We’re on a mission to give you 18 fun facts about every Israeli actress in Hollywood right now. First we covered Gal Gadot, real-life Wonder Woman, and next up is Yael Grobglas, who currently stars as the lovable villain* Petra (and her twin Anezka) on the CW’s Jane the Virgin. (*I don’t want to spoil anything, but Petra is clearly not a villain anymore. And I’m hella anxious about the love triangle that’s probably about to go down between Rafael, Petra, and Jane—again).
With the premiere of season 4 of our favorite telenovela this Friday, here are 18 (Jewy) things to know about Yael:
1. She was born in Paris, France but moved to Ra’anana, Israel when she was only 3 years old.
2. She is proud of being an immigrant, and rapped “Guns and Ships” from Hamilton with the comment “#immigrantswegetthejobdone (we really do).”
3. How she looks cute in her awkward phase—chokers, braces, and all—is beyond us.
4. Just like all of us here at Alma, Yael loves Gal Gadot. When she saw Wonder Woman, she Instagrammed, “Ok I’m in tears of joy. So proud of my fellow Israeli @gal_gadot and everything this movie does. I need to process. This is awesome. Just awesome.#wonderwoman כל הכבוד גל את מהדימהההה!!!!!!”
5. Her first major role was on the Israeli sci-fi show Ha’Yi (“The Island”). We haven’t seen it, but only because it’s not on Netflix yet (which surprisingly has a great offering of Israeli TV shows, btw).
6. She is very glad Jane the Virgin is airing in Israel, telling Monrowe: “Actually, people LOVE telenovelas in Israel! That’s why, when we made Jane the Virgin and the pilot came out, I was telling everyone that it has to sell in Israel. And it has! It’s done well, it’s right up their alley.”
7. Speaking of Israel, Yael has a very attractive Israeli squad of friends (see also: when they went horseback riding).
8. To play Petra’s twin, Anezka, she channeled her cat, Pablo, telling Vanity Fair that after the showrunner described Anezka as a “passionate eater” and ‘“she scratches and yelps when she leaps backwards,” Yael immediately said, “Oh, I know someone like that!” And that someone is her cat.
10. She is happy to teach you Hebrew phrases, including Sababa:
11. And how to blow a shofar
12. It seems like she coordinated her dress with red apples for Rosh Hashanah 💃💃💃. (P.S. That is her boyfriend, his name is Artem, he’s an Israeli businessman.)
13. Yael and Artem are high school sweethearts. Half his twitter feed is just articles that praise Yael. Maybe Artem will tweet this article! 👋
14. She loves food, loves her boyfriend, loves working on Jane the Virgin, loves cats, and her Instagram is a healthy combination of those four things. Her first Instagram from February 2012 was a picture of caprese salad.
15. She makes shakshuka when she feels homesick, telling Grub Street that shakshuka is one of her “favorite Israeli dishes…. My version is made with eggs, colored peppers, hot pepper, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, and paprika. It’s served with fresh challah bread and usually eaten straight out of the pan. It’s a perfect homesickness remedy.”
16. Yael eats the same thing for breakfast every day, no matter where she is in the world: oats with honey and cinnamon, and coffee with a slice of orange.
17. She knows how to make fun of herself.
18. She ships #JETRA (Jane + Petra), telling audiences at the Vulture festival in May 2017 “I honestly think Jane and Petra need to run away together.” We’re right there with her.
Yael, if you ever want to eat shakshuka with us, we’re here.