Why Michelle Rodriguez of ‘Fast & Furious’ Typecast Herself: ‘I’m Not in it for the Acting’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Michelle Rodriguez smiling

Usually, actors wish to keep away from being typecast as a result of it limits their potential revenue and success sooner or later. It can be tough from a purely artistic standpoint to be trapped in a single form of function when an actor needs to department out and check out new issues. Some actors are in a position to efficiently shake the confines of a typecast persona, however many find yourself spending their total profession taking part in the identical primary half time and again. 

Michelle Rodriguez, who rose to fame by means of her efficiency in The Fast & Furious franchise, is certainly related to one particular kind of character, however she has embraced this id and even says she deliberate it that means! 

Michelle Rodriguez smiling
Michelle Rodriguez | Toni Anne Barson/Getty Images

Michelle Rodriguez rose to fame as Letty

Rodriguez started her appearing profession again in 2000 with a component within the movie Girlfight, in line with IMDb. The very subsequent 12 months, she appeared in her most iconic function as Letty in The Fast the Furious. She would reprise this half within the movie’s many sequels: Fast & Furious (2009), Fast and Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), and The Fate of the Furious (2017). Letty is the childhood sweetheart — and eventual spouse — of lead character Dominic Toretto (performed by Vin Diesel). 

This character typifies the typecast that Rodriguez would go on to face for the remainder of her profession. Letty is a horny dangerous woman who’s fiercely loyal to her lover and unafraid to interrupt the principles. She’s witty, scorching, and infrequently portrayed as darkish and brooding with a sarcastic streak that may sting as a lot as any slap. Rodriguez would go on to painting comparable characters in different movies together with Machete (2010) and The Assignment (2016). 

Michelle Rodriguez embraces her typecast function

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A Reddit thread poking enjoyable on the consistency in Rodriguez’s character begins out with the quip “Ok Michelle, in this movie you will play the badass chick who holds a gun and doesn’t play by the rules.” Basically, this description might apply to a number of of Rodriguez’s roles. The followers are laughing about it, however Rodriguez herself appears completely tremendous to play her half. 

According to Hollywood News, she opened up about being typecast, and had this to say: “I used to be typecast the minute I did a movie referred to as Girlfight years in the past.” She went on to say, “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 or playing someone with mental illness.” 

A special definition of success drives Michelle Rodriguez

Rodriguez readily admits that she is working by her personal definition of success. “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,” Rodriguez defined. Instead, she is aiming for a distinct form of achievement. “I only wanna be someone or 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.”

She says that she turned down roles that left her feeling much less empowered. The result? “[E]ventually I just got left with the strong chick that’s always being killed and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Rodriguez insists. 

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