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'Fast X's Michelle Rodríguez tells Kelly Clarkson her new 'D&D' film won't 'piss off the legacy'
"We’re not here to mess any of your dreams up," Rodriguez assures Dungeons & Dragons diehards.
Michelle Rodríguez wants to make clear that if there's one thing the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves filmmakers wanted to make sure of — it was not alienating loyalists of the decades-old role-playing game that inspired the movie. The Fast X actress said on The Kelly Clarkson Show Thursday that she and the other cast members of the fantasy action film that hit theaters Friday gathered to play the tabletop game before filming.
"We got together with these Wizards of the Coast, and they’re the professionals," Rodriguez said on the daytime talk show that's syndicated by NBCUniversal. "They kind of like maintain the ethics and standards of Dungeons & Dragons and make sure that nobody messes that up. And so, Jonathan [Goldstein] and John [Francis Daley], who directed the movie, they made sure that they checked in, the whole way, when writing the script, when developing the project, just to make sure that we don’t piss off the legacy.”
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Rodriguez added that she understands that those who have been playing the game for years might have their own opinions about how things should be portrayed on the big screen. “When people find their niche and their congregation, they don’t want you to mess with it because they hold it precious," she explained. "And I respect that. We’re not here to mess any of your dreams up. We want to accentuate it.”
Watch Michelle Rodriguez talk Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves on The Kelly Clarkson Show:
The actress plays barbarian Holga Kilgore in the film, starring alongside Chris Pine, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Hugh Grant, Chloe Coleman, Jason Wong and Daisy Head. Rodriguez said that she played the game in her late teens while living in Jersey City, New Jersey, adding, "It’s all about the imagination. If you ever want to exercise it, Dungeons & Dragons is the perfect way to do that.”
Rodriguez said she believes Honor Among Thieves will appeal even to those who have never played. “That’s the beauty of it," she told Clarkson. "If you didn’t play the game, you have that element of just being in the adventure, ‘cause it’s not like Jumanji or anything, where you’re watching a movie or a story based on people playing the game. It’s more the adventure itself. And so you can really just dive in.”
“You have a bunch of, kind of, derelicts, who aren’t really good at what they do," she added. "Holga’s good at maybe fighting because she’s a barbarian but she’s bad at life stuff, like finding boyfriends or getting on with her family. Everybody’s got their flaws, so all these flawed people become a team. And they go out on this mission ... And then that mission unites everybody and makes them — kind of like very similar to The Wizard of Oz — to find your strength and your courage."
Rodriguez will also be back as Letty Ortiz in the upcoming Universal Pictures blockbuster Fast X, due out May 19 (tickets are on sale now), which is expected to be the second-to-last film in the long-running saga. She's been with the franchise since The Fast and the Furious came out in 2001. "It’s almost nostalgic because we’re coming to the end of a 23-year journey," she said. "I gotta say after watching it, I still don’t understand how we’re able to surpass the last one that we did. ‘Cause after going to space, I was literally like, ‘What could we possibly do, to top this? I just don’t understand.”
She said she believes they've succeeded. "And the beauty of it is, in a sense, you’re gonna be left like a little incomplete, after the movie’s over," Rodriguez explains. "You’re gonna be like, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t — no, no no, no, no, no, no — movies don’t end like this.’”
"We’ve seen each other grow up," she added of the cast that has included Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker, and more. "I’m the godmother to a couple of Vin’s kids. We’ve had people leave us. We just grew up together. And yeah, it is a family. And it’s insane that we’ve lasted this long without biting each other’s heads off."
Fast X hits theaters May 19. You can catch The Kelly Clarkson Show weekdays on NBC or streaming on Peacock.