By Dani Nick

Philadelphia (CW Philly) — Gina Rodriguez, the leading lady in The CW’s telenovela Jane The Virgin, is more than a romantic dreamer. In her latest role, and her first action film, Miss Bala, the actress proves that she’s a resilient fighter. In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight, Rodriguez talked about the intense training she underwent for the movie.

“Joe [her fiance] took me down his path of training and he’s a hardcore athlete, so that was definitely a world I had never entered into… It was a strict diet. It was working out seven days a week- way too many hours a day. It’s a lifestyle I don’t think I wanna do. No, I’m kidding. Hopefully for a character but that’s what you go through, and the cool thing is having the opportunity to go through it, because, to be honest, if I wasn’t Miss Bala, I probably wouldn’t have put my body through that because it’s so strict,” Rodriguez told ET’s Courtney Tezeno. 

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Rodriguez took training so seriously that her castmate, Anthony Mackie, didn’t even recognize her when they were both working out at the same gym. Mackie reflected on that day, which happens to be when they first met each other.

“I’m at the gym, doing my thing, at the little hotel, and she [Rodriguez] comes in the gym- it’s her and her friend, and they walk in, and I’m like, ‘Whoa, they’re working out hardcore… her hair pulled back, sweaty, [breathing hard]. I’m on the treadmill, like, jeez Louise these girls are going at it,'” Mackie thought. “So, she comes over and she goes, ‘Hey Anthony, how’s it going?’ I’m like, ‘Hey’,” he recalls. “She goes, ‘It’s Gina.’ I’m like, ‘Gee, you a rough. You are working. You are going for this character hard. Way to go champ! Like, whew, you’re burning a thousand calories today,'” he said.

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Rodriguez went on to discuss how making the film wasn’t just an accomplishment for her personally; rather, it was something for the entire Latinx community to be proud of.

“This was my first action film. Taking it on, I’m very proud of the fact that our community made it, and when I say ‘our community,’ I mean the entire Latinx community, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, Argentinian,” Rodriguez explained. “That was a very exciting experience. So I hope that [fans] walk away having fun, and the studio sees that. Latinas know how to make [a great film]. Not even with Gina, like put other Latinas and Latinos in front of the camera, and put them on your films and have them be your leads because we’re capable and we can do it. That’s just very exciting to me to show that we made a really fun action movie,” she continued.

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Catch Rodriguez in Miss Bala when it hits theaters on Friday, Feb. 1.