Actor Justin Baldoni

While Justin Baldoni may be best known for playing Rafael Solano, the on-again-off-again love interest of Jane in Jane the Virgin, he is so much more than just a heartthrob actor. In 2012 Baldoni created a docu-series entitled “My Last Days” which celebrates the lives of the terminally ill. The series went on to become the most watched digital documentary series in history, garnering over 30-million views and and raising over $1 million for charitable foundations. Recently, Baldoni has created a new series, featuring the stories of six more inspiring individuals, which is set to premiere on The CW this week.

We caught up with Justin (and his adorable daughter Maya) in New York recently to discuss his experimental cooking techniques, his active lifestyle, and what it’s like to be a new Dad. He also let us in on a few things that women don’t know about men, and shared his morning rituals.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day? 

If there were no repercussions, no shirtless scenes on Jane the Virgin and if it were a magical world where calories weren’t real, then I would eat pizza for breakfastburgers for lunch, and pasta for dinner with a late night sushi snack. In the real world, it’s Matcha Green Tea made bulletproof style, proteins and salads with the occasional fun meal here and there.

The personal grooming items you can’t live without…

A beard trimmer, my favorite cologne (that I love so much I ordered ten bottles just in case they go out of business), and some kind of matte dry hair wax product.

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

My nana’s pasta, with my wife, daughter, mom, dad and sister.

The apps you can’t live without…

Insert shameless plug of my BellyBump app currently available in the app store. Right now my go-to’s are Waze, Fitbit, Spotify, Amazon, Task Rabbit, CNN and most importantly my Bahai Prayers app.  

How do you always start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast? 

Well, it depends on if we have been up ten times with Maiya or not. The first thing I always try to do is kiss my wife and daughter and tell them how much I love them. Then I make some hot water, brush my teeth, get a few prayers in, make a matcha, and hopefully get some sort of workout in (unless it’s an early Jane The Virgin or Wayfarer shoot day).  

Do you and your wife cook together? What do you often make?

On the rare occasion I’m home by dinner and we both have the energy, yes! We love experimenting together. I’m kind of a chemist in the kitchen…I love trying new flavors and putting things together you might not think would work. We have fun! As long as we have balsamic vinegar, ghee, truffle oil, and goat cheese we are good.  

What does a typical date night look like?

As parents – with crazy schedules – to a wild thirteen-month-old, at the moment, it looks like anytime we have an hour together and can just look at each other and check on each of our hearts. We’ve found it’s not about quantity…it’s about making the time we have together quality.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?

Emily and I love traveling. We just got back from visiting her family in Sweden and had a blast. We have always dreamed of climbing Kilimanjaro and visiting Peru…we will get there. The thing I can’t travel without is a good, supportive, neck pillow and a lacrosse ball for my muscles/tendons when they get tight from sitting down for so long.

The most surprising thing you discovered about being a Dad…

How little I actually know about anything.

 What is your perfect sandwich comprised of? Your perfect salad? 

 Grilled bread, lots of sauce, melted goat cheese, something spicy, and anything with protein.

The workouts you’re obsessed with and why…

I like mixing it up, trying new things and attempting to invent exercises, which I then realize I didn’t invent. We put a cross fit-esqe gym in my garage last year and it’s been incredible. Now, even when I only have twenty-minutes, I try to get any kind of sweat in I can.

One thing women don’t know about men that they should…

We feel a lot more then we let on. We cry easier than anyone realizes. We care about what people think of us. We aren’t nearly as tough as we make ourselves out to be.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each? 

New York and Los Angeles, but I am definitely spoiled by LA’s food scene. It doesn’t matter what your diet is, what you’re craving or how obscure it is…you can find it in LA. And chances are, it’s less than twenty minutes away.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ right now? 

The new potato in the entertainment industry is creating meaningful and uplifting content. i.e “My Last Days” premiering August 17th, 18th and 19th at 9:00pm on The CW!  What comes from the heart hits the heart, and I believe young people all over the world are hungry for television, film and digital content that inspires and gives us hope.

Have you read our interview with Ben Hur star Nazanin Boniadi? Also see our interview with Animal Kingdom’s Scott Speedman

*Justin Baldoni, photographed in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann