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Dude, So Many Latinos Are Going To Be Part Of The Academy, Finally!

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has spent the last two years fighting the assertion that it only cares about white people. Finally, this year, the Academy is taking steps to change the culture of the media company and awards ceremony by inducting the most diverse class in its history. Out of the 683 new Academy members, there are more than 50 Latinos and Latinas ready to make some change. ¡Orale! (or ¡Wepa!, whichever you prefer).

Earlier this year, the Oscars were once again called out for their lack of diversity.

Credit: @lupitanyongo / Instagram

Remember that #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that took over social media?

And the celebs took no time in tweeting, Instagramming and shouting their outrage. Gina Rodriguez weighed in:

Movement Monday's. This is Oscar Isaac. He is a Guatemalan American actor. This is a picture from Ex Machina directed by Alex Garland and was released this past year. With all this Oscar Talk and lack of diversity I decided to start a movement and speak from the perspective of a Latina American who desires to see more Latinos on screen. There are 55 million Latinos in this country and although we all come from various backgrounds our unity can make a movie explode at the box office or a tv show soar to the highest viewers possible. The better these projects do financially, the more money they will spend on putting Latinos In blockbuster films, as leads in tv shows Etc. My solution is this, support is needed. Right now there isn't one Latino that can Greenlight a movie. That means no studio will put their money behind a Latino face as a lead of a movie because they don't believe we can make their money back. I am told time and time again "Latinos dont watch Latino Movies. Latinos don't support each other" and sadly that is true. I'm not saying go and see a movie you don't like to blind support, im saying if you want to see us represented on film and tv, if you want to see Latinos nominated for Oscars, we NEED to support one another. The industry sees money, the excuse can't just be racism. We can make a difference in a very powerful way if we unite our support as one Latino community. Oscar Isaac, in my opinion had an Oscar worthy performance in this film. Let's start making noise with where it matters most, where we put our dollars. Go support these films, watch these shows (mine is on tonight by the way, shameless promotion feel free to watch on the CW) and we can take making a change into our own hands. Each Monday I will highlight a latino artist we can support. Let us use our numbers and powerful voices to prove we support one another, to prove we can make a box office hit, to prove they need to support all the various Latino cultures in the media. That can be one part of the solution, so next year we have many movies that are worthy of Oscar contention! #MovementMondays Pick any Latino currently working we can support!

A photo posted by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

Credit: @hereisgina / Instagram

Rodriguez started #MovementMondays on social media to shine a light on Latinos who she felt weren’t being given their due. That was probably because most people in the Academy were white males, but who can really be sure?

So the Academy is doing something about it. It has invited 683 new members, which include lots of women and people of color. To be specific, 46 percent of the new members are female and 41 percent of the new members are people of color. ?

Credit: @TheAcademy / Twitter

Some of the invitees include America Ferrera.

Credit: @AmericaFerrera / Twitter

You might recognize her from a little Disney Original movie called “Gotta Kick It Up!” and her portrayal of Helen Chávez in the Cesar Chávez biopic.

Jorge R. Gutierrez, Animator/Director

Credit: @mexopolis / Twitter

“Book of Life.” ‘Nuff said.

Jacob Vargas, Actor

Credit: @TheJacobVargas / Twitter

Not only was he too in the Cesar Chávez biopic, but Vargas really honed it in for his role in “The 33.”

Luis Guzmán, Actor

Credit: @IamLuisGuzman / Twitter

Pretty sure this dude doesn’t need much of an introduction.

Daphne Zuniga, Actor

Credit: @DaphneZuniga / Twitter

She has been the driving force for shows like “Spaceballs” and “One Tree Hill.”

Michelle Rodriguez, Actor

Credit: @mrodofficial / Instagram

Good to know there is someone willing to vote just based on talent.

And here is a list of the rest:

Gabriel Gutiérrez, Sound

Fernando Velásquez, Composer

Raúl Antonio Dávalos, Editor

Walter Rippell, Casting Director

Carlos Reygadas, Writer

Enrique Castillo, Actor

Ignacio López Tarso, Actor

Silvia Pinal, Actor

Sal Lopez, Actor

Pepe Serna, Actor

Sara Bilbatua, Casting Director

Lucrecia Martel, Director

Carmen Cuba, Casting Director

Rodrigo Teixeira, Producer

Julie Carmen, Actor

Manuel Teil, Casting Director

Laura Amelia Guzmán, Director

Bárbara Alvarez, Cinematographer

Lula Carvalho, Cinematographer

Enrique Chediak, Cinematographer

Félix Monti, Cinematographer

Pilar Revuelta, Designer

Israel Cárdenas, Director

Juan Antonio Garcia Bayona, Director

Maria Novaro, Director

Affonso Gonçalves, Editor

Pedro Kos, Documentarian/Editor

Sebastián Lelio, Writer

Bernat Vilaplana, Editor

Patricia Riggen, Director

Beatrice De Alba, Make Up Artist

Sonia Grande, Costume Designer

Anna Muylaert, Director

Antonio Pinto, Composer

Belén Atienza, Producer

Fernando Bovaira, Producer

Esther García Rodríguez, Producer

Marisa Paredes, Actor

Renato Dos Anjos, Animator

Pato Escala, Animator

Luis Valdez, Director

Gabriel Osorio, Animator

Pablo Valle, Animator

Roberto Fernandez, Sound

Vera Blasi, Writer

Oscar Isaac, Actor

Eva Mendes, Actor

Jorge Perugorría, Actor

Cecilia Roth , Actor

Tessa Thompson, Actor

Israel Cárdenas, Director

Laura Amelia Guzmán, Director

Lucía Puenzo, Director


READ: Now’s a Good Time to Revisit the Time Chris Rock Said Mexicans Don’t Get Enough Love from Hollywood

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

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

mrodofficial / Instagram

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?”

READ: Michelle Rodriguez Refused To Do ‘Fast & Furious 9’ Until A Female Screenwriter Was Hired

24 Crazy ‘Fast & Furious Facts’ Fans Didn’t Know About

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24 Crazy ‘Fast & Furious Facts’ Fans Didn’t Know About

Just think about this: when the first Fast & Furious was released, George W. Bush was into the first year of his presidency, the world had just survived the Y2K scare (when everyone expected computer systems to go loco at the turn of the millennium) and the new post 9-11 world order hadn’t been established. Everyone talks about Marvel and Star Wars, but in fact, the Fast & Furious franchise has been as perdurable and has opened ground in the massive Chinese market, where the films sometimes make more money than in the United States. Who would have said that illegal car racing and espionage would be so profitable?

The franchise propelled Vin Diesel and The Rock into worldwide superstardom and has created legends, such as that of the late and much beloved Paul Walker. The franchise has been a consummate star-maker machine. 

The Fast and the Furious (2001)
A brief recap: Domic Toretto (Vin Diesel) organizes illegal street races and the Los Angeles police think he is behind a series of truck robberies. Cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) goes undercover, joining his carritos de carreras crew!

Here are some facts that every fan of the high octane film series should know about each of the eight (sí, ocho, son un chingo!) feature movies release so far! 

Michelle Rodriguez didn’t have a driver’s license (not even a permit!) before she started shooting!

Credit: The Fast and the Furious / Universal Pictures

But we know she is a total badass, so she, of course, managed to be awesome. 

Talking about our Lady Rodriguez, she was dating Vin Diesel in real life during the shoot (par de guapos)

Credit: The Fast and the Furious / Universal Pictures

The chemistry is evident onscreen, so we can only imagine what went on inside those movie set trailers… 

The plot is VERY similar to the classic Keanu Reeves film Point Break

Credit: Point Break/ Largo Entertainment

The classic Hollywood trope of a cop infiltrating a presumed criminal organization will never die! 

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
A brief recap: Brian O’Conner seeks the help of a childhood friend and now street racer to bust a dangerous kingpin.

The film was directed by John Singleton, the first Black man to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Director.

Credit: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

A total legend of the silver screen. He was nominated for his classic urban tale Boyz N’ The Hood. He died last month. 

Paul Walker performed a lot of the stunts in the film.

Credit: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

He is missed, and this kind of dedication is what made him a legend in the history of action cinema. 

Vin Diesel turned down $25 million to appear in this film

Credit: 2 Fast 2 Furious / Universal Pictures

He said that the films were being produced like serialized movies in the 80s, thinking of quantity over quality. He would return, of course! 

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
A brief recap: A slight deviation from the main plot… a teenager called Sean Boswell moves to Tokyo to avoid going to prison in the US… and of course he enters the street racing scene

More than 100 cars were destroyed or damaged to make this movie

Credit: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift/ Universal Pictures

Talk about the excesses of Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking! It is pretty cool, though!

