To date, the “Fast and the Furious” franchise has grossed more than $4 billion worldwide, and it’s not planning on pumping the brakes anytime soon. Throughout the years, the series has been led by make actors like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and The Rock. However, it’s because of that “male-dominated environment” that Michelle Rodriguez has had to fight to make sure her character, Letty Ortiz, always stay true to her roots and receives the respect she deserves, both onscreen and off.
Earlier this week, Rodriguez said she’s considering leaving the franchise if they don’t address a gender issue.
A post shared by Michelle Rodriguez (@mrodofficial) on
On Instagram, Rodriguez reminded fans about the digital release of “F8.” She also used the Instagram post to speak out about the role women have played in the series, saying:
“I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.”
Though the series has added female characters to its roster, Rodriguez feels they haven’t been utilized to their full potential.
FAST AND THE FURIOUS
The cast has recently added female stars to the cast, like Gal Gadot, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron, but Rodriguez isn’t satisfied with their portrayal in the series. As she told Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve been making movies with Jordana, who plays the sister of Dom Toretto, for 16 years and I can count on one hand how many lines I’ve had to her. I think that’s pathetic and it’s lack of creativity.”
Rodriguez understands how important it is to fight for respect and truth.
To lay rest to this whole anger about the screen writing of Fast please don't get mad at me a team of men write this stuff I fix what I can
Rodriguez knows her character well, which is why she always has Letty’s back when it comes to her portrayal. She credits her time in Jersey City as one of the main reasons for this. Rodriguez told EW, “I grew up in a pretty rough environment and I knew what it was like, so every time I posed an argument, it was a logical one and people were really cool about it afterward.”
For Rodriguez, staying true to her character is more important than the paycheck.
FAST AND THE FURIOUS
Rodriguez told EW that if her “heart doesn’t feel right” playing the character, she will leave, “because money, to me, isn’t as important as my lines that you’re not allowed to cross.”
Or, as Letty Ortiz might say:
“If the boys are fighting and you’re a ride or die bitch, you’re gonna get down, so I need to hit somebody. Whether I fall down or get beat up, I don’t care, but I am gonna go down swinging because that’s what women in this environment do and if we’re trying to keep it real then, you know.”
You know what they say: the devil works hard, but Cardi B works harder. After all, there’s nothing in this world she likes more than checks.
The rap superstar is returning to reality TV with a series in partnership with Facebook that is premiering today, December 17th on Facebook Watch.
You heard it here first, folks! Cardi B will be starring in a show called Cardi Tries in which the Grammy winner will try out activities that she’s not well-versed in.
According to the Cardi Tries promo, Belcalis Almánzar will be trying out out ballet, stunt car racing, basketball, making sushi, making wigs, ranching, teaching kindergarten…the list goes on. And of course, the best part about seeing her “try out” everything will be her hilarious reactions. Say what you want about Cardi, but the girl is hilarious.
The premiere episode features Cardi trying out ballet dancing.
Legendary choreographer Debbie Allen asks her if she’s done ballet before, to which she replies “I used to be a stripper.” We then see her doing ballet, her long blue acrylic talons posed in front of her.
To make things more fun, Cardi will be joined on the show by special guests, like fellow Dominicana Michelle Rodriguez, legendary actress and choreographer Debbie Allen and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers.
Facebook Messenger as a part of the app’s new “Watch Together” feature.
Apparently, the “Watch Together” feature will allow Facebook users to watch the show together with other users in real time. Since COVID-19 has made “Watch Parties” a thing of the past, this new feature could definitely give people that sense of togetherness without actually, you know, being together. Viewers will be able to watch Cardi Tries over video calls on Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Messenger Rooms.
This isn’t Cardi’s first foray into the reality TV space.
Many of Cardi’s fans were first introduced to her through Love & Hip Hop, where she stole every scene she was in with her infectious laugh and her catchy Cardi-isms (you know the ones).
Cardi also starred alongside Chance the Rapper and T.I. in the Netflix series Rhythm + Flow in which she judged contestants on their rap skills. It’s safe to say that audiences love to watch her do just about anything.
You can catch new episodes of Cardi Tries every Thursday at 12pm EST on Instagram video chat and Facebook messenger.
Michelle Rodriguez is a queen of the clapback and we shall explain. First things first: according to the Urban Dictionary, that bottomless well of Internet wisdom, a clapback is: “basically a comeback, most likely pumped with attitude, sass and or shade”. There are now famous moments of clapbacking action, such as the glorious moment in which speaker Nancy Pelosi clapped at Donald Trump with equal measures of irony and contempt, wink included (he looks so pleased with himself, what on Earth!).
There is a Latina actress who has mastered the art of literal and metaphorical clapbacking: our very own Michelle Rodriguez. Born on July 12, 1978, in San Antonio, Texas, Rodriguez has garnered worldwide celebrity for her roles in the TV show Lost, blockbusters like Avatar and Resident Evil, the Fast & Furious franchise and the Robert Rodriguez movie universe (including, of course, the Machete saga). If we were to describe Michelle Rodriguez with a word, it would be “badass.” She is una mujer hecha y derecha that exudes self-confidence inside and outside the screen. We mean, just look at her! After all, she once said: “You can keep knocking me down forever, I’ll keep getting up and trying”.
