( written by admin on October 12, 2017 )

COVETEUR OCTOBER 12, 2017: Yael Grobglas Is Always Worried She’ll Get Killed Off of Jane the Virgin

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Photoshoots & Portraits > 2017 > 008. Coveteur

Sure, Jane the Virgin may *technically* revolve around, well, Jane, but there’s no denying that fans often feel for her sometime-nemesis, Petra. Think about it: a controlling mom, a surprise twin, a relationship triangle involving her now-ex-husband and the woman he accidentally, artificially impregnated? She basically got the shortest end of the stick on this show and is constantly surrounded by tons and tons of drama.

But according to Yael Grobglas, who plays her, that’s part of what makes this role so fun.

After a playful photo shoot at The Hollywood Roosevelt’s The Rosy Oyster, the actress spoke with me about the CW show—which returns this Friday—revealing how hard it is to play twins, what she thought of Michael’s death, and the secret talent she really hopes is in Anezka’s future (same).
I’m personally a huge fan of Jane the Virgin. What’s it like being part of such a great show?

“It’s actually a show I would watch even if I wasn’t on it, which is the greatest part about it. We all know how rare it is to not only be on something where you really get along with everyone—and everybody’s wonderful and like a big family, smiling and happy to be there—but also to be working on something where you really, really love your job. You love the product. You love the show. You love the story. You love the work behind it. Also, we’ve all been not working at certain points in our life, so we all know how lucky we are just to be working, period.”

Petra started out as the villain, but she’s kind of transformed into someone more relatable:

“In the pilot, there wasn’t that much information about Petra. I knew she was supposed to be the villain, and I was a little hesitant about that. But once I got on the phone with Jennie Urman, the creator of our incredible show, she explained to me that Petra is going to be so multidimensional and never boring—hated one moment, loved the next. I just said, ‘Alright, sign me on.’ She’s been very true to that. I feel like Petra’s unpredictable and charming, and she’s not just a villain trying to do villainous things and rubbing her hands together. She’s really the hero of her own story, and doing what she feels like she has to do in order to survive. I don’t always agree with her decisions, but I do admire her for being so tough. She’s been through so much. Imagine!”

And there’s still just so much we don’t know about her. What do you know? Do have an idea of what her backstory is?

“I agree! I have some [of her backstory], but, for example, Anezka was a complete surprise. I didn’t know she was going to have a twin sister show up. My go-to is I’m always thinking I’m getting killed off. Every show I’m on. [laughs] So when I saw an episode where I thought Petra was running away, which is the lead into Anezka showing up, I thought she was running away. I was like, ‘No, they wouldn’t do that!’ It didn’t help that the week before I had gotten the episode, department heads were coming up [to me] going, ‘Uh, so have you read the next episode?’ I’m being like, ‘No, why? Oh my God! What are you saying?! Ahh!’ I got the episode and I thought she was running away. I’m like, ‘Here we go, here we go. Brace yourself.’ And the twin sister shows up, and I was like, ‘Wait, what?’”

With both roles, you do a lot of physical acting and facial expressions. How did that come about?

“I didn’t know that was going to be part of Petra until, if you remember in season one, when Petra and Magda accidentally kidnap Ivan. That was the first time, for some reason, physical comedy came out in Petra, and I thought it was really cool. It kind of stuck. Petra takes everything so seriously, but that’s what makes her so funny and fun. [There are] these larger-than-life types of situations that she’s thrown into and she’s just very serious, which is funny to me.”

Would you say that you’re the opposite or similar to Petra in real life?

“I’m not like her or Anezka, but I have to say, in everything I’ve ever done, little parts of me just get really enhanced and become part of the character. I don’t agree with [Petra’s] decisions most of the time, but she’s almost like a friend. I care about her. I want to see her do well. I get very proud of her when she stands on her own two feet. For example, when she learned how to take over the Marbella: She started off as a sort of trophy wife and then learned she could actually be a fantastic businesswoman. [Also], when she figured out that she could take care of her own children and worked through her postpartum depression, I was so proud of her. But, on the other hand, as an actor I wanted her to keep getting into trouble because it’s so much fun.

