As the over-the-top telenovela dad to Gina Rodriguez’s Jane, Camil has intelligently crafted one of TV’s present golden era most beloved characters. He’s charming, he’s funny, he’s a hilarious calamity waiting to happen—and he’s perhaps the best TV dad in a while.
Your character, Rogelio, on Jane the Virgin, is one of our favorites.
Thank you very much! We have a lot of fun and I love my character. And I’m very lucky because [Jane’s showrunner] Jennie Urman and her team of writers write brilliant stuff for Rogelio [De La Vega]. I’m very, very lucky.
How has your experience been so far on Jane?
It’s been amazing. It’s amazing, but especially because we work with beautiful human beings. Aside from the fact that Gina has a huge talent, she won the Golden Globe and she’s an amazing actor and also she’s an amazing human being. Aside from that, we’re very privileged because the whole group of human beings working on this show—they’re just brilliant. They’re brilliant actors, they’re brilliant individuals. They’re very decent, moral human beings so working in that environment is just a blessing, it’s beautiful. We look forward to arrive to the set every morning and interact with each other and act with each other and have fun with each other. And that’s a beautiful feeling to have on a show.
How is working with Gina Rodriguez in particular?
I think what makes her so good is her kindness as a human being. Her work ethic is flawless. She arrives always on time, she knows her lines, she respects her fellow actors and her crew. She’s just brilliant and she’s a very cool girl. And working with people like that is just a blessing. It’s a privilege.
You’ve had huge success in Spanish language film and TV, which have included a few telenovelas.
They have been very successful—gracias a Dios! But the thing is they’re not novelas. In a way they might be labeled as novelas because they’re on every single day for in an hour format. But the content of the show is a sitcom, it’s comedy, you know like La Fea Más Bella or Por Ella Soy Eva—you know where I dressed like a woman kind of like Mrs. Doubtfire. If you can imagine me as a girl—it was a sight to see. I do more comedy actually. I don’t do the classic novelas. I don’t do the “Why haven’t you called, Jesus?! This is not your child.” I don’t do that shit to be honest. I actually don’t come from that world but I’m very familiar with that world because, of course, in Mexico novelas are a huge part of the culture. Most of my really close and dear friends they do this kind of melodramatic acting in telenovelas so of course I’m aware and I know this world firsthand but me personally, I don’t come from this world firsthand.
How have your friends, who work in telenovelas, reacted to your portrayal of a telenovela actor on Jane?
It gives me a great privilege because it’s kind of like homage to the novelas. It’s not like we’re making fun. Novelas are very respected in the Latin world. I haven’t talked to them to be honest. We haven’t talked about it because Jane is not filmed in Mexico. We haven’t arrived to Latin America yet. I’m dubbing myself. I’m dubbing myself in Spanish. I know it’s a very Matrix thing. I’m dubbing myself. It’s a very funky process. Jane is not seen in Mexico. I haven’t spoken to them but they’re my friends, and they’re happy about the success and they’re very happy for me, for all the recognition that Jane is getting.