Michelle Rodriguez, her own worst enemy?
Michelle Rodriguez is a bad-ass, and I am talking about the persona of the actress and her screen image, not the person as I don't really know her, yet I can say two things about the real person. One, she is very polite to fans and two, she shares with the characters she plays a no-nonsense attitude. I like her.
In an interview she was doing at Comic-Con, she was asked about being typecast, and her response was far from the usual defensive, speculative spin, she came right out with it and delivered it honestly. You know not only do I admire her for some of the cool roles she plays, but also for her seeming honesty and openness off set.
Michelle Rodriguez doesn't play the fawning female lead, she's always the supporting, bad-ass, hard action, fully trained, female, and I love almost all of her characters. There's sometimes a chink in that persona though and we do get to see some emotion from the character, believe it or not we saw some in The Fast and Furious, and also in Avatar (Filmstalker review).
She's not all about the harder roles either, well she almost always is, looking at her career list The Jesuit stands out at the top as something that may be taking her in a different direction. Barring that, it's hard-ass all the way.
Don't get me wrong though, she's got a gorgeous smile, looks fabulous, can act, and knows weapons and combat tactics, I think she's great. Oh and I'm not saying that because I'm in fear I might ever meet her, far from it.
So when The Playlist asked her about being typecast, she came back with usual confidence and her no-nonsense answer:
"Oh baby, I was typecast the minute I did a film called, 'Girlfight' years ago. That has nothing to do with anything, it just to do with... you allow yourself to be typecast. If I decided I didn't want to be typecast tomorrow I'd just go do an indie film where I play some poor girl who goes through some excruciating experience and win myself an award for crying or being raped [breaks into laughter] or playing someone with mental illness. But at the end of the day I'm not in it for the acting. If I were in it for the acting then I would be worried about people not giving me the opportunity to express my vast array of emotions on the screen.
I could give two [expletive removed - Richard]. I only wanna be someone I respect or someone that I consider interesting or fun. I'm here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength and that's what I've done for the last 10 years, and people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box for saying no to everything else that came on my plate. Saying no to the girlfriend, saying no to the girl that gets captured, no to this, no to that. and eventually I just got left with the strong chick that's always being killed and there's nothing wrong with that."
I really like that response, don't you wish more stars were that brutally honest? Actually I have no problem with her taking roles like that either, I like seeing her in roles like that. However, it would be nice to see her take on some stronger acting roles, but only if she wants to! Perhaps Paul Schrader's The Jesuit will offer that?
She was being interviewed for Battle: Los Angeles, the film that sees an alien invasion locally in Los Angeles that is spreading across the world, and it's from the perspective of the military platoon who are on the front line, how they would engage with it and how they would attempt to survive it.
Her character is an Army tech that is thrown into the front line and when technology is out the window she reverts to her Army training.
Apparently it's based on a real life incident, which itself is nicknamed Battle of Los Angeles or The Great Los Angeles Air Raid. During the first few months of America's engagement in World War II lights were seen over Los Angeles and air raid sirens were sounded, anti-aircraft fire engaged the lights which just disappeared. The usual cover-ups were shouted about and aliens were said to be to blame, and the government stated that it was a false alarm over a possible Japanese air attack heightened by stray flares and war nerves. You can read more about it on Wikipedia.
So back to the topic in hand, what do you think of Michelle Rodriguez? Do you like her characters, do you want to see more from her, or could you not care less? Should she take better roles and diversify, or do you respect her choices?