I attended an AOL Build event, which allows Audience Q&As, and the people participating was the cast of “Widows,” Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debecki, and the director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”). I was able to ask Michelle Rodriguez a question about expanding her horizons as an actress, being that she’s been in a number of blockbusters from the “Fast & Furious” franchise to “Avatar.” And McQueen closes the conversation.
Chris: “You’ve been in a number of blockbusters, and now, you’re in a movie directed by this “12 Years a Slave” genius (Steve McQueen), was one of the reasons you’ve entered this project was to expand your horizons?”
Michelle: “Yeah, I wanted to grow. I felt like I was running up against walls, and if I didn’t do something that challenged me individually, as a person that I might wither away and not really find true inspiration. So that means going back to art house; that means going back and digging into the uncomfortable places; that means possibly looking weak or fragile; that means killing your ego. That’s what I did really, to be honest. So, I am broadening the horizons, and I don’t know what’s up ahead, and yeah, it’s scary, but if I don’t do this, my motto is to evolve or die. I’ll die. So here we go. We’ll see what happens next.”
Steve: “I just see that in a thriller-action film, you get half the truth as well. This is a roller coaster ride of a picture. At the same time, we’re not gonna shortcut anyone on the truth of us being human at this place and time in our history. And I think that’s exciting that you can have a movie which is entertaining, fast, and furious; and at the same time, portray a reality that we all know, and these women here are truly inspiring. And I think we have a keg into why not, and the public deserves it.”
Franchises usually have the upper hand at the box office, as far as I’m concerned, and I would like to hear their opinions on taking Indie roles. As a film critic, I like to prove to people that just because certain actors aren’t in superhero costumes or fast cars that it doesn’t mean they can’t be open-minded. You can always rely on big bucks to be a great movie. You have to rely on the heart, ambition, and strength to keep going.