“After playing a character for this long, you have real feelings for them, which is I think part of why, as a cast, we took the fact that Michael’s character was going to die extremely hard. It’s like losing two people. On the one hand, we’re not going to see Brett on set every day. Obviously, he’s our friend, and we all see him anyway, but we’re not going to see him at work every day the way we used to. And two, we care about Michael. It’s really upsetting to see a character who’s so wonderful go in such a tragic way. All I could say to fans who are grieving and mourning and screaming on Twitter is ‘I hear you. I know!’ We’ve known about this for six months, and we’ve had to keep it quiet. It’s horrible. It’s like almost every time I saw Brett on set, I was just bawling my eyes out in preparation.”

What’s it like playing two characters at once? Is it challenging?

“The truth is, I never put much thought into it [before]. I always admired people who did it, but I never knew how complicated it could be. We have such an incredible cast, so I’m spoiled by the fact that I could just show up, know my lines, know what I want to do in a scene, and know that I’ll always have a wonderful partner who I can just react to. Suddenly, it’s all on me. I have no one to bounce things off of. I have to come and completely know what I am going to be doing as the other character. Sometimes the two characters are [filmed] a week apart. If I’m playing Petra right now, I have to decide that Anezka is going to touch Petra’s arm, so Petra can pull back. It was a whole learning curve, and I’m so happy I get to do it because it’s such an extra challenge, and it’s incredibly fun. And there’s magical technology at the moment, where basically, we film one character, and then if it’s on the same day, I change into the other character, come back to set, and the director can actually see both characters interacting at the same time. It blew my mind.”

Earlier this year you surprised everyone with your Hamilton rapping skills. Would you ever want to show off your musical talent in an episode for Jane the Virgin?

“I would love to! I’ve been actually trying to drop secret hints that I can tap-dance since season 2. I’m just waiting for an episode with Anezka breaking out in some Irish tap. I started dancing when I was two. I haven’t been doing it seriously since maybe I was 20, so it’s been a while. I mean, I’m not going to go on tour, but for an episode, I’m sure I could get my shit together.”

( written by admin on November 21, 2016 )

[VANITY FAIR] NOV 21, 2016: Based Her Evil-Twin Character on Her Cat

Another Monday, another crazy chapter of Jane the Virgin. This week, we finally got to hang out with Jane’s cousin, Catalina—and witness some seriously awkward tension bloom once more between Jane, Michael, and Rafael. Another source of drama? The fallout from Petra finally revealing that she’s woken up from the paralytic prison where she was imprisoned by her own jumpy twin.

It’s been about a year since actress Yael Grobglas first found out she would also be playing Petra’s identical sister, Anezka. As Petra makes her comeback and prepares to wreak havoc of her own once more, Vanity Fair chatted with the actress about seeing double, her recent appearance on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and the surprising real-life inspiration behind Anezka: a cat named Pablo.

Jane the Virgin is actually Grobglas’s third CW project. The Israeli actress made her Stateside acting debut on a CW pilot called The Selection in 2013. The series didn’t go forward, but her next role—Olivia D’Amencourt on Reign—wound up lasting several months, during which the actress found herself shuttling back and forth between Toronto, Tel Aviv, and Los Angeles. And then came Jane.

“When I got the Jane script, I thought it was so incredibly unique, and I was laughing out loud—and then I was crying,” Grobglas said, adding later, “There was nothing I could even compare it to. And I think they’ve been very true to that. It’s been its own world.”

In addition to becoming her TV home, the series has given Grobglas a chance to play her own twin—a rare, coveted acting opportunity she has not squandered. Grobglas said she received the first script featuring Anezka about a year ago—with no warning of what was to come. As her co-stars began teasing her and asking if she’d read the script that introduced Anezka, Grobglas began to worry she was being killed off.

“It actually fooled me,” Grobglas said. “I thought, Shit. My character’s leaving! Then my twin sister showed up. So that was wonderful.”

The less-polished Anezka is the polar opposite of cool Petra—and if you’re wondering where the inspiration for the mousier twin came from, the answer might surprise you.

