Michelle Rodriguez on Her Days as an Extra: “I had $2,500 due in bills that I had to pay”

michelle-rodriguez-fast-furious-6Michelle Rodriguez might be best known for starring in numerous movies in The Fast & The Furious franchise, but her original ambition was to become a writer.  Though she has yet to write a film, Rodriguez spoke to The Wall Street Journal about how she ended up acting — including how she landed her first starring role in Girlfight.

Rodriguez recalls, “I was doing extra work because I quit school early and got my GED. I wanted to be a writer and I didn’t know how to go about it. My brother told me to go to a technical school because they actually help you get a job and I said I didn’t want to. He said he would give me two years, and then he would make me get a real job.  I remember going to Port Authority at 5 p.m. and everyone in suits and ties were so depressed. I knew I couldn’t do that kind of work, have that kind of a job.”

Like other struggling actors, the bills began to pile up.  She reveals, “I had $2,500 due in bills that I had to pay. I had no money and no job and my brother came up to me and asked me if I really wanted to act. I said ‘yes’ and he handed me Backstage, which is where all the new actors look for work.  Then the Girlfight thing came along.”

Indeed it did — not only did Rodriguez beat out 350 other women who tried out for the role, it was her very first audition.  Over a dozen years later she has done quite well for herself as an actress… now if she can only get that writing thing going again!

1 Comment

  1. Ricky Foley via Facebook

    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I love stories like this. Great motovation to help keep me going.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/jon-bernthal-punisher.jpg
Jon Bernthal on His Approach to Acting and How Investing Himself into a Role Makes for Better Performances
"One of the drawbacks of playing the Punisher would be the high exposure. There’s a real downside to that as an actor" - Jon Bernthal
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/daniel-day-lewis-phantom-thread.jpg
Daniel Day-Lewis on His “Final” Role in ‘Phantom Thread’: “The impulse to quit took root in me, and that became a compulsion”
"All my life, I’ve mouthed off about how I should stop acting, and I don’t know why it was different this time" - Daniel Day-Lewis
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/adam-driver-last-jedi.jpg
Adam Driver: “Basically, the only thing I try to do is know my lines”
"I never figure anything out. I do my job. That’s my goal, to be as economical as possible." - Adam Driver
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cranston-hammer-pattinson.jpg
Bryan Cranston, Robert Pattinson and Armie Hammer on Working with Others
"You know, it’s not imperative that you get along with your co-stars; it’s like your in-laws — it just makes things easier" - Bryan Cranston
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/margot-robbie-I-tonya.jpg
Margot Robbie: “I do timelines and backstories, I work with a dialect coach, a movement coach and an acting coach”
"I need to be with other actors, then my focus is on what they’re doing and all I need to do is react to it. I’m too in my head if I’m on my own." - Margot Robbie