Source: PODER MAGAZINE by Dita Quiñones
Gina Rodriguez derives motivation from an internal dialog running through her mind: “What do you mean the shade of my skin says ‘I’m not capable of telling a story?’”
The Puerto Rican actress used that me-against-the-world attitude to win over a dismissive New York University casting director for the lead in Romeo and Juliet. Today, she’s making history as the first actress to play a female rapper in a major studio film as the lead in Filly Brown. Costars include Latino pioneers such as Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, and, in her final on-screen performance, the late Jenni Rivera.
Filly Brown scored a coveted Sundance Selection, but also endured formidable losses when its distribution company folded after Rivera’s tragic death. However, Hispanic-owned Pantelion Films later picked up the rights.
Rodriguez says the burden to see films like Filly Brown succeed lies with Latinos themselves. “You want to see more Latino films? Start supporting Latino films. Then Hollywood won’t think we’re a risk anymore,” she says.
In August, Rodriguez starts filming Marching Banda playing a single mom to a high school trumpet player and also will star as an aviator in FOX’s upcoming television pilot offering “The Wild Blue.”