Leave it to Petra on "Jane The Virgin" – she sure knows how to shock.
In last year's mid-season finale of The CW show, Rafael Solano's (Justin Baldoni) ex unburdened herself of secrets while they waited to speak to the doctor. Petra, rather quickly, revealed all about Ivan's death, how she was forced to marry Milos, and more of her mother Magda's wicked deeds. Before the police carted Petra off, accused of murder, Rafael had a moment to react to all of the information, and he did so quite calmly (C-A-L-M!).
"Rafael has his own kind of parallel thing happening with Jane, and the relationship with Petra and Rafael kind of serves sometimes as a mirror for Rafael for his relationship with Jane," Justin told Access Hollywood. "So while he might have just messed up with Jane, when Petra's telling him all these things that she's done and she's like, 'Am I a bad person?' it gives Rafael a chance to say, 'No, you're not,' but what he's really saying is, 'I'm not a bad person. I know you're not a bad person,' and it allows him to have more empathy for her. So I think in a weird way, what's happening is Rafael and Petra are becoming closer because of the honesty and because she doesn't have anyone else in her life and she needs him right now. And he's kind of seeing that she's not a bad person, she was just a desperate person."
Although Raf and Petra seem to be getting along, his relationship with Jane has gotten more complex. With Jane starting a new job as a teaching assistant to Adam Rodriguez's Jonathan Chavez in "JTV's" 2016 return on Monday night, we turned to Justin for hints at how Raf will react, and for more insight into why the new parents just can't make it work right now.
Access Hollywood: Jane just got a new job. She's going [to be a teaching assistant] at her college. I'm curious if that will affect her relationship with Rafael?
Justin Baldoni: I think there's a little bit of a twist with what happens at her job that will probably affect the relationship, but I don't think it has to do with time management or anything like that.
Gina Rodriguez as Jane and Adam Rodriguez as Jonathan Chavez in 'Jane The Virgin' Season 2 -- 'Chapter Thirty-Two' (The CW)
Access: They (Jane and Raf) had quite a bit of trouble on the show that required counseling. Why do you think they just can't get on the same page without great struggles right now?
Justin: I think that they're just such different people and as much as Rafael wants to change and be a better person and be what Jane wants him to be, I think that they come from different worlds. Jane comes from a very tight group of strong women… and the only ones [Rafael] had in his life abandoned him or were crazy like his sister and he had massive daddy issues, and then, of course, his dad's now dead. So you have these totally different worlds coming together and now they're forced to raise a baby, and unfortunately, it isn't always easy, and as much as there is probably an attraction and they care about each other, it just seems to be very, very difficult.
Access: Your character's mom (Elena) – she's back in this episode. Can you preview any interactions between them?
Justin: I can tell you that there's a massive twist coming at the end of the next episode that nobody will see [coming].
Access: Including your character?
Justin: Especially my character.
Access: Rita Moreno [was on set for this episode, reprising her role of Rogelio's mom]. Obviously she [is an] EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner and Kennedy Center honoree. Gina gave her a moving introduction [in December]. What is it like when Rita's on set? Do people sort of stand a little straighter because they have this living legend on the premises?
Justin: I think so. I think everyone's just on their game a little bit more, and making sure professionalism is at it's peak, but we have a great set where people are super respectful no matter what, so I think that no matter who comes on set, people are always pretty on their game, but of course when someone like Rita comes on set, you know, we bow (laughs). It's pretty cool. It was funny – we were both in the makeup trailer at the same time the other day and she had a tweak in her neck and she asked me to rub it and so I got to say I gave Rita a five-minute massage. So I'm pretty proud of that experience (laughs).
Access: For sure. You've touched Hollywood royalty. I love that.
Justin: I've touched Hollywood royalty, and I get to work with Gina every day, who is future Hollywood royalty so I'm in good shape.
Jaime Camil as Rogelio, Gina Rodriguez as Jane and Rita Moreno as Liliana in 'Jane The Virgin' Season 2 -- 'Chapter Thirty-One' (The CW)
"Jane The Virgin" returns Monday at 9/8c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash