Fast & Furious stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster were greeted with the sounds of cheers and applause from a large crowd of fans as they arrived to the world premiere of Furious 7 . Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese, Ludacris and Jason Statham were also present to watch the final installment of the Fast & Furious series, which was screened at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Diesel took time out during the premiere to pay tribute to co-star Paul Walker, who died tragically before Furious 7was completed. “I’m going to tell you something, last year it was really hard to come back to work,” said Diesel, adding: “This movie is more than a movie. You’ll feel it when you see it. Something emotional happens to you.”
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?”
With “Avengers: Endgame” topping box office charts, you might want to see the main cast try their hand at Spanish before you hit the theaters. Thanks to every good Latin reporter, we have clips of Tom Holland to Zoe Saldana speaking our tongue the best ways they know how.
Be warned. In this interview compilation provided by YouTube channel FilmArtsy, there is little to no context. Just Spanish. Disfrute.
Zoe Saldana is the picture (and sound) of beauty como siempre.
Saldana starts off by saying, en Español, that “The last twenty years in U.S. have been very difficult, but also in Cuba…” She tells us how she loves playing such a decent, rich character who is skilled in her business.
Chris Hemsworth (a.k.a. Thor) gives us all the Spanish he knows. It’s not much and is totally random.
He starts out by saying, “Buena suerte! Which means ‘good luck’ for all you English speakers out there, which is basically me because I’m not really that versed in Spanish. Or am I? Adios, gracias! Un cafe con leche por favor. Si. Buenas noches.”
Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier) and Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) play a similar game.
“Corazon. Ay dios mio,” seems to be their response to the question of if they know Spanish. When the Latina reporter asks if that’s all the Spanish they know, they start shouting out random words. “Mas o menos. Fuego. Dulce. La película! Chocolate. Papi Chulo.”
Latino Michael Peña is known from “Ant-Man” and gives us a puro Spanglish interview.
He’s fluent in Spanish but some words escape him like “prep school” and “priests.” Honestly, this is the most authentic way we have ever heard a Latino speak Spanish as an American.
Tom Holland (Spiderman) trying to guess Spanish words is an ego-booster we all need.
This video has already gone viral once before, but his answer is too good not to share: “Oooh. Es–cute—Ella. Es-school-ah. Can I come back to that one? I think I do know what that is.”
Apparently, Jeremy Renner used to teach Spanish in high school.
He tells the reporter that he understands what she’s saying but that he’s lost the motor skills he once had as a Spanish teacher. He then goes into teacher mode saying, “Escucha. Calmate. Chiquitica.”
Vin Diesel (Groot) is really into Nicky Jam.
He asks the host, “Tu sabes Nicky Jam?” Immediately he gets up and starts dancing to Nicky Jam but is confused and starts calling out for the Puerto Rican singer.
“Nicky! Y que? Nicky Jam, y que? Donde está?” When the host says que “no está aquí,” Diesel laments, “Y por que?!”
The most shocking level of fluency was Gwyneth Paltrow.
When asked what her favorite place is, she tells the reporter that she loved Liverpool when she was working there. But then she went to London and loved taking photos in front of Big Ben and had a lot of fun.
Baby Robert Downing Jr. was seen hosting a game show in Spanish?
There is little to no context here and he did say “dee” instead of “de” so maybe this was back when they were hiring white people for Latin roles?
Tom Hiddleston takes on a classic Spanish tongue twister.
Say “¿Cómo quieres que te quiera si él que quiero que me quiera no me quiere como quiero que me quiera?” three times fast. He didn’t do so bad!
Chris Pratt is still Chris Pratt in Spanish.
“Muy buenas directes de español. *Knock Knock Knock* Hola a mi representa mechanical shop. Especial por treinta personas. Cuatro cambio de siete por veinte dólares. Bien si?”
I’m sorry, que que?
Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie singing Feliz Navidad seems like a good time.
Anthony Mackie gives an enviously good Mexican trill at the end. Clearly, he is more connected to the culture than people might know.