Michelle Rodriguez Interview, AVATAR

Posted by: Sheila Roberts

Michelle Rodriguez describes AVATAR Footage to us and talks about her role in the SciFi epic! MoviesOnline caught up with actress Michelle Rodriguez at the Los Angeles press day where she was promoting her new film, “Fast & Furious” and we asked her what it was like working with James Cameron on his upcoming sci-fi action/adventure “Avatar.” 

More than ten years in the making, Avatar marks Cameron's return to feature directing since helming 1997's Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars including Best Picture. WETA Digital, renowned for its work in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy and “King Kong,” incorporates new intuitive CGI technologies to transform the environments and characters into photorealistic 3D imagery and create an alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.

Michelle Rodriguez is a fabulous person and we really appreciated her time. Here’s what she had to tell us:

Q: How did James Cameron find you?

Michelle Rodriguez: James saw me in “Girlfight.” It's that movie. It's the only movie I was ever a lead in, and I guess I did a good job because people watched it and liked it.

Q: Can you talk about your character in Avatar?

Michelle Rodriguez: I'm basically a pilot, a pilot in another planet.

Q: How was it being directed by Cameron?

Michelle Rodriguez: Are you fucking kidding me? That guy is so amazing. He thinks in 12 dimensions at all times. That’s what I love about him. You could sit there and you could talk for hours about the advancements in molecular science or you could sit there and you can talk about mythology and story building, character building. You could talk about cameras, the history of film, the history of Russia. You could talk about flying to another planet. You could talk about space research. You could talk about underwater adventures. You could talk about how he constructed special technology for underwater adventures. Or you could sit there and talk to him about how he developed his own fricking cameras with his brother. I mean, like, this guy is a genius.

Q: Have you seen the footage and how does it look?

Michelle Rodriguez: This is the beauty of working with that technology. You know, the majority of the time when you work on something that’s greenscreened, from my experience from watching behind the scenes or having my little touch of greenscreen in “S.W.A.T.” or something, you get to see what you’ve done immediately and have something to work off of. The majority of time when people work in a movie with greenscreen you don’t have that. You don’t have the ability to go and see what you just did. So, you’re working with a golf ball or you’re working with an “X” on a green wall and you’re just hoping that you’ve really hit your mark interacting with this. You’re just kind of trying to remember as much of your make-believe time at the age of 5 as you possibly could to get you through it. But, with this technology that he’s got, you just go there and you see what you’re interacting with right there because it’s a mixture of live 3D footage, the props on the set, and the virtual world that he spent God knows how long creating. It's fucking amazing. It's hardcore. I can't even imagine anything bigger. 

Q: Are you looking forward to being in one of the most anticipated films of the year and can you talk a little bit about the expectations that go with that?

Michelle Rodriguez: Me? You know what? I’d serve James Cameron coffee every day for four years and I would consider that college. I don't give a rat's ass how people receive whatever we did. I am just incredibly honored to have been seen by him and for him to like keep me in mind for a project that he's had for the last, what, eight years? To call me up and say, "Hey, I want you to be a part of this," no matter what anybody says, because everybody was talking so much schmack about me, and it's so hard to get a job when all these people are talking shit about you in the press, just because you're growing up. You know, I used to poop in my pants too, and I learned how to use the bathroom eventually. People were so hard on me, so it's really important for me to have individuals that get it, that know, that can see in my eyes or see me on screen and know what I'm capable of and not be scared to hire me because of some commercial hoopla that people are saying. That was very important.

Q: In light of that, how would you assess your career and your life from your point of view?

Michelle Rodriguez: I’m very happy. I wouldn’t take back anything.

“Avatar” opens in theaters on December 18th. Look for our upcoming interview with Michelle for “Fast and Furious” which opens in theaters on April 3rd.

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