Despite its critical praise and ground-breaking Golden Globe win, "Jane the Virgin" and its charming series star, Gina Rodriguez, were all but ignored by Emmy voters today (July 16). But it did pick up one deserving Emmy nomination for the show's unsung hero: voice-over artist, Anthony Mendez.
"I've heard from so many of them, that I can't even keep track," Mendez told MTV News of his "Jane The Virgin" family. "Jennie [Snyder Urman] sent me a nice email, telling me how proud she was of me. They just keep coming in! The past couple of hours, I've been on the phone. There's just so much love from everybody. The entire cast, they're humble and so grateful, so they're just as happy for me as if it were their own nomination."
The CW series just wouldn't be the same without the engagingly funny and all-around awesome "Latin Lover Narrator" who helps put the show's crazy telenovela twists and turns into context week after week. For that, Mendez's nomination couldn't be more deserved. And for Mendez, it's a huge step for voice-over as an art form.
"It's just an affirmation for voice-over, in general," he said. "There's a lot of us that spend our days in a vocal booth working on this craft -- and we don't get a lot of recognition. Some people don't even know the category exists for the Emmys!"
The Outstanding Narrator category was introduced last year as a way to diversify the pool of talented voice-over artists, some who specialize in animation and others who work in narration.
"It's a nice thing from the Academy, that they split the category, where before, it was always for voice-over character performance and the animation guys would run away with it," Mendez added. "So they split it up between voice-over and narrator. It was still risky because the Narrator on the show is not the kind of narrator that you'd expect to see among these nominees -- these guys all narrate documentaries. That's why we're even more grateful. They recognized the creative work that Jennie has created with this narrator."
The "Jane The Virgin" star found out about his nomination from a tweet. "We had just finished watching the live stream, and after being a little disappointed, we started looking for the full list -- refreshing the page a million times -- because we knew our category wasn't getting announced in the live stream," he said. "My publicist actually got a desktop notification that CBS had tweeted congratulations, and we freaked out. It was like a volcano was about to erupt. My wife just went all out; she was screaming."
As it turns out, the voice-over artist's nomination is just as groundbreaking as the series. Mendez is the first Latino to be nominated for Outstanding Narrator.
"It's so representative of the show and the diversity you see on TV, especially this year," he said. "I'm hoping that I can inspire not only young people, but young people of color to say, 'Hey, this is a career that we can actual pursue.' I think it's an important nomination."
Of course, Mendez -- and the rest of the Internet, TBH -- would have loved to see Rodriguez nominated for her stellar performance as plucky protagonist Jane Villanueva, but with so much fierce competition in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy field this year, he understands the Television Academy's predicament.
"There's so much to celebrate, and a little bit to be sad about," he said, referring to Rodriguez's unfortunate snub. "But we're going to try to keep it positive."
Well said, Narrator. Well said.