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Michelle Rodriguez Predicted ‘Fast And Furious’ Will Be A Global Success Before Playing The Role

The ‘Girlfight’ director recalls Rodriguez’s predictions for the ‘Fast and Furious’ series well before it became popular.

Michelle Rodriguez kicked off her acting career with ‘Girlfight’ in 2000. Writer-director Karyn Kusama discussed the actress’s insights into her career following the indie film’s release on the ‘It Happened in Hollywood’ podcast:

“I remember really vividly after Sundance, after getting all this attention, she was telling me what she wanted to do. She was like, ‘You know, there’s this video game I love called ‘Resident Evil.’ I really want to see if there’s a movie of that. And if there is, I want to be in it. And I read this script that I really loved called ‘Fast and Furious.’ And I think it’s going to be a like global franchise that will last decades.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ She called it. She knew. To be honest, I didn’t see it — but she did, which is kind of amazing.”

Rodriguez did star in 2001’s ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and 2002’s ‘Resident Evil’ with Milla Jovovich. She appeared in seven movies of the $8 billion ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise since then.

Her final role as Letty Ortiz came in 2023’s ‘Fast X.’ She also played in ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ that year.

The Actress’s Way Into Acting

Michelle Rodriguez worked at Toys ‘R’ Us without any acting experience before her ‘Girlfight’ role. Kusama recalled how the 21-year-old landed the role of Diana Guzman, saying:

“We looked at hundreds of actors. We read so many wonderful actors and maybe they were a little too old or they were a little too tiny. There were so many things that made it hard. And then we met Michelle at an open call on Times Square. She Rollerbladed in during the last 10 minutes of a six-hour day.”

The actress ‘kept messing up her lines’ during the auditions, but the director thought she was right for the part after watching her tapes:

“There was something interesting about her, even when she was sort of messing up. And I felt like there was a charisma involved in that, that I don’t think you can really quantify. So, I just kept bringing her back and kind of asking her to be a little bit more prepared each time. And she kept meeting that request.”

‘Girlfight’ is getting a Criterion Edition release on May 28.

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