Oprah and Gayle. Matt and Ben. Cameron and Drew. Beyoncé and Kelly. These are just a few of the Hollywood friendships even the casual celeb-watcher could rattle off by first-names only. Now we can add Gina and DeWanda to the list. DeWanda Wise and Gina Rodriguez met 15 years ago at New York University's Tisch School of Drama, and Rodriguez went on to become Wise’s first manager. You can get a glimpse of the pair’s IRL friendship on screen in the Netflix hit, Someone Great, in which they play — you guessed it — best friends named Erin and Jenny.
“Our friendship has evolved so much and changed,” Wise tells Refinery29 over the phone during a press day for Season 2 of She’s Gotta Have It. “We are both women who are not legacy kids. We didn't come into Hollywood with any way in whatsoever.” Wise went on to praise her friend for her ambition and said their matching determination to succeed in a space that historically hasn’t been kind to women of colour is part of what cemented their bond.
“Gina has this drive and hunger and hustle and grit that you cannot buy, and it's really hard to match. Hers is probably a little louder than mine,” Wise says. “I’m an introvert so it's a little quieter and a little more stealthy, but I have the same kind of thing. We both walked into this industry not knowing when we were starting out whether roles and opportunities like this would exist [but] it has been so beautiful being able to play full humans for both of us.”
Despite being able to “play full humans,” Wise says that she and Rodriguez are not exactly like the roles they’re most known for. “Folks think I am far more of a partier than I actually am,” Wise laughs. “[Gina] plays Jane [on Jane the Virgin] so that comes with the connotation of being America's sweetheart, and she's far more loose and interesting than Jane is.”
For example, Jane Gloriana Villanueva probably would never give up the reigns of planning her wedding to anyone. On May 4, Rodriguez married her longtime love Joe LoCicero in an intimate ceremony that Wise revealed was planned by LoCicero’s mother. “Gina is super busy, so she allowed her mother-in-law to plan the whole thing and kinda just trust-fell into it,” Wise says. “She chose her dresses and that was basically the extent of [her planning].”
Rodriguez’s two wedding dresses — a satin sheath mermaid-cut dress for the ceremony and a second gown with a sheer corset bodice for the party — were revealed in an emotional video Rodriguez posted to Instagram. Few other details have been released. Wise recalls the wedding as “super stealth” and says Rodriguez only included close friends and family.
View this post on Instagram
“With that one kiss we got 100 new family members” my 9 year old niece, Mia ❤️Thank you to my mother in law for the wedding of my dreams. And the village that helped her! Special thank you to our soul brother @justinbaldoni and to my new brother Michael @mikelosaurusrex for singing me down the aisle. Mike, you have the voice of an angel. Love to our Videographers: @harrisonfilms To the greatest wedding planner, Laura @coutureconceptsny The genius behind the gorgeous flowers, Akvile @florasavenue And to our friend and brilliant Photographer: @sylvain_vincent May 4th, 2019 was absolute MAGIC. To my husband Joseph, I am yours forever. ❤️
“It was a very Puerto Rican, Italian wedding. It was so fun to see the convergence of those two cultures and also to see one of my closest friends with the love of her life.” Wise sighs like she’s reliving the celebration. “I've been married for 10 years so I'm very pro love. There’s nothing better.”
Wise is married to Underground actor Alano Miller. It’s a safe bet that there are many double dates with their husbands in Rodriguez and Wise’s future but the BFFs’ priorities seem to be focused on work.
“We’re both women who create our own opportunities,” Wise says. “We’re in this space we're in now because we are the artists we are. There’s a ton we have in common at our core.”
If you’re still not convinced you should be crushing on this celeb friendship, I’ll leave you with the scene in Someone Great that proves Rodiguez and Wise are, thanks to Lizzo, 100% BFF goals.