‘Furious 7’s’ Michelle Rodriguez: ‘Sexism Almost Made Me Quit Franchise’
Michelle Rodriguez has revealed that she almost quit The Fast and the Furious franchise because of the story arc that was intended for her character in the original film.
During her chat with the Daily Beast, Rodriguez confirmed that she had a huge problem with the fact that Letty was intended to be involved in a love triangle with Vin Diesel’s Dom Torretto and Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner.
“It was more of a ‘Point Break’ idea,” Rodriguez explained. “They just followed the format without thinking about the reality of it. Is it realistic for a Latin girl who’s with the alpha-est of the alpha males to cheat on him with the cute boy? I had to put my foot down.”
Rodriguez then revealed how she got out of this cinematic conundrum.
“I basically cried and said, ‘I’m going to quit,’ and, ‘Don’t sue me, please – I’m sorry, but I can’t do this in front of millions of people.’ My whole point in being an actress is that I thought I got to live a dream. And I don’t dream about being a slut! Do you?!”
But rather than being pressurized by the studio and creative team into going along with the original draft, she was backed by the film’s lead star, Vin Diesel.
“Vin was the first one to pull me to the side while I was crying,” she declared. “And he just looked at me and said, ‘I got your back. Chill out and let me handle this, and you’re right — it makes me look bad anyway.’ And there you go. That was beginning of the Letty fairytale.”
Rodriguez also admitted that she had to fight for the scene in The Fast & the Furious where she punched a man at the Race Wars.
“I fought for that one too! I fought for the punch, because they didn’t think a girl would ever get involved,” she added. “It’s like, have you ever been to the ghetto, homie? If your boys are fighting and you don’t fight, they make fun of you, they crack on you, they’d probably kick you out of the group.”
Rodriguez reiterated just how strong-willed she is in her fight against cliched roles for women in cinema during her interview with NJ.com.
“I have such a strong sense of self,” she declared. “There are certain lines I just won’t cross. I’m really picky about the parts I choose. I can’t be the slut. I cannot be just the girlfriend. I can’t be the girl who gets empowered because she’s been raped. I can’t be the girl who gets empowered and then dies.”
Furious 7 is now in cinemas across the United States, and it’s even been predicted that it could make as much as $275 million over its opening weekend.