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“Might as well go do the s*xy thing for a while”: Avatar Star Michelle Rodriguez Wanted To Do Sexier Roles, Got Fed Up of Being Typecast as the ‘Tough B**ch’

"Might as well go do the s*xy thing for a while": Avatar Star Michelle Rodriguez Wanted To Do Sexier Roles, Got Fed Up of Being Typecast as the 'Tough B**ch'

Fast & Furious franchise actor Michelle Rodriguez began her rise to fame as a regular cast member in the film series and as one of its primary female protagonists. However, the Latin-American actor soon grew tired of her rapport in Hollywood for reasons quite opposite to what usually haunts female actors in the industry.

The typecasting of talents is nothing new to the ear, but it does end up affecting most people due to the limiting exposure to their potential. As such, the obvious solution was to seek to break out of the mold, and for Michelle Rodriguez, the search began ever since she became a joke for playing tough girl roles.

Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez

Also read: “I don’t dream about being a sl*t”: Fast and Furious Star Michelle Rodriguez Almost Quit Franchise For Controversial Scene With Paul Walker, Returned After Vin Diesel Intervened

Michelle Rodriguez Wants to Play a S*xier Hollywood Role

Michelle Rodriguez spoke to Contact Music at length about why the actress feels her talents have become saturated within the industry. Although as an actor, one feels to stretch out the limits of their potential, that was never, particularly the case with her. Instead, Rodriguez began to question her talents and her career arc after a friend called her a “prude” in front of the lens for not playing more sensational or feminine characters.

“She was making fun of me. I was focused on being kind of like, an example for Latinas; I didn’t want them to be thinking that s*xy is the only way to be powerful.

But, y’know man, I’m gonna wrinkle up and lose it one day, and she reminded me of it, so I was like, ‘I might as well put it to some use and go do the s*xy thing for a while.’ Why not?”

Michelle Rodriguez in Fast & Furious 9
Michelle Rodriguez in Fast & Furious 9

Also read: 15 Underrated Strong Female Characters From Movies And TV

So she gathered herself up and stepped (after careful consideration and a much-needed convincing) into a vastly different role in a Steve McQueen film when it crossed her path. The 2018 emotional drama, Widows, challenged Michelle Rodriguez more than her usual array of films does, and although it did freshen up her palate a bit, the question still haunted her as to why she would want to play a weak b**ch?” or portray “the reality of poverty in the ghetto? I grew up like that.”

But with that question also came a realization — “I looked at myself, and I saw this surface layer, Papier-mâché creature with no dimension, and I said, ‘I need to do this movie’” — and that delivered the impetus that she needed to step beyond her comfort zone in search of something that, for once, did not need her to be defiantly independent or fiercely assertive to portray a strong female character.

Michelle Rodriguez Critiques Hollywood For Typecasting Her

It was first revealed in an interview with The Playlist in 2010 that Michelle Rodriguez, the familiar face from the Vin Diesel-helmed franchise, began to grow restless and frustrated with the lack of variety and choice in her roles in films. Her indomitable and fierce characterizations had never bothered the audiences, but as an actor, she felt the need to be presented with something wildly different — something that does not require her to portray the tough girl.

“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.”

Michelle Rodriguez in Avatar
Michelle Rodriguez in Avatar

Also read: “Can’t put a price tag on family”: Fans Troll Fast and Furious Franchise as Fast X Budget Increases To $340M – Making it the Third Most Expensive Movie in Human History

However, when one is well-established within the entertainment business for a particular personality that they portray, breaking out of that characterization is easier said than done. Roles in box-office-breaking films like James Cameron’s Avatar too saw her playing a skilled Marine pilot with a mind of her own.

Rodriguez’s latest Fast & Furious franchise installment, Fast X premieres in theatres on May 19, 2023.

Source: Contact Music

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.