'Jane the Virgin's' Jaime Camil on Channeling His Demonic Side for 'Charmed' (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
Rogelio de la Vega is channeling his dark side.
Jane the Virgin star Jaime Camil drops by the wicked world of Charmed on Sunday's episode, playing Mr. Morales, a shy and introverted music director of a university cappella group, cheekily called The Hilltones, who -- through witchy magic -- becomes possessed by a demon. And as you can imagine, things get a little hairy when Morales begins stealing his a cappella members' souls. You know, just another Tuesday at college.
"They dress the same," Camil tells ET with a laugh, when asked to compare Mr. Morales to Rogelio. "Morales is very, very shy and he goes to the gift shop [in the beginning of the episode] and he has a very high-pitched voice. We don't see the real Morales much because Morales gets possessed by the demon that is larger than life, exactly as Rogelio is larger than life. Maybe that's the similarity in their personalities. It would have been fun to show Morales more because Morales was a very charming, shy individual."
Camil noted that one of the reasons he wanted to play this character was the opportunity to be a part of a fantastical world. Since Jane the Virgin largely exists in reality -- with a few elements of whimsical drama -- he said it was important to him personally that he join The CW's storied ranks of superheroes and the supernatural that dominate the network's schedule.
"I'm very happy that I finally experienced what supernatural powers feel like," he quips. "For the love of god, we work for The CW network and we're one of the only show where no one flies, no one turns into a freakin' werewolf, no one runs super fast, it's like come on! I finally got a taste of some sort of superpower going on. Now, and only now, I feel like I'm a part of The CW family this year!"
The episode is also an epic Jane the Virgin reunion of sorts, as star Gina Rodriguez directed the Charmed hour. (Charmed boss Jennie Snyder Urman is also an executive producer on Jane.)
Interestingly, Camil's guest spot wasn't the original plan. As the 45-year-old explains, the opportunity was borne out of a conversation he and Rodriguez had on the Jane the Virgin set about their Christmas hiatus. When Rodriguez mentioned she was taking a detour to Charmed for a week and a half,a light bulb went off in both their heads.
"'That's so great because Jennie mentioned that it would be fun if I could play a demon one of these days.' And then click. We were like, 'Oh my god, I should be your demon!' 'Yeah, that's great!'" Camil recalls. "We promptly called Jennie on the spot. We sent her a text, like, 'This would be amazing!' And of course, she responded 40 seconds after the text and she was like, 'Yes, I love the idea. Let's do it!'"
Camil expressed his gratitude to Urman for "allowing actors to be actors" and showcase other tools in his acting arsenal that may be a step or two removed from his iconic Jane the Virgin character, Rogelio de la Vega.
"We don't box ourselves. We are boxed by network executives, by studio executives, by showrunners, by directors. We love what we do and that we get to play different characters and show what we can do and play with our range. I'm very thankful to Jennie that she's such a visionary showrunner and that she understands that we're actors. We love to play with characters and we love to experiment and put ourselves in different skins," he says.
"It was fun," Camil adds of his time on Charmed. "You let your instincts take over on how you will play Mr. Morales and we had a gifted, extremely talented director -- not because she's my TV daughter and not because I love her to life -- but she's really gifted. She's a really natural, good director. Putting yourself in the hands of the talented and creative hands of Gina Rodriguez as a director, that's just a joy as an actor."
Watch a sneak peek from Camil's guest star turn below.