NEW YORK (AP) — Last pilot season, Jaime Camil had options — two offers for dramas at ABC and Netflix.
Then came a script for The CW's "Jane The Virgin," airing Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, about a young woman who has vowed to remain chaste until marriage but is accidentally artificially inseminated during a routine checkup.
"I was mesmerized. I devoured the script in like 20, 25 minutes," recalled Camil, in a recent interview.
The only problem? "In the first episode I believe my character speaks five words," he laughed.
That part was for Rogelio de la Vega, a telenovela star who learns he has an adult daughter who is suddenly a pregnant virgin.
Camil and his manager reached out to the show's creator and executive producer, Jennie Snyder Urman, to find out the plan for the character.
They liked what they heard and ultimately believed "we had to make a decision based on the script that touched your heart the most."
The show is a critical hit for The CW, and its lead, Gina Rodriguez, won the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy.
Camil's juxtaposition of a daft, wide-eyed, well-intentioned dad with self-centered, eccentric actor, is quickly making him a fan favorite.
"He might be perceived as the comic relief of the show but at the same time he has beautiful, beautiful heartfelt themes," said Camil.
There's a parody Twitter account written as the character which if you bring up to him, he will gleefully spout out some of his favorite lines. (It's mostly curated by one of the show's writers with some input from Camil.)
Some gems: "In high school I was voted 'Most Likely to Become A Huge International Telenovela Star." Or "I auditioned for 'Birdman.' The producers said I was 'distractingly handsome' & no one would believe me as an out of work actor."
In real life, at 41, the Mexico-born Camil has been successfully working as an actor, TV host and singer.
"Jane" has already been picked up for a second season, and Camil is hoping to take on other projects during his hiatus but says he's "150 percent committed" to the series.
"For (the cast and crew), "The set of 'Jane the Virgin' is our happy place. Everybody's in a good mood, everybody's laughing after a 16-hour workload. .... We are very grateful that we have this gig that we love and that we adore," he said.
Follow Alicia Rancilio at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar