The name Michelle Rodriguez brings up different images for different people. No two people see Ms. Rodriguez the same, and that is perhaps the greatest testament to her zest for life as well as a tribute to the diversity of her filmography. From the moment Michelle burst onto the scene in the 2000 Karyn Kusama film, Girlfight, Rodriguez has been winning audiences over in nearly every genre. Michelle is probably most well known for her role as Letty Ortiz in the Fast & Furious films, but she is equally well known to horror fans for tough as nails character Rain in the Resident Evil films. In a recent article for Interview Magazine, it was revealed that Ms. Rodriguez grew up on the move, in typical army brat fashion, and Michelle names places as far and wide as Texas to the Dominican Republic to Jersey City as former homes.
Ms. Rodriguez has shown herself to be as strong off screen as the characters she has portrayed on screen, whether she’s been seen cheering on the New York Knicks with supermodel Cara Delevingne, shooting automatic weapons in Las Vegas, or sharing some intense kissing with Zac Efron in Sardinia, Michelle never lets anything hold her back.
Recently, Rodriguez made time for a talk with her Resident Evil co-star Milla Jovovich, treating readers to a revealing look at her personality and her life. Michelle and Milla covered a variety of topics, ranging from spirituality to feminism. As Jezebel reported, Ms. Rodriguez has a dream of making a film with a plot that centers on “four girls who actually get along in a movie that’s not about chasing some guy or marrying somebody.”
As Ms. Jovovich inquires about Michelle’s exploration of spirituality, she acknowledges Milla for introducing her to anthropologist Carlos Castaneda, who also authored a series of books dedicated to the topic of shamanism under the Don Juan series. Rodriguez recalls that the books reached her at a time when she was experimenting with hallucinogens, to which Milla wonders if Michelle ever feels the need to take time for herself, to reconnect with herself.
“Sometimes I wake up in awe that I’m alive. I can’t get over that part, so I guess it makes me kind of like an existentialist. I’m always researching ancient religions, and I was also raised Jehovah’s Witness, so that kind of scarred me for life. So, yes, I do.”
Later in the interview, Ms. Rodriguez revealed that she kept a series of journals as a child growing up in Jersey City and that she still comes across them from time to time. Can she still relate to those childhood journals?
“I’m like a f***ing onion, man; I’m always peeling. I never got attached to anything I was. I never fall in love with things that I believe in. I always leave room for it to evolve into something else.”
Growing up, Michelle never considered becoming an actress. Her first love was writing and that was what she’d dreamt of throughout her teens. Watching movies with her friends, sometimes 2 or 3 a day, Ms. Rodriguez considered writing for the movies and making films of her own. She had a passion for writing, penning short stories, when she wasn’t making journal entries.
“Some of them were erotic stories. [laughs] That was my hobby. I just loved storytelling. That’s what I thought I would end up doing. I thought I would probably go to school and end up writing for a magazine or something.”
Rodriguez goes on to reveal that she nearly lost her film career over the treatment of her character, Letty, in the Fast & Furious films, recalling that she had felt a responsibility for her Latin character as representative of Latin women in film.
“People don’t like talking about it, but if you’re Spanish, you feel a weight. I don’t have much history—I’ve got Rosie Perez, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Moreno. That’s it. That’s the history of Latin women in Hollywood, really. I’m like, ‘Well, d***, that means that I have to carry a flag.’ I don’t have the freedom to just do anything, because I have the political weight of having this last name and my heritage.”
So what is Michelle up to now, following the filming of Furious 7, which hits theaters in early April?
“I think it’s time to write. I’m going to focus on that. I’ve got about five different projects and all five of them are really expensive. They’re all in treatment form. Everything’s a clusterf**k. So I’m going to spend this entire year cleaning everything. I also have this really cool kids project that I’ve been dying to get off the ground. It’s called Kingdom Come, and I came up with it when I was a kid.”
Milla Jovovich can be seen in Survivor, a film about a Foreign Service Officer on the run from the government, as well as the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Both films are due out in 2015.
Recently, Michelle Rodriguez joined the rest of the Fast & Furious cast in remembering their late co-star, Paul Walker.