Michelle Rodrigeuz is one of the most badass actors in Hollywood, and she’s worked hard to achieve this title. Having starred in a plethora of movies since her breakthrough role in 2000s Girlfight, Michelle has gone on to wield machine guns, fly helicopters and throw down with the best of ’em to become the darling of the action genre. Believe it nor not, Michelle Rodriguez is turning 38 this week, so why not celebrate by remembering some of her most badass moments to date?
1. That Time She Turned Into A Zombie (Resident Evil)
The first time I fell in love with Michelle Rodriguez was the same time I fell in love with the Resident Evil franchise. In the movie, Michelle plays Rain Ocampo, a member of the Umbrella special forces commando unit who raids the HIVE alongside Alice after the Red Queen shuts it down. And just when you think it’s all over, Rain gets bit- and well, it seems as though that’s the last we see of her…
2. That Time She Was Killed By A Horde Of Swimming Zombies (Resident Evil: Retribution)
… Until Resident Evil: Retribution! Where Michelle returns as two different clones; a “good” Rain and a “bad” Rain, both created by the Red Queen. While “good Rain” dies after being launched into a pillar, “bad Rain” seeks out and injects herself with a venom that gives her superhuman strength… until she falls through the ice and is dragged downwards into depths by some nasty-looking Nazi zombies. As death scenes go, this is one of the most brutal.
3. That Time She Became A Boxer (Girlfight)
As previously mentioned, Girlfight was Michelle’s first movie and breakthrough role. It also won her critical acclaim, and lots of awards including the Ralph Lauren Acting Award at the Deauville American Film Festival, the Breakthrough Award at the Gotham Awards and best Female Breakthrough Performance at the National Board of Review Awards, to name a few.
4. That Time She Wielded That ENORMOUS Machine Gun (Machete)
Machete & Machete Kills are full-on, action-packed, blood-drenched orgies of madness! So it was inevitable that Rodriguez would get in on the action, playing Luz (a.k.a. Shé), the leader of an illegal immigrant aid movement known as the Network.
5. That Time Her Helicopter Went Down In Flames (Avatar)
In Avatar, Michelle played Trudy Chacon, a SecOps pilot who has one of the best story arcs in . She refused to attack Hometree against her orders and joined the Na’vi in the final battle against the RDA, which ended in her being blown out of the sky. That’s pretty badass.
6. The Time She Fought Ronda Rousey (Furious 7)
If there was ever one actress to take on former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey in hand-to-hand combat (and win!), it’s Michelle Rodriguez. When asked if she was scared about going up against such a force in the Octagon, Rodriguez replied:
“Hell no [I wasn’t scared]! I want her to whoop my ass, if anything I’m begging for it! By the end of it I had two golf ball-sized knots on my head. She kept slamming me against the wall and I forgot to put my hand up, ’cause you forget you’re doing stunts. I was like, ‘Oops, I forgot! There goes one golf ball! Do you think we can get it in two takes?'”
“I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it. She could throw me around all day any day! As long as it looks real, I’m happy to get thrown around.”
Happy birthday Michelle Rodriguez! Keep being crazy and awesome. There were so, so many other badass moments I could have included on this list, so the question is now…
What do you think is Michelle Rodriguez’s most badass moment?