How Michelle Rodriguez Predicted the Success of the 'Fast & Furious' Franchise

With one movie, Michael Rodriguez went from a Toys R Us employee with zero acting experience to a bona fide movie star. That movie was in 2000 Female fight.

Karyn Kusama joins writer-director Karyn Kusama of the indie tied for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The Hollywood Reporters It happened in Hollywood A podcast commemorating the making of the landmark boxing movie.

From the start, Rodriguez, 21 at the time, saw a blueprint for a lasting career in the glare of mainstream Hollywood.

„I remember very clearly after Sundance, after getting so much attention, she told me what she wanted to do,” Kusama said. „She said, 'You know, there's this video game that I love Resident Evil. Let's see if there is such a film. And if there is, I want to be in it. I read this script which I really liked Fast and Furious. And I think it will be a global franchise that will last for decades. I said, 'Really?' She called it. She knows. To be honest, I didn't see it – but she did, which is kind of amazing.

Rodriguez continues to act Fast and furious In 2001 and in 2002 he appeared alongside Milla Jovovich Resident Evil. He will star in seven films for $8 billion Fast & Furious Right, in 2023 at the latest Fast X. She also appeared that year Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

Despite her sharp Hollywood business sense, Rodriguez was a diamond in the rough when Kusama first met her at a casting audition for a vet call. Female fight.

„We looked at hundreds of actors,” Kusama remembers of her lead actress, Diana Guzman, a New York teen practicing boxing. „We've read so many amazing actors, they might be a little older or they might be a little younger. There were a lot of things that made it difficult.

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„Then we met Michelle at an open call in Times Square. She walked in the last 10 minutes of a six-hour day,” Kusama said.

Rodriguez saw an ad for the exam in a local New Jersey newspaper. „She thought it was cool. … And I brought her in for a few auditions, and I turned her down. I kept firing her because she had no practice,” Kusama said. don't understand

But Kusama, looking back at the tapes, realized there was something unusual about Rodriguez.

„Even when she was confused, there was something interesting about her,” Kusama said. „I felt there was an allure to it that I didn't think you could really measure. So I brought her back and asked her to be a little more prepared each time. She kept on fulfilling that request.

Learn more about preparing Female fight – It gets a The Criterion Edition releases on May 28 – Definitely lIsten in the latest episode It happened in Hollywood And Register.

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