Michelle Rodriguez turns 37-years-old on Saturday, and this hard partying, hard-ass Fast & Furious favorite deserves to be celebrated with gusto!
I'm going to make so secret of the fact that I'm a huge MRod fan, and below are 9 reasons why I think this down-to-earth star just gets more and more awesome every year:
9. She knows how to speak her mind...
In Michelle's own words, "“I do what I want, when I want, how I want.”
Sure, Rodriguez's ability to speak her mind whatever the sitaution has got her into trouble a few times, but us fans appreciate how honest and genuine this unpolished diamond is.
8. ...But you know her heart is in the right place
Despite her badass nature, Rodriguez acknowledges that she is a deeply empathatic person who isn't afraid to throw herself into caring for those around her.
Rodriguez has told the press "I do have a delicate side" and acknowledged that she has struggled emotionally, especially after the death of her co-star Paul Walker in 2013.
After remaining largely silent about Paul's death, the 37-year-old star told EW that losing him really threw her off kilter, she explained:
I actually went on a bit of a binge...I went pretty crazy. A lot of the stuff I did last year I would never do had I been in my right mind. I was pushing myself to feel. I felt like nothing I could do could make me feel alive, so I just kept pushing myself harder and harder. I was traveling and I was having sex. And I was just trying to ignore everything that I was feeling
Although she admits that she can find it hard to open up, Rodriguez also explained how close she felt to Walker and how his death shook her to the core, she said:
I could see Paul once every two years and just know there was another human on the planet who’s deep like me, who loves like that. When that disappears, you wonder, ‘Wait a minute, what do I hold on to?’ There was nothing to tether me to this existence: ‘Why am I fucking here? And, like, why’d you leave without me\
It takes a brave person to bare their soul to the world like that.
7. She's used her love of cars to do some awesome things for the world!
Michelle Rodriguez's love of cars is very much real and she's used it to help out disadvantaged women around the world.
Earlier this year MRod joined forces with Rosario Dawson, Selita Ebanks and Jodie Kidd to embark on a fundraising roadtrip crossing the UK, France and Italy to raise funds for women who suffer gender discrimination in Africa.
Rodriguez has also competed in car races to benefit children battling serious illnesses, but this often unsung philatropist also has a passion for protecting the environment and has won awards for her dedication.
6. She has encouraged others to speak out about their sexuality
While a lot of huge Hollywood stars are tightlipped about their sexuality due to very real fears about how it will affect their careers, Rodriguez has decided to take a stand.
After worrying that she wasn't being true to herself Hollywood, Rodriguez came out as bisexual in a typically down to earth way. She told EW that:
I've gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too f--king curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.
While a lot of people argue that people's sexuality doesn't matter in this day and age, outing herself has given bisexual women some much needed visibility and undoubtedly helped some young girls who are confused about their sexuality feel more comfortable in their own skins.
After all, we all need role models who we can identify with.
5. She never takes the backseat as Letty in the Fast franchise
Rodriguez has been passionate about making sure Letty is never forced to take the back seat or exist as a tantalizing love interest to be tossed between male cast members, she told Interview that:
When I looked at Letty, I told them, ’You can’t do the stereotype thing… Either you don’t make her a slut and not make her a character that gets with both [Vin Diesel’s character and Paul Walker’s] and you respect her, or you’re going to lose me. And you can sue me and do whatever because I’m from Jersey City, what the fuck do I give a fuk? I’ll go back to where I came from. Whoop-de-do. You’re not hurting me none — it’s not like I’m losing millions
MRod also recognises how important it is for there to be diverse women on screen for her fellow tom boys to look up to, she told Ask Men that:
I had to fight not to be the girlfriend, not to be in some sort of romance. Every single time they saw a girl, they’d just think of her vagina... Throughout my 13-year career, I've always had this battle. I represent this specific demographic: tomgirls. You don't have a lot of them in Hollywood, and audiences respect that. I need to represent those little girls or women who think I'm cool.
4. She just seems to look more and more gorgeous every year
I will let this picture from the Amfar Gala earlier this year do the talking for me!
3. She really cares about the direction that the Fast franchise is going in, and isn't afraid to take the wheel
The entire fast family seem passionate about the franchise and Rodriguez is no exception.
The 37-year-old star has frequently spoken out about her dreams for the future of the iconic franchise and it's clear that she really cares about making sure it doesn't lose any of its thunder.
She told En Starz that she would love to see the women come together more in [Fast & Furious 8](tag:1117455):
I think that first off, girls should stop fighting each other and we should start uniting for once
Before going on to say that she would love to see an all encompassing, yet more feminist angle and would love to get her hands dirty in the Mad Max universe, Rodriguez explained:
If I were ever to do it, [make Furious 8 more femenist] I think you have to be all encompassing. You have to think holistically and look for the broader audiences. And I don't like hating on guys to make women powerful. I think you can do both. Mad Max is proof of that
2. She is the most iconic female action hero of our generation
From the moment she came out fighting (literally) in the indie classic, Girl Fight, Rodriguez has never deviated from kicking serious ass.
This dedication to the action genre and refusal to take on more traditionally 'feminine' roles has cemented Rodriguez as a bonafide action icon, and in the words of Entertainment Weekly, she is:
Arguably the most iconic actress in the action genre, as well as one of the most visible Latinas in Hollywood
1. You would rather party with her than the rest of the Fast crew
Every part that MRod has ever been to seems to be a riot thanks to her larger than life personality and the fact that she isn't afraid to make a fool or herself!
If I could go out on the town with any of the Fast Family, I would choose Rodriguez hands down, and I think you would be wise to do the same. Soz, Vin!