EXCLUSIVE: Robert Rodriguez Talks About His Love For Kickass Female Characters

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Mexican American iconoclast Robert Rodriguez writes his female characters strong, fit and ready to rumble. Whether they're holding massive weapons (Michelle Rodriguez in Machete) or wearing them (Sofia Vergara's machine-gun bra in Machete Kills), you best not mess with Rodriguez's ladies. His latest flick, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, starring Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson, promises to be full of badass chicas once again.

It's no wonder -- strong women are as much a part of the celebrated director's imagination as they are part of his DNA. Growing up in a Texas home with six women (five sisters and his mama), Rodriguez got a daily dose of female empowerment. And the tradition continues with his eight-year-old daughter, Rhiannon

Here, Rodriguez discusses his stereotype-defying female characters, the beginning of his work relationship with Salma Hayek, and Rosario Dawson's kick-ass audition for Sin City. Cue the karate chops, explosions and gunpowder residue. Boom!

What comes first -- the character or the actor? 

Usually, I have a character already in mind, but since I'm also a writer, once I meet a certain actress, it will really inspire me to cater the role more to her strengths. It evolves quite a bit depending on whom I cast. 

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