Why Genesis Rodriguez Wants to be the 'Latina Dustin Hoffman'
By Jessica Chanchalashvili| March 26, 2015 |
Run All Night star Genesis Rodriguez shared on what it’s like to work with Liam Neeson, why she aspires to be the "Latina Dustin Hoffman," and much more.
Genesis Rodriguez at the Run All Night premiere in New York City.
Genesis Rodriguez is having a good year. So far in 2015, she has watched her animated Disney film, Big Hero 6, win an Academy Award, she’s starring in Run All Night opposite Liam Neeson (now in theaters), and is gearing up for the release of her comedy-horror flick, Yoga Hosers.
We chatted with the Miami-native actress to find out how she’s similar to her Big Hero 6 character, what her and Common bonded about on the set of Run All Night, and why she’s hoping to be the "Latina Dustin Hoffman."
What drew you to your role in Big Hero Six? GENESIS RODRIGUEZ: I love Disney. [I grew up] only four hours away […] that was like our family vacation. I’m a Disney kid, so this was a huge honor. They couldn’t believe how similar I was to Honey Lemon. She is into robots and into science and she is a happy girl. And that is basically me—I’m kind of lanky and geeky and I have long hair. [Laughs]
What did you enjoy about making an animated film? GR: What I enjoyed the most was that I really felt like a kid. When I was working, I couldn’t believe that they were actually paying me to do this. I feel pretty lucky about that. It was just so much fun; I really got to explore. Nothing was too big for animation, because you only have to rely on your acting, so it was like more and more. And I was like okay—I’ll go there.
Run All Night is out today. Can you tell us a little bit about the film and your character? GR: I play Gabriela, the wife of Mike Conlon [played by Joel Kinnaman]. We are a normal family—we have two kids; we have one on the way. My husband is a super hard-working guy. One night he witnesses something that goes down that he shouldn’t be witnessing. His father, [played by Liam Neeson], happens to be in the mafia. He has to help him out for this one night to save himself and his family. But he is an estranged father, so it is kind of like this father and son getting back together for one night just so he can stay alive and keep his family alive.
You worked with Liam Neeson and Common on Run All Night. What was that like? GR: They are so cool, I admire them so much. Liam is such a gentleman—the definition of a gentleman. He sat down the first day I started working with him and was just like “Hey Genesis, how are you? How was your weekend?” Common too—Common is the coolest. He is super sweet and we talked about basketball, obviously I’m a Miami Heat fan. I had the best time being in this movie, I felt like one of the guys.
How about any upcoming projects? GR: Yoga Hosers and then I have Home next year with Patricia Clarkson. It is a thriller, a psychological thriller. We don’t know what is really happening in the movie, it is kind of cool. [And I have] some upcoming projects right now that I can’t talk about because they aren’t 100%. I’m trying to do something different every time. Big Hero 6 and Run All Night could not be any different. I’m trying to be the next Latina Dustin Hoffman—Dustin Hoffman has never repeated himself in a character [but] you believe him in everything he does. That is what I’m trying to do, that’s my niche.
What is one thing that people don’t know about you? GR: People may not know that I don’t drive—like, I don’t drive at all. I don’t feel like driving, I don’t want to learn how to drive, and I’m too scared. And I grew up [in Miami], and you have to drive here. People are driving at 15 with their permits. I was just too much of a chicken to learn, and now I’m 27. Like, who learns to drive at 27?