Justin Baldoni gained fans and enemies as Rafael Solano in “Jane the Virgin.” It turns out, The CW series was the last project he acted in.
He has since shifted his focus to writing and building his company, Wayfarer Studios. Last year, he published his first book, “Man Enough.”
“I’ve been really inspired to go deeper into masculinity and the systems that affect all of us,” he explained to Sam Rubin on the KTLA 5 Morning News. “I wanted to reach boys before they became men, before we put on that armor that gets so heavy that it becomes impossible to take off.”
Baldoni’s mission is for boys to accept all parts of themselves that make them human, even parts that some deem to be “feminine.”
“These are the parts that we need to be good, not just men, but human beings in all of our lives,” he said.
Recently, masculinity has been a topic of discussion, along with the phrase “toxic masculinity.” The actor said he doesn’t use that word at all.
“I love being a man. I love masculinity. I do not think masculinity is the problem. I think the system is,” he said. “I don’t say toxic masculinity because it’s been so weaponized and polarized.”
The actor doesn’t just preach these beliefs, he practices them with his own son.
“I’m always reminding him that his heart is the strongest muscle in his body, that his emotions are beautiful,” Baldoni revealed. “The way I can teach him the best is by modeling it. My actions today are his actions tomorrow.”
As for his daughter, he does the opposite.
“The world is going to remind her that she is sweet and kind and sensitive,” he said. “But I’m encouraging her to take physical risks, to take up space, to use her voice, to demand attention in certain ways; because the world is going to do the opposite to her.”
“Boys will be Human” is available wherever you get your books.
Listen to Baldoni’s “Man Enough” podcast wherever you get your podcasts.