Here’s Why Alba Villanueva From Jane the Virgin Is One Badass Grandma

Alba Villanueva, 66, is about to school you on badassery.

Alba Villanueva is too old for your shenanigans and too young to stop being a badass.

Alba, played by Ivonne Coll, is a character on Jane the Virgin. She is the grandmother of Jane (Gina Rodriguez) and mother of Xiomara (Andrea Navedo). Her character is often overlooked on the show, but she has one of the most intriguing storylines. For starters, she’s been living illegally in America for 41 years. She’s a faithful Christian who once encouraged her daughter to get an abortion. She’s a retired nurse and she’s one of the most forgiving people you will ever meet.

All of these things are essential to understanding Alba’s character on the show. They are also reasons why she’s a total badass. Here are seven ways Alba Villanueva, professional 66-year-old grandma, can school you on badassery.

  • Her love for TV is next-level.

    Giphy / CW

    One of the Villanueva ladies’ favorite pastimes is watching telenovelas, specifically The Passions of Santos. This is the stuff that Alba lives for. She watches TV like no one else, sitting on the couch and manning the remote like it’s her GD job. Don’t dare try to interrupt her when her show is on. She cannot, will not, be stopped.

  • She’s a total flirt.

    Mike Yarish / The CW

    Alba will always be infatuated with Rogelio, the star of Passions who also happens to be Jane’s father, in a starstruck-type of way, but lately she has a new love interest on the horizon. Alba developed a crush on a man from her physical therapy class and totally asked him out, but there’s a catch: He’s a priest.

  • She’s devout AF and doesn’t care if that bothers you.

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    Knowing how religious Alba is, you can imagine her reaction to finding out that her “special friend” is a man of God. Alba is a devout Christian, a trait that she hopes to have passed down to Jane and Xiomara (but we all know Xo has to do things her own way and on her own time). One of the many Christian ideals Alba preaches is saving oneself for marriage, a lesson she illustrated to Jane using an actual flower.

  • She moved to America with the love of her life just because she wanted to.


    Alba moved from Venezuela to America with her late husband, Mateo, when she was just 25 years old. Mateo, who came from a wealthy family, renounced his entire inheritance in order to make Alba’s dream of living in the States come true. Alba was living in the States illegally until recently, when she got her green card.

  • She refuses to speak English.


    Alba speaks Spanish 99% of the time. We’ve heard her speak minimal English before and we know that she can understand English, as everyone else on the show speaks to her in English. But being the badass that she is, Alba always responds in Spanish.

  • She once got high via edibles.

    Giphy / CW

    The world loves it when grandmothers get high. Alba accidentally got high before an important meeting she had while she was applying for her green card. She ate some chocolate, didn’t know that it had weed in it and somehow managed to keep her cool like a badassery queen.

  • She’s the type of gal who puts family first.

    Giphy / CW

    Alba’s priorities look like this: God and family. For Alba, family comes before all—except God. This is something that Alba’s late husband Mateo taught her and that she’s instilled in her daughter and granddaughter ever since. Her devotion to Christ and her family is at the core of her capacity for unconditional love.

1/2 Cartoon, 1/2 Beyhive.