Universal practically begged Vin Diesel to make a cameo

 

Credit: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift/ Universal Pictures

This happened after an early screening of the film did terribly with test audiences. 

The film happens in 2013, which back in 2006 was 7 years into the future!

Credit: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift / Universal Pictures

This is such a vexing script choice… it does look a little futuristic though. We wonder if they even imagined that the franchise would still be going by then. 

Fast & Furious (2009)
A brief recap: The return of Vin Diesel! Brian and Dominic team up to fight a heroin smuggler

Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot made her screen debut here!

Credit: Fast & Furious / Universal Pictures

She was as fierce and amazing then as she is now…  a true female symbol! 

Rapidito, a componer!

Credit: Fast & Furious / Universal Pictures

Universal made the sudden decision to release the film in April instead of June, so composer Brian Tyler was only given three days to work on the score. What a genius… the music is upbeat and truly communicates the adrenaline-infused theme. 

Now Brian is no longer blond… OK… 

Credit: Fast & Furious / Universal Pictures

Paul Walker basically OWNED the franchise (not financially, but artistically). His character changed hair color all of a sudden with no explanation. 

Fast Five (2011)
A brief recap: This is the epitome of a heist movie. Dominic Toretto is in the grips of a Brazilian drug lord, so he and his crew need to buy their freedom.

Director Justin Lin sort of hates digital FX, so most of the car stunts are as real as it gets

Credit: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

This is what has made this franchise survive: a true commitment to the craft of traditional filmmaking despite the massive advances that digital technology has made since 2001. 

This was the first movie in the franchise to be shown in IMAX. 

Credit: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

Grandecito se ve más bonito, no doubt about it. 

Joaquim de Almeida (Reyes, the kingpin) is often cast as a big mafia boss

Credit: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

Point in case, is role as Governor Vargas in Queen of the South, the gringo remake of our own La reina del Sur

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
A brief recap: The Rock is here! Dominic and Brian get together again to tackle on a team of mercenaries

Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is teased with Avengers references

Credit: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

They call him Captain America, “Samoan Thor” and The Hulk. Well, those are pretty cool comparisons we think. 

Justin Lin es un necio and it paid off! No CGI!

Credit: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

The tank scene is so complicated in terms of logistics that the studio insisted on digital imagery. The director refused and we are thankful for that. Look at this behind-the-scenes shot that reveals how complex it all was! 

Paul Walker passed away the year the film was released

Credit: Furious 7 / Universal Pictures
Credit: Fast & Furious 6 / Universal Pictures

He died on November 30, 2013. The studio donated part of the DVD sales to Walker’s foundation Reach Out WorldWide. 

Furious 7 (2015)
A brief recap: Jason Statham is here! Another action movie powerhouse graces the franchise as a man who seeks revenge against Dominic and his muchachos.

This is the last film featuring Paul Walker

Tribune UK

Stunt doubles, body doubles, and CGI was needed to complete Walker’s appearance in the film. Such a sad moment for the franchise, truly bittersweet as a homage to the actor. They also rescued some unused footage from the previous films. 

Paul’s brothers Caleb and Cody helped out

Credit: 878431-paulmain-1430381325. Digital image. Tribune UK

They are two of the doubles, and they also lent their voices for some voice-over dialogue for the character of Brian. 

Denzel Washington turned down a minor role in the film, so the producers had to settle with… 

Credit: Furious 7 / Universal Pictures

Mr Kurt Russell… TBH, we love him in this role as the enigmatic Mr Nobody. 

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
A brief recap: Dom is seduced by a super intelligent and gorgeous woman… with unexpected consequences

The shooting of the film revealed that there is not a lot of love between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson

Credit: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

Some scenes featuring Johnson were deleted and this seemed to be Vin Diesel’s doing. As always, Johnson was a gentleman, but the rift was evident. 

Iceland passes as Russia

Credit: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

The plot includes several scenes in Russia, but in fact, they were shot in Iceland. These scenes include the biggest, meanest explosion ever shot in the Nordic country. 

The dance that Hobbs performs with his soccer team is a Haka, a traditional warrior dance from the Pacific Islands

Credit: The Fate of the Furious / Universal Pictures

Dwayne Johnson is a proud, fierce islander!

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