Michelle Rodriguez Knows How To Shutdown Haters And Rumors One Clapback At A Time
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?”