She dares to be herself as a life-defining philosophy.
Credit: Giphy. Anonymous
Being a woman in this world is not easy, and even more so if you are part of an ethnic minority and you have publicly come out as bisexual. There are still a lot of pendejos in this world, and being a bisexual Latina could put some in a place of vulnerability. But not Michelle Rodriguez, she doesn’t take mierda from anybody. There have been interviews, for example, when things have gotten a bit… well… uncomfortable, but Michelle always has a quick response to her critics. She has said that she considers herself more of an activist than an actor, and she often uses Twitter and Instagram to voice her support for just causes and her disdain for the political class (a Donald Trump le deben de estar zumbandi los oidos).
When she faced “rumors” about her sexuality in the best possible way: coming out.’
Credit: Giphy. @machetekills
In 2013 Michelle was sick and tired of reporters being interested in her sexuality, so she said in a very direct, awesome way: “I don’t talk about what I do with my vagina, and they’re all intrigued. I’ve never walked the carpet with anyone, so they wonder: What does she do with her vagina? Plus, I play a butchy girl all the time, so they assume I’m a lesbo.” She told Entertainment Weekly: “I’ve gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too f—ing curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.” So basically, everyone please mind their own business.
When her role in [re]Assignment was deemed as transphobic.
Credit: Screen-Shot-2016-09-12-at-6.53.55-PM. Digital image. Uno Getaway
In 2016 Rodriguez acted in a film called [re]Assignment, in which she played a hitman who is then undergoing a sex reassignment surgery at the hands of an evil doctor played by Sigourney Weaver. Michelle said that the film was “a culture shock pic” that she made to express her frustration with the film industry. She wrote on her Instagram: ““The industry seems to be running low on edgy creativity & ‘real take a chance’ controversy, sometimes it makes me want to scream, instead I did what I always do when I’m bored with the ‘status quo’, I shot crazy b movie Indy to express my frustration.” The movie is directed by cult filmmaker Walter Hill. To be fair, critics did have a point here, as the gender politics of the film are reminiscent of 1970s exploitation cinema, which was hypermasculine and uber-white.
When she totally nailed a girly look at Cannes, throwing shade to those who describe her as “too masculine.”
Credit: 13777606-7055253-image-a-1_1558463702262. Digital image. Daily Mail UK.
Online haters often criticize Rodriguez for her gender-bending persona. Earlier this year she attended the famed film festival. The Daily Mail, which is famous for being both scandalous and conservative, said: “But Michelle Rodriguez shunned her signature edgy look in favor of a softer appearance as she attended the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood premiere.” You get them, Mich! Why can’t folk just understand that there are many shades of femininity and that they do not always involve tutus and pink cotton candy?
When she threatened to leave the Fast & Furious franchise over the treatment of female characters… that’s some sass, tiene los ovarios bien puestos.
Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.
If you are the leading female star in one of the most successful franchises of all time you just go along with the ride despite anything, right? Well, not our dear Michelle Rodriguez, who threatened to leave the franchise because women in the films were one-dimensional and basically treated as sexy objects that dudes babean over.
This was the Instagram post in which she casually and with plenty of sass declared his displeasure with the scriptwriters.
Credit: Instagram. @mrodofficial
We are sure she got the studio heads (must likely a bunch of dudes) all nervous and sweaty! That is the only way to push inclusivity in Hollywood, though, really pushing for it. By the way, Michelle’s antics worked: she returned to the franchise to film #9 only after the studio hired a female writer. Well done, Michelita.
The best clapback of all: being a true professional
Credit: Widows / Regency Enterprises
Throughout the years, Michelle has gotten a sort of reputation in Hollywood. Her frankness is sometimes judged as “difficult.” Renowned director Steve McQueen was told not to work with her when he sought her for a role in his acclaimed film noir Widows. But the Irish director, a Black man, refused to follow this advice. The director told IndieWire: “But people say that about me. If you’re a white director, they call you a perfectionist. Me, they call difficult. So I didn’t pay any mind to what people say about Michelle, because I had to find out for myself.” Michelle’s discreet clapback came in the form of a tender, deep and powerful performance where she explores a sort of feminine softness and vulnerability not usual in her career.
When she basically pointed fingers at the vanity that dictates the lives of Hollywood folk.
Credit: Instagram. @mrodofficial
In a conversation for Interview magazine conducted by her pal Milla Jovovich, she said: “I enjoy vanity like the best of them. But I can’t stick to any of that lifestyle for too long because when its true colors come out, it’s empty and cold and soulless. So I have to travel and go find some real people.” In the same conversation, she served a brutal assessment of the industry and the lack of meaty roles for women: “I’d love to see four girls who actually get along in a movie that’s not about chasing some guy or marrying somebody. Like, where the f–k is our ‘Pulp Fiction?’ Where is our ‘Reservoir Dogs’? Where’s that cool s–t with the chicks kicking ass, having some fun?”