Definitely. She had this finish line, which was, “If I get published, my life is going to change.” I was always interested in, “What if it doesn’t? How do you believe in yourself when it didn’t go the way you wanted it to?” Part of it has to be self-reflection: “What can I do better? Do I have the motivation to keep going and set a new goal for myself?” That struggle is such a difficult thing.
What are the things that are important to you to do in the final season?
I’ll be emailing the writers pretty soon — I want to hear all of their dreams of things they haven’t seen Jane do. That could be on a fantasy level, it could be a conversation, it could be anything. For me, the biggest thing is to see how this new book comes together, and how things come full circle — how we feel like Jane as a character has changed from who we met to who she is now. I have some specific magical realism moments I want to see that we’ve been saving up. I ultimately want to see her dreams within reach, and I want her to have some of the success that she has fought so hard for. And of course, the difficulties that come with that.
Justina Machado, Rosario Dawson and Brooke Shields were all important guest stars in Season 4 — are they coming back? What guest stars would you like to get for the final season?
The three that you mentioned, because we just love them. Justina’s character Darci is a part of Rogelio’s family, and the show’s often about the extended families that we make. We definitely need Rosario too; her and Petra’s arc was one of my favorites. I am also obsessed with Brooke. I have a bunch of ideas for [the telenovela Shields’s character is making with Jane’s father, Rogelio]. Beyond that, I’d love for Rita Moreno to come back — I’d like Rogelio’s mother to make another appearance. We also have a Ricky Martin dream in our writers’ room. Rogelio’s alluded to a little bit of a history with Ricky Martin, and I’d love to see if we could get him on.
You’ve had an inclusive directing roster for the entire run of the show, including Gina Rodriguez in Season 4. What was it like to watch her take that on?
She did an extraordinary job. I’ve never had someone prep so much and come so prepared — she attacked it with confidence and humility, which is a combination that cannot be beat. Her episode was fantastic, and it was one of the harder episodes that we’ve written. She had a leopard, she had sex scenes, she had so much going on. At first, the only thing I had in my mind was that I wanted her to direct her own sex scene with Rafael. That was important to me. Then all of these other giant events stacked up when we started constructing it, and I was like, “Gina, you got a big episode.” She crushed it.