Andrea Navedo - LEAD
Credit: Diana Ragland

Jane the Virgin is all about strong, inspiring women navigating all types of love on their own terms—and it’s no surprise that the female empowerment continues off-camera.

We recently caught up with Andrea Navedo, who plays Xiomara “Xo” Villanueva on the show, and in addition to chatting all about her own character’s evolving storyline, she revealed that her onscreen daughter, Gina Rodriguez, brings plenty of #girlpower to the set. “I'm in awe of her sometimes,” Navedo recently told InStyle of Rodriguez, who stars as the show’s titular Jane. “She has great intuitive thoughts when it comes to acting, and she gives really good advice. She's very wise, and whip-smart. I like how she’s so free and open in her work.”

In addition to admiring Rodriguez’s attitude off-screen, Navedo appreciates the dynamic between the duo’s characters on the show. There’s no denying that the Villanueva women have a strong bond between them—and that extends to Jane’s ultra-religious grandmother, Alba (played by Ivonne Coll), too. And Navedo’s female-focused onscreen family isn’t so different from her own. “For me, women have always been the backbone of the family,” she said. “They’ve always been the ones to make it all happen and keep us together.”

Jane The Virgin
Credit: Scott Everett White/The CW

As a mother of two herself, Navedo relates to her character’s fight to achieve success in the entertainment industry, all the while having children. “Xo is an example of someone who is going for her dreams and not letting anything stop her, including motherhood. And I am a living example of that, too.”

The strong female characters on the show have been embraced by fans of all backgrounds, and Navedo has received plenty of positive feedback. “I realize how important the show is for Latinas, but I think it's also important for young women in general,” said Navedo. “When I was growing up, I needed a show like Jane the Virgin to light a path and show that I exist and that there are people like me out there who have dreams, wishes, wants, and flaws. It would've helped with my self-esteem to feel included and recognized.”

Looking ahead to the rest of this season, Navedo said fans can expect to see their favorite characters continue to evolve—with a few twists along the way, of course. “There is always going to be drama, but there is going to be some major drama that no one is going to expect,” said Navedo. “Fans will be blindsided.”

Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9/8 central on The CW.