Michelle Rodriguez, late of ABC's Lost, is a busy girl right now: Soon to be seen in James Cameron's Avatar (as chopper pilot Trudy Chacon), she's also making the alien-invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles. But the movie we're really eager to see her in is Machete, the fantasy-tinged revenge film from director Robert Rodriguez (no relation), based on his faux trailer from Grindhouse.
We caught up with the actress on a day off from Battle: Los Angeles, and in her typical high-energy style, Rodriguez filled us in on working with that other Rodriguez—who co-directed with Ethan Maniquis—on the April 16, 2010, release.
"That was so much fun, dude," she said. "I love that guy. That whole team over there at Troublemaker Studios, those guys are so cool. I want to be family, man. I want those guys to adopt me or something. It's like a big, giant playpen over there, Troublemaker. I rented a Camaro to go visit Elizabeth Avellan, who's a longtime producer over there. She lets me do donuts, man, donuts in the parking lot."
She added, "Robert just plays. I come up with ideas and they're like, 'Sure, let's try it.' And I'm like, 'Are you kidding me?' I love it when I go balls-out and I say something and people don't look at me like I'm crazy. They're like, 'Yeah, that's a great idea, Michelle.'"
Cool. But what we really want to know is what Rodriguez plays in the film, which also stars Danny Trejo as the vengeance-seeking former Federale, as well as Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan (!), Steven Seagal, Rose McGowan, Daryl Sabara, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Tom Savini and Don Johnson (!).
"I am Luz, and I work at a taco stand," Rodriguez said coyly. "And that's all I'm going to tell you. I'll also tell you that I worked with Jessica [Alba] and I worked with Danny [Trejo] and I worked with ... you remember that actor that was in Spy Kids? The young kid?" Daryl Sabara. "Yeah, Daryl."
So, no De Niro?
"You wanna hear the f--ked-up part of this whole thing?" Rodriguez said. "I was in boot camp for Battle: Los Angeles the day I would have had my one little scene with Robert De Niro. I was so pissed. I had one whole line that I had to say to go. So I ended up doing it off-camera, and he ended up doing his line to camera. Sucks, man! I love that guy. 'You talkin' to me?'"