Michelle Rodriguez is done seeing one-dimensional female characters on the big screen and she wants to start changing Hollywood starting with her very own blockbuster franchise, the Fast & Furious. On Instagram, the 38-year-old threaten to leave the car-racing/heist franchise if it does not start giving better opportunities for women.
Rodriguez has played the role of Letty Ortiz, wife of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), since The Fast and the Furious in 2001. However, she is willing to leave the beloved role behind to stand up for her female co-stars.
In time for the digital release of The Fate of the Furious, the actor voiced out her protest against the franchise’s lack of string female characters. On Instagram, she threatened to leave if the situation does not improve next year.
“F8 is out digitally today,” the caption read. “I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride & I’m grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years … One Love.”
Throughout its more than a decade run, the franchise has seen various female actors join the family including Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. Last year’s Fate of the Furious even had Academy Award winners, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron, with the latter assuming the role of the chief villain.
However, Rodriguez feels that, despite the handful of female characters, the movies are still dominated by men. In fact, she told EW that the movies might not pass the Bechdel Test. She pointed out that she has worked with co-star Jordana Brewster for 16 years, but she could only count the times Letty and Mia Toretto communicated on-screen.
Moreover, while she loves what she does, she considers the kind of impact that one of the most successful movie franchises in the history of Hollywood would leave to female audiences. “It does weigh heavy on my head — especially in the male-dominated environment that I work in,” she admitted.”My heart doesn’t feel right doing this in front of millions of people, so I can always oblige myself and depart because of money, to me, isn’t as important as my lines that you’re not allowed to cross.”
Hollywood Rises Up To Sexism
Rodriguez is not the first female actor to protest against the lack of quality female representation in the movie industry. Jessica Chastain, who served as the jury at the Cannes Film Festival this year, found the depiction of women in movies “quite disturbing.”
As Variety reported, The Zookeeper’s Wife star added that when the festival included more female filmmakers, she hopes to see a more realistic portrayal of everyday women on the big screen, “ones that are proactive, have their own agency, don’t just react to the men around them.” Chinese actor Fan Bingbing also wants to encourage female filmmakers to create more female characters for the big screen.
The came after Sofia Coppola’s win as the festival’s best director for her new movie The Beguiled. She is the second woman to receive the honor in the history of the festival.
Fast and Furious Cinematic Future
After Fate of the Furious, the Fast & Furious franchise still has two movies slated to be released on 2019 and 2021. A spin-off movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Agent Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw is reportedly in early development, but still not confirmed.
The Fast & Furious has become Universal’s biggest franchise of all time. It currently stands as the sixth highest-grossing movie with a combined earnings of $5 billion.
Photo Source: Facebook/Fast & Furious