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Justin Baldoni — Interview with the Renaissance Man

Justin Baldoni Speaking at Shane's InspirationThere is no “I” in Wayfarer

A feng shuied, industrial room invites us in as we prepare for our interview with Justin Baldoni. Baldoni plays Rafael Solano on the hit TV Show, Jane the Virgin. If you haven’t seen the show, picture an American telenovela, which takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride of emotions with dramatic twists on artificial insemination, crime lords, and murder, oh my! Rafael is a wealthy hotel owner, cancer survivor, surprise father of three (hence the drama), former playboy, and an over-all charismatic individual. Every week, as the chapters of the show unfold, fans are drawn more and more into the man behind the coiffed hair, sharp suits, and muscles.

Justin’s work off screen is what also caught our attention. He is an advocate for mental health awareness, and a trailblazer for celebrating and recognizing all human potential. His production company, Wayfarer Entertainment, focuses on letting people be the storytellers of their lives in any form that speaks to their heART.

With a heavy fan base on social media, it’s no surprise that Justin’s posts, videos, and series topics often make his fans feel like they are part of his family, and inspires them to honor their true selves. The adorable videos that Justin shares of his daughter Maiya, is enough to get fans to click on that follow button. ABILITY sat with Justin to talk about his role as Rafael, the birth of The Carnival of Love, and much more.

Sylvia Frat: Congratulations on the immense success of Jane the Virgin. I’m a big fan.

Justin Baldoni: Oh! You’ve been hiding it well.

Frat: Um, I prepped for it! (laughs)

What was your first reaction when you first got the role of Rafael?

Justin Baldoni skid row event
Carnival of Love – Justin Baldoni skid row event

Baldoni: When I first got the role of Rafael, I hadn’t been acting. I had stopped acting to start this. So Wayfarer had just been in business a little over a year, and I was telling the stories, making these documentaries, and it kind of happened on a fluke. I didn’t really take it seriously at first.

(laughter)

That’s what happens with natural light. A massive cloud just—but I didn’t take it seriously at first when I got the audition. I just thought it would be fun to go into an audition, and interestingly enough, my wife had auditioned for the role of Petra, because she’s an actress. I was reading with her at one point, helping her with her audition, and I was like, “Who’s this Rafael guy?” The way they described him, I was kind of already getting jealous in case she got the role.

Frat: (laughs)

Baldoni: And then of course they had called me in. They had been looking for Rafael for quite a while, ...
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