EXCLUSIVE: Freddy Rodriguez Talks Top Rebel Productions, Latinos in Media, and What Comes Next

Freddy Rodriguez at Departure Date premiere
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For nearly 20 years, Freddy Rodriguez has been surprising audiences -- in a good way. The talented actor constantly delivers top quality performances, bringing passion, foritude and poise to his celebrated roles in works such as Six Feet Under, Ugly Betty, Grindhouse, and more. 

Now, the 39-year-old actor is channeling his talents into something entirely new. Along with two partners, Rodriguez has founded Top Rebel Productions, an entertainment company that prioritizes daring storytelling. The company is focused on great stories...and believe that innovative and passionate filmmakers can influence audiences to feel, think, and talk.

We chatted with the boricua about his work with Top Rebel, his upcoming projects, and about his thoughts on Latinos in entertainment. 

Tell us a little bit about your new production company, Top Rebel. 

Top Rebel was started by myself and my two partners, Francisco Lorite and Bill Winett, and it all started when Francisco and I were doing a film together about five years ago. The film fell apart, but even after it fell apart, we maintained a friendship. We always talked about working together again. Throughout the years, we realized we shared the same point of view in the types of projects we wanted to create. We had the same sensibility, and through that, and a friendship and an admiration for those types of projects...we had a need to bring those projects to life.

Our other partner was an old friend of mine who was a very savvy businessman, but also had an artistic sensibility, which was a wonderful balance: to be able to take care of the business end but still understand where we’re coming from. Last year, we decided to go forward and start the company. We figured we wanted to create a project right away that became a calling card for the company and to show the industry and the world the types of projects that we wanted to create through the short film: the level of quality and so on and so forth.

So, we decided to do Mediation. It was written and directed by Francisco, it starred myself and Marley Shelton. Marley and I had a previous relationship, because we worked together on Grindhouse with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. We maintained contact all these years, and I always thought she was an outstanding actress. And when Francisco wrote the script, I immediately thought of her. I wanted the world to see Marley in a different light -- you know, I think she’s really a great actress. So, here we are! The film premiered last week! It has gotten an incredible response. 

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