In describing Anezka over the phone, Grobglas recalls that show-runner Jennie Snyder Urman “used words such as, ‘She’s a passionate eater,’ and, ‘She scratches and yelps when she leaps backwards.’ And I immediately said, ‘Oh, I know someone like that!’ And so, that’s how Anezka actually got based on my cat, Pablo. He’s kind of been my inspiration for the character ever since.”

The different women’s “physicality” helps Grobglas keep the two women straight. On one hand, you’ve got the glowering Petra in her killer short-and-high-heel combos, and on the other, you’ve got Anezka, whose natural state involves slouching and drab attire. It’s no surprise, then, that the term “normcore” came up as the Jane team designed the character.

Grobglas’s own contribution? “I was like, ‘All right, but she has to have high tops,’ ” Grobglas said. “And so it’s almost as if the moment I put on the shoes and I get into that physicality of the two separate characters, you can’t really confuse them.”

But her roles are trickier than playing two separate characters—up until very recently, Jane fans have been watching Grobglas play Anezka as she plays Petra—whom she actually has paralyzed in a hospital bed. (I know! Straight out of a telenovela, right?) Anezka is pretty good at playing the one she calls “Beautiful Sister,” but even she has her tells.

“I added little things like, you know, she doesn’t know how to walk in heels, so once in a while she kind of bobs around on her heels a little bit—even as Petra,” Grobglas said. “Little giveaways like that.”

Now that Petra’s back, Anezka, Rafael, and basically everyone in the free world should probably watch their backs. From this week’s episode, it appears the perpetual chess match between Petra and Rafael has already resumed. It’s hard to blame Petra for any vengeance she takes against Rafael—he did, after all, fail to notice that someone was impersonating his own ex-wife. Looking back to when she first read the Jane the Virgin script, Grobglas wondered if she wanted to play a villain on a show that could continue for a long time. But after a conversation with Snyder Urman, Grobglas realized—to borrow from another CW show—that the situation’s a lot more nuanced than that.

“She doesn’t think of herself as a villain; she’s not a villain,” Grobglas said. “She just comes from where she comes from, and with her history, she doesn’t have the love and support that Jane had growing up. . . . Both [Petra and Anezka] are super-manipulated by their mother, and I don’t agree with their decisions, but I admire both of them for separate things. Definitely Petra—I admire her a lot. I think she’s tough as nails.”

And speaking of that other CW show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Grobglas appeared recently as C.E.O. of a company called Miss Douche—which is, unsurprisingly, looking to rebrand. Grobglas first met Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna two years ago at a CW upfront presentation, shortly after Crazy Ex was first picked up. When she received the offer to appear on their comedy, she jumped at the chance.

The one catch? Once Grobglas found out what the exact role would be, the Paris-born, Israeli-raised actress admits she had a little research to do.

“I’m like, ‘I’m playing what? I have a douching company? All right.’ Google, ‘What the hell is douching?’ Got it.”

( written by admin on March 26, 2009 )

[NYLON] MAR 26, 2019: Now Petra on ‘Jane The Virgin’ became the best antihero on TV


There’s a scene early in Season 2 of Jane the Virgin, in which Petra is seen doing something very Petra-like: stealing a sample of Rafael’s (her ex, Jane’s baby daddy) sperm. But right before this scene, there’s a flashback to a much less manipulative Petra, when she was happy with Rafael; when they were married, in love, and expecting their first child together. The brief time-lapse allows us to sympathize with the otherwise-wicked character, and it is even more impactful when, later in the episode, we learn Petra suffered a miscarriage. But then we’re jolted back to the present, and reminded of her plans to inseminate herself in order to steal Rafael back from Jane (straight out of a telenovela, right?!). That’s the thing about Petra, you hate her and you love her, and you hate loving her and you love hating her. Because, back to that scene: When it seems like Petra might be caught, the narrator pleads, “Hurry up, Petra!” And then asks: “Wait, why am I rooting for her?” That, more or less, sums up most audience members relationship with the complex character.

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