“Fast & Furious 6”: Michelle Rodriguez thanks fans for bringing her back to feisty role

Michelle Rodriguez is one of Hollywood’s baddest chicks – so much so that she seemingly even defies death, making her highly-publicized return to a franchise that had once written out her character as a casualty, and to life in the turbo-charged fast lane.

“She was never dead,” revealed Rodriguez of her character Letty, who reunites with love interest Vin Diesel in “Fast & Furious 6” which hits theaters May 24. Hinting at the storyline, Rodriguez shared that Letty has had “an interesting journey” since seemingly dying in Fast 4, disclosing “she has her integrity as a person that little voice that tells her where to go and what to do, but the memory isn’t there.”

Actress Michelle Rodriguez and actor Vin Diesel attend the 'Fast & Furious 6' South Korea Premiere on May 13, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea. Michelle Rodriguez and Vin diesel are visiting South Korea to promote their recent film 'Fast & Furious 6' which will be released in South Korea on May 23.

Actress Michelle Rodriguez and actor Vin Diesel attend the ‘Fast & Furious 6’ South Korea Premiere on May 13, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea. Michelle Rodriguez and Vin diesel are visiting South Korea to promote their recent film ‘Fast & Furious 6’ which will be released in South Korea on May 23. (Photo/Getty Images)

Chatting to reporters via Google Hangout, Rodriguez shared that she hadn’t planned to appear in the sixth installment of the franchise but thanks to a social media campaign by fans clamoring for the return of feisty character, she was asked to join fellow original “Fast & Furious” cast members Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster in “Fast & Furious 6.”

“I love all the fans and if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be in ‘Fast 6,’” said Rodriguez, who is of Dominican-Puerto Rican heritage. Of resuming the role that made her famous more than ten years ago she said, “It makes all the hard work worth it.”

And that “hard work” includes two months of vigorous stunt training in preparation for what has become Rodriguez’s trademark in Hollywood: the girl fight.

“The outside is genetic; I could literally live like a bum and I would still have my tone for some strange reason,” Rodriguez shared of her athletic figure. But she did rely on someone to whip her into tip-top shape: famed trainer Tracy Anderson, responsible for sculpting the bodies of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow.

And while Rodriguez is quick to embrace her role as one of Hollywood’s toughest tomboys, there is one Latina whom she thinks possibly has what it takes to channel the determination, grit and street-savvy that Rodriguez is known for. That would be Brazilian actress Alice Braga, whom Rodriguez described as “really awesome.”

“She’s really interesting … she speaks fluent Spanish and she’s just dope,” Rodriguez said of the “I Am Legend” actress.  “As far as Latinas keeping that integrity, intensity and having that feistiness, I think she’s got what it would take to take over.”

But to be clear, Rodriguez isn’t planning a self-imposed retirement from acting any time soon. While the actress shared with Cosmopolitan for Latinas that she was going to “say goodbye to acting for a minute and move behind the camera,” Rodriguez admitted her retirement was short-lived.

“That kind of ended when they announced ‘Fast 7,” Rodriguez said, confirming her appearance in the next film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, which will be released in 2014. But she does intend to pursue her goal of writing and producing film, sharing that she has a drama, a children’s movie, and a title called “The Matriarch Society” in the works. Even so, nothing can quite capture the legacy she’s created with her role in the “Fast” franchise, which Rodriguez credits for lasting friendships with co-stars like Diesel.

“I’m like the stepmother to his daughter,” said the 34-year-old actress. “He’s like a brother to me, I love him so much. I’ll tell him the kinds of things nobody would, with my big fat mouth. I respect him with all of my mind, body and soul and he does the same to me and we protect our friendship. No matter what happens, you can’t ruin that friendship – it’s to the death.”

In fact, that friendship is partially responsible for the success of the “Fast & Furious” franchise among Latinos, who made up one third of the audience for the opening weekend of “Fast 5” in 2011.

“The multicultural cast has a lot to do with the evolution of the franchise and the fact that it survives,” said Rodriguez. And she promises “Fast 6” will definitely deliver all the flashy cars, dramatic action sequences and “oh-no-they didn’t” moments fans have anxiously waited for.

After all, shared Rodriguez, this film represents “a new journey.”

Watch Rodriguez dish on the changes she’d make to the “Fast & Furious 6” film script if she could and hear her share how deep her loyalty to Vin Diesel really is.

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