Typecasting is a double edged sword. We’re not talking about racist typecasting where we Latinos can only play maids and gang members. That always sucks. We mean when an actor keeps getting cast as similar characters. This has happened to some of our finest actors. How many times have we seen Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel play gangsters? Has Samuel L. Jackson ever been anything but Jules from “Pulp Fiction”? Even in the Star Wars prequels, it seemed like Mace Windu was going to drop the F bomb at any second. Doing the same role can be creatively unfulfilling and boring. However, you are working which is better than 98% of actors out there. This kind of typecasting has occurred in the career of Michelle Rodriguez. She essentially plays the same part in every movie: badass Latina with a gun. Like most actors who gets typecast, she is really good at playing that one thing. She is the Platonic form of the badass Latina with a gun. We have no doubt she could do something dramatic or funny, and we hope someone gives her a chance. For now, we can enjoy these 5 iconic roles for our Latina Sigourney Weaver.
“Avatar”, also known as the love child of “The Smurfs” and “Ferngully: The Last Rainforest”, stars Michelle as Trudy Chacon. She is a space helicopter pilot on the human base. She scowls throughout the movie. Michelle scowls better than anyone in Hollywood. She is recruited by species traitor Jake Sully to help the giant blue cat people defeat the ambiguously menacing marines. She puts on war paint and joins them in in an aerial battle against the marines on the side of the cat people on their space pterodactyls. Even in Avatarworld, no one craps bigger than Michelle.
In the cult favorite “Lost”, Michelle played Ana Lucia. She is an ex-cop, (of course), who is bitter and grizzled, (of course), after a criminal shot her while pregnant and she lost her baby. When the plane breaks up mid-air she, becomes the leader of the people who were in the tail section of the plane that land on the other side of the island. She’s kind of a bully and she scowls a lot. The truth is, if we were stuck on a freaky island with all kinds of weird stuff going on, we’d want Michelle by our side.
In “Machete” Michelle plays Luz, taco truck owner and revolutionary. She works undercover as the leader of an underground movement to help Texas’ illegal aliens. Michelle has great chemistry with Danny Trejo, which is not an easy feat. She also plays off untalented Jessica Alba, which also not easy. “Machete” shows that Michelle really does have acting chops. Robert Rodriguez brought out a vulnerability in Michelle we’ve never seen before. Fear not thou, she does plenty of scowling.
This isn’t a very good movie, but Michelle played Elena Santos in “Battle Los Angeles”. The aliens come down and start blowing up stuff. There are a lot of explosions in this film. It’s like a bad rip-off of a Michael Bay film and those movies totally suck too. Michele is an Air Force intelligence officer, who is there to kick ass and scowl. She does a lot of both.
“Resident Evil” is a film about artificial intelligence and zombies. It is possibly the only movie made from a video game that isn’t a complete waste of celluloid. Michelle plays Rain Ocampo, a badass commando chick. She is one of the only survivors of the initial attack, but is later overwhelmed and bitten by zombies. Now, zombies are plenty scary, but a Michelle Rodriguez zombie would be terrifying. Personally, if a Michelle zombie was coming after us, we’d just blow our brains out.