'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' star Gabrielle Ruiz looks back on Valencia's growth as The CW show ends with season 4
Though Valencia started off as the stereotypical controlling girlfriend, she has gone on to become one of the most well-rounded characters who is extremely loyal to her friends.
Of the many wonderful shows we are saying goodbye to this season, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' tops the list for many. With a perfect balance of comedy and drama, relatable character development and unbelievably catchy songs, The CW show gave us everything we did not know we needed.
In the last four years of the show's existence, we have unexpectedly come to love one character, whose only purpose in the first season was to antagonize our hero Rebecca (Rachel Bloom).
Valencia, who started off as Josh's (Vincent Rodriguez III) controlling girlfriend, has had one of the most impressive character arcs on the show. She dumped the boyfriend she never truly loved, found her passion and embraced her sexuality, all the while learning to be a great friend to her girlfriends.
Gabrielle Ruiz, who brilliantly portrayed this complex character on screen for four seasons, told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) "being able to create and represent the evolution of a strong woman, and along that encompassing new songs every time - not only just for herself but for the other characters around her, has been one of her greatest professional joys."
Valencia's growth is best noticeable in her very adult relationship with Beth, beautifully played by Emma Willmann. In comparison to the other big relationship we have seen Valencia in, her current one is very mature and open.
In fact, the second she starts getting petty and acting up, Beth takes a step back and allows her to be in charge of her own actions, and when it was time for some tough love, she gave it to the love of her life uninhibitedly.
One of the best moments Valencia had in season 4 - nay, the entire series - is when she comes to the realization that gender is a construct and she could be the one to ask her girlfriend to marry her, instead of waiting for someone to get on one knee for her hand in marriage.
Ruiz seconds our choice of favorite Valencia moment saying how much she loves the scene where Valencia discovered the power that she always had within her. "She always had the power to make her own decisions. Beth is the perfect person to remind her of that and help her rediscover that. If anyone knows Valencia well, it's me and she is the most consistent on making strong decisions and doesn't think twice about it," she claimed, adding how the moment she read the scene on the script is forever be etched in her memory.
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"I literally squealed and then out loud - in my living room by myself - I said 'I feel so powerful.' Not only as Valencia but what Valencia represents for every woman. It was powerful and exciting to have that ability we all have within us. I was there alongside every viewer that saw that moment - when I read the script, when I said it out loud at the table, and when we shot it. It was rather genuine, my reaction," she said.
"Coming from the Broadway world right before 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' I was very ready as an artist to create new content and new material for new shows. I say the universe's plans are far better than mine for myself. When this audition and show came around I had no idea how extraordinary the next four years of my life would be," explained Ruiz, adding that while she does not personally contribute to the writing of songs on the show, she is comfortable and content in her role as the muse and inspiration for the show's creator Bloom, composer Adam Schlesinger and the other writers.
She elaborated on how she enjoys not being responsible for creating such amazing jokes. "Comedy and music are not my strong suit". Speaking about how much she relies on the writing staff, Ruiz said there have been times where she'd just read the lyrics in Valencia's songs and get nervous: "'What's the Joke? What are we talking about?' When I read 'Women Gotta Stick Together' I was like 'My God! She's so mean' But then Adam sat me down and he explained to me the comedy and what we were going for. So, I have definitely leaned on the music team to lead me in the right direction and I just get to perform it."
You can see her make magic on screen again in the two-hour series finale of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend', which airs Friday at 9/8c on The CW.