103 years old.
Speaking of girl bosses, you Instagrammed a picture of yourself with America Ferrera a few months ago and people went crazy, hoping that you’ll work on something together.
There are attempts being made, so it will definitely happen! We’ve both got a lot going on, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. We’re cooking something up though.
Fingers crossed we’ll see her on Jane the Virgin! What can we expect from season four?
This season is my favorite one yet. The writing is so smart it’s next level. And yet it’ll still bring all the feels. I’m also going to direct an episode this season. Directors don’t get episodes until about a week before we start shooting, so I’m not sure which one it’ll be yet, but it’s exciting!
You’ve also been busy developing a few new shows, including two that center around immigrant characters. Why is now the right time to tell these stories?
I think it’s always the right time to tell a powerful story. I want to shed light on diverse characters that are going to bring something new to the table. We should always be growing and educating ourselves about our country and our world. I am constantly trying to do that with my work.
Next up, you’re in the drama Annihilation, with Natalie Portman, and you’re going to be the voice of the new Carmen Sandiego on Netflix. Two very different projects! How do you decide what to say yes to at this point?
There's nothing routine about the way I go about my art. I just ask myself: Is this project something I support? Is it something that when it comes out, I’ll be able to speak about it from my heart? Is it a character that I think is progressive and will help open up doors for other Latinas or for women? I want to be able to stand there and feel good about my work versus just being like, ‘Ah, another paycheck!’
What’s the biggest life lesson that you’ve learned so far?
I truly believe that it all begins with yourself. If you work on the foundation of your heart, your character, your work ethic—that’s how the tree grows. I’ve also learned that rejection or failure is not a stopping point. Know that you are deserving of your dreams. That’s what pushes me to always keep trying.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.