EXCLUSIVE: Michelle Rodriguez Talks 'Turbo' & Coming Out: "I Wanted to Be Honest"

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What was the best part about portraying Paz?

I just love that girl! There’s something about her. The independent girl, who works on her own and doesn’t depend on anyone else but her own hard work to survive. I think there’s something really cool about that character. And I find myself playing that type of character a lot.

What drew you to the film Turbo?

I thought it really cute! You know for a long time I just wanted to create something where I didn’t have to worry about the integrity of the character and I think with cartoons that’s your best bet. So when this project came across the table, I literally jumped at the chance and said get out of town! I don’t have to dress up? I get to show up and use my voice and play? I don’t have to change anything? This is awesome! It was a dream come true for me.

You have spoken out a lot about women in the entertainment industry. Can you tell us more about your views on how we are represented?

You know, I think there’s a lot of gold in there and there’s lots of diamonds in the rough you can find in the film industry. I love me some Meryl Streep, I love some Cate Blanchett. I love a lot of amazing actresses that are not just doing it, but doing amazing, inspiring work. There’s a generation gap and then there is this sexualized, I think sexualized strength, which isn’t real. It’s a guy’s version of what a strong woman should be. It’s either this tomboy who acts like a dude, which I’ve played for a grand majority of my career, or she’s this completely dripping wet with sex creature, with is completely incredulous to profit. You just can’t believe there’s this individual just oozing sex with their outfit and attracts everything that walks. It’s just weird, I just feel like more women need to get in there and tell stories.

If you look at the statistics, it’s sad the fact that 30 percent of women in the industry aren’t inclined to give a female perspective of the story. And I’m talking about women who are heads of studios, I’m talking about producers, I’m talking about actresses, I’m talking about directors. There are 51 percent of women in the United States, which means there are more women than men. And only 30 percent of them get to talk about what it’s like to be a woman in Hollywood? I think that’s sad. I think it’s pathetic. I look at the market and I’m like wow, that’s a lot of space, we need to get in there.

You recently opened up about your love life and that quote to EW had everyone buzzing. We’ve noticed you’re usually very private, what made you want to speak out?

I’m getting older. Eventually it’s going to wrinkle up and I’m not going to be able to use it. I wanted to be honest about who I am and see what happens.

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About this author

Priscilla Rodriguez, Associate Editor

Priscilla Rodriguez is Latina.com’s Associate Editor. She provides coverage on nearly every topic with a focus on celebrity entertainment. Before hitting the pavement at Latina, Priscilla worked for various outlets including Teen.com, InStyle and Us Weekly. You can follow her on Twitter @priscilrodrig.

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