Jane the Virgin’s Justin Baldoni: ‘I Cringe When There’s a Shirtless Scene’

Four seasons of stripping down haven’t made Justin Baldoni comfortable with dropping his top.

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As confident hotel owner Rafael on Jane the Virgin, “I cringe when there’s a shirtless scene because I never feel I am in good enough shape,” the actor tells Us. “I struggle with the difference between how Justin looks and how Rafael is supposed to look. To me, I’ll always be the skinny kid with the narrow shoulders. I think it’s cool to talk about because a lot of men don’t.”

Justin Baldoni Rafael Jane the Virgin
Justin Baldoni as Rafael on ‘Jane the Virgin.’ Michael Desmond/The CW

It’s a conversation he’ll bring to the screen. Now that Rafael has lost control of the Marbella and has moved in with Gina Rodriguez’s Jane and their son, the CW comedy will explore the notion of masculinity. “We talk about what it means to be a man and redefine that,” says Baldoni. “It’s going to be great seeing how Rafael deals with issues this season. It’s dark but exciting.”

The dad of Maiya, 2 (with wife Emily), bares more for Us.

Us Weekly: How does Raf cope with losing the hotel?

Justin Baldoni: He’s always had money and with money comes power. It’s tough. He’ll have to realize there’s more than that. It’s all he knows and he really defines himself through money, so he’ll be trying to get back that part of him.

Us: How will that impact his life with Jane and Mateo?

JB: We’ll get to explore this through Jane’s eyes. I think it’s going to be fun to watch If you take a man who’s desperately trying to hold onto the material things and you take a woman like Jane who puts other things first, you can imagine the outcome.

Justin Baldoni Rafael Jane the Virgin
Justin Baldoni as Rafael on ‘Jane the Virgin.’ Robert Voets/The CW

Us: Does living with Jane put a strain on their relationship?

JB: Rafael and he can be very tone deaf and say hurtful things. He’s never had to deal with the consequences. Jane provides a lot of insight. When people have these different outlooks on life, you get this interesting spark and see both of them learn about each other.

Us: Jane’s first love Adam comes back. How will Raf react?

JB: It’s interesting — but fun! This is a real thing families deal with this all the time, new people coming in. I love the way our show delicately and educationally the subject.

Justin Baldoni
Justin Baldoni attends the 14th Annual Brass Ring Awards Dinner at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. Greg Doherty/WireImage.com

Us: As a dad, how do you relate to your character?

JB: We’d both take a bullet for our children. We want them to have better lives and opportunities than we did. But I wouldn’t compromise my beliefs or morals because I don’t place the same value on wealth and financial security that he does. The biggest difference is that I have a strong spiritual belief and Rafael doesn’t because he’s so hurt and broken.

Jane the Virgin airs on the CW Fridays at 9 p.m. ET. 

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