‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’: Rene Gube Didn’t Just Play Father Brah – He Also Had Another Role
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ran on The CW from 2015 to 2019. The comedy-drama starred Rachel Bloom as lawyer Rebecca Bunch, who packs up her career and her life in New York to relocate to California in pursuit of an old crush. Over the course of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s four seasons, the TV show won two Primetime Emmy Awards (and was nominated for two more Emmys), plus numerous other accolades.
Much of the show’s success was attributed to its writers and its diverse cast. And in some cases, as it was with American comedian, writer and actor Rene Gube, the lines were blurred between the cast and the behind-the-scenes team.
‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ was part drama, part sitcom, and part musical
The show starts with Bloom’s Bunch running int Josh Chan, portrayed by Vincent Rodriguez III. Chan was Bunch’s childhood crush who she hadn’t seen in years. Bunch learns that Chan is moving from New York to California, and she decides to relocate and follow him in the hopes of rekindling a romantic connection with Chan.
The show was an immediate hit with audiences, despite having an unconventional approach to storytelling. For example, each episode contained numerous moments where characters would burst into songs and the comedy-drama would cross over into musical territory. In its review of the first season, Rotten Tomatoes called it “a charming, eccentric commentary on human relationships” and praised its “refreshing, energetic lead” and its “lively musical numbers.”
The show wasn’t just known for its music, though. Critics and audiences also highlighted its racial diversity and authentic approach to different cultures.
Critics praised the show for its authentic portrayal of Filipino culture
Aline Brosh McKenna co-created the show with Bloom. According to New York Magazine’s Vulture, she originally designed Chan’s character as a generic “Asian bro.”
Because Rodriguez was a Filipino-American, Brosh McKenna told the publication that he served as the inspiration for Josh’s ethnicity.
“When I had my final call with Aline and Rachel, I asked them why Josh was an Asian guy and not a white guy,” Rodriguez told Vulture. “They said they’d both grown up in Southern California near the beach. Of all the bros and attractive men they’d encountered, there were definitely Asians among them who were just as hot and as cool and attractive. […] [They] said, ‘We’ve never seen that on TV before.'”
Brosh McKenna and Bloom wanted to ensure Chan’s portrayal was authentic to the real Filipino-American experience. And they had someone on the writer’s team who could provide expert insight. There was just one twist: He was also a character on the show.
Gube was both a writer and an actor on ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’
Gube plays the character Father Brah on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, reports IMDB. Father Brah went to high school with Chan and many of the other supporting characters on the show before becoming a priest.
He also helped create many of the storylines on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
According to Vulture, the team behind Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hired him after the show’s pilot was produced. “His shared ethnicity with Rodriguez was a coincidence,” explains the publication, noting that Brosh McKenna said he was critical for conceiving many of the stories on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. “Gube was pivotal, she noted, in creating the part of compassionate stud Father Brah — played by Gube himself — and in fleshing out Josh’s family, who were introduced in Monday’s episode,” adds Vulture.
For example, during the Thanksgiving-themed episode, Gube said the food didn’t look like it would actually look in a Filipino household. He told Brosh McKenna, and she immediately fixed it. “This might be perceived as a minor course-correction in other circumstances, but for the Filipino-American actor and writer, it was proof that his bosses are committed to representing Filipino culture authentically on the CW musical comedy,” says Vulture.