Michelle Rodriguez has made a career out of playing badass ladies you do not want to cross, but she says she is ready to put those days behind her to embrace more feminine roles. To this we say: Noooooo! We understand her desire to branch out, but she is just too good at being bad!
Here's a look at M-Rod in all her tough chica glory. Tell us: Which is your favorite role?
Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
In the upcoming sci-fi thriller Battle: Los Angeles, Michelle is an Air Force Tech Sergeant fighting an invading force of aliens hell bent on taking the west coast city. Rodriguez is claiming this is her last tough girl role, telling any reporter who will listen, "I'm done with it, by the way…It's a decade, and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of holding a gun, I'm tired of being a man. You don't have to be a man to be strong. And I'm kind of embracing the estrogen now."
In Robert Rodriguez’s Mexploitation flick Machete, an eye-patch wearing Rodriguez plays a revolutionary named Luz who has stepped back from her leadership role in order to lay low and run a taco truck—or so it seems. Luz is never too far from the action, and is actually running a covert operation that helps immigrants all across the United States. Luz eventually teams up with Machete to take down Von Jackson (Don Johnson) and his band of aggressive border vigilantes.
Trudy Chacón, Michelle’s character in James Cameron’s Avatar, was ordered to support the Avatar Program, but only a fool would mistake the independent Michelle for someone who takes orders! Flying over the Na’vi’s Tree of Life like a king saddled on a high horse, Trudy—a SecOps pilot who was sympathetic to the Na’vi—helped Jake (Sam Worthington) destroy Colonel Quaritch’s (Stephen Lang) Dragon Assault Ship. In the end she may have died in her Samson aircraft, but in typical Michelle fashion — she went down fighting!
Battle in Seattle (2007)
In Stuart Townsend’s directorial debut, Michelle plays Lou, a passionate young woman who joins a group of anti-globalization activists to stop the 1999 WTO meetings. Based on the real-life events surrounding the four days of protests that rocked the WTO conference, Rodriguez said that the film reminded her that “the power to unify with the masses can be life-changing for everyone."
In the action thriller S.W.A.T., Rodriguez starred opposite Colin Farrell as a member of the LAPD's Special Weapons and Tactics team. Loosely based on the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, Rodriguez plays a police officer who is recruited into the special unit after the team botches a mission and accidently wounds a hostage. The team is eventually tasked with transporting a notorious drug dealer into federal custody after he makes a public offer to pay anyone able to free him $100 million.
Resident Evil (2002)
Michelle’s role in this $102 million-dollar grossing horror film, which is based on the video games Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2, is that of a commando named Rain, who, while other commandos are dropping like flies around her, manages to stay alive long enough to disable “The Queen.” In the end, she’s infected when she gets bitten during a battle with zombies, but as usual, Michelle isn’t afraid to die — not for a second.
The Fast & The Furious (2001)
Michelle played street racer/fuel tank hijacker Letty and girlfriend to Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) in four of the Fast & the Furious movies — and while Vin's guns are on full display in those wife beaters — everyone watching the film knows that it's Michelle's character that you don't want to mess with.
When you think of Latina trailblazers, women in their fifties — like Hilda Solis and Sonia Sotomayor— come to mind. But at the tender age of 21, with her role as Diana Guzman in Girlfight, Michelle became a pioneer for young Latinas who saw her work and had an epiphany: they, too, could be unapologetic, empowered, and butt-kicking. What makes Michelle's work in the film so great is that Hollywood doesn't typically like its females fiery and temperamental, yet Michelle's character — a misbehaved high school senior who turns to boxing to work out her anger issues — is both. Check out the reviews for her work in the film. They say it all.