Actress Génesis Rodríguez Pérez shares a
determination to survive and succeed with Gabriela Conlon, the character
she plays in Run
All Night. That
action thriller stars 62-year-old Liam Neeson as estranged dad and
former Irish Mafia hit man Jimmy Conlon. When his son Mike (Joel
Kinnaman) — husband to Gabriela and father to Catelyn and Lily —
witnesses the son of boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) executing two
Albanian drug dealers he becomes a target of Danny (Boyd Holbrook) until
the elder Conlon kills him. Once that's done Jimmy becomes an avenging
angel defending his son and family while avoiding cops and a hired
assassin (Common) through the night.
Born in July, 1987, in Miami, Florida, Génesis
Rodríguez Pérez — daughter of famous Venezuelan singer and actor "El
Puma" (José Luis Rodríguez) and Cuban model Carolina Perez — embarked on
acting since she started at Miami's Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart
when 2½ years old. That determination drove the young actor so she did
school productions and, as a teenager, acting classes, dance and vocal
When her parents saw this motivation, they
enrolled her in more intensive training, attending summer classes in New
York's Lee Strasberg Theater and Film institute. Once she moved to Los
Angeles, she studied with Marjorie Ballentine.
Upon her return to Miami, she continued private
lessons, leading to work both in Spanish-language telenovelas such as
2004 's Prisionera,
Dame Chocolate the
next year and Doña
Bárbara in 2008.
Then, the American daytime soap Days
of Our Lives won
her a recurring role — Becky Ferrer — from November 2005 through
January 2006. She also was a repeat special guest on the Bravo TV's Top
Chef and appeared
in three episodes of the hit show Entourage as
The 5' 7" actress moved onto appearing in such
films as 2012's Man
on a Ledge, What to Expect When You're Expecting, The Last Stand and
director Kevin Smith's very weird Tusk,
as well as Run
All Night. In 2012, Rodríguez had a substantial role as Will
Ferrell's love interest in the comedy Casa
de Mi Padre — a
spoof on '70s-style Mexican soap operas.
personal love life brought her attention as well. In 2004, the then teen
Rodriguez was involved in an underage sex scandal with Prisionera co-star
Mauricio Islas, who was then 30 years old and married. The case was
settled out of court, allowing Islas to avoid jail time; Rodriguez was
awarded millions in a payout from Telemundo.
In 2008, the brunette beauty met Peruvian actor
Christian Meier while they did Doña
They dated for 15 months; when she was 22 and he, 38 years old. They
broke up in 2010 but remain friends.
She also provided the voice of Honey Lemon in the
futuristic Marvel/Disney animated feature Big
Hero 6 — an award
nominee which subsequently won the Oscar. With all this going for her,
Rodriguez has been hitting the circuit as a representative of the new
The following Q&A was edited from a roundtable
session held in The Ritz Carlton Hotel just before the film's New York
You've gotten a lot of press as the quintessential
new generation of Latina. Does that put too much of a burden on your
shoulders or are you glad to been seen as an example?
I feel like I have a mission. I've had it since
the moment I landed in LA. I'm trying to do something for the Latino
population and to break stereotypes. Latino women were sometimes only
objectified. Only put into movies for people to look at us. I want the Birdman roles.
It's just going to take me a very long time to get there. The only way
that I have planned it out is that no movie that I have done is alike.
They can't say, "Oh that's the girl that always does those cop roles" or
"That's the girl that's always a lawyer." They can't and they won't. At
least if it's in my control, it's not going to go down that way.
All Night is definitely not Tusk.
This is definitely not Tusk. This
is definitely not Big
Hero 6. It's just another facet. I'm trying to creep in
without realizing it.
Since you did the Oscar-winning animated film Big
Hero 6, did you get to go to the Oscars since you voiced
one of the main characters?
I did. I went to the Oscars, and won an Oscar.
you see your fellow Run
All Night actor Common there?
I saw Common at the Critic's Choice Awards. I said
hi to him. I was so excited. He won the Golden Globe too, right? We
didn't win the Golden Globe.
Big Hero 6 was
It was so special. We were so surprised that we
won. We totally thought How
to Train Your Dragon 2 was
going to get it because of the Globes. The Disney team really had fun
that night. It was like a blur after a certain point.
It's probably going to have a sequel at some
I hope. It's number three in grossing of Disney
animation, so I hope so. It's going down in history. It did lead to that
ending with the team getting back together and fighting some more
stuff. I just love that cast. At the Oscars you saw that group, and it
was the only multi-racial group in the Oscars. Half white, half
Japanese, African American, Latino, Korean, and there was only one token
white guy. It was perfect. Here we are making noise, and people are
seeing us, and this is how it should be, this is how they should see
us. This is a new generation and our multiculturalism represents the
United States. So Disney did a really solid move in hiring that cast.
Big Hero 6's animation
is not done with motion capture, but somehow it really seems to have you
Because they filmed us. All the expressions are
ours. The characters are drawn, then they're animated after our acting.
So I saw all of my mannerisms in there. My hands, my walking, everything
that was me was in there. It was shocking. That's the character that's
the overly caffeinated energetic version of me.
Run All Night is
certainly a highly caffeinated journey. Were you ever worried that in
the script you'd find out something like your kids died?
[I had to ask,] "Why didn't she go into labor?"
The stress level was unreal and she was running, she was picking up kids
and backpacks, and running. This baby is going to come out real stressed
You didn't get to pick up a gun?
They didn't give me a gun, but I was ready to pick
up a gun.
you have that sense of danger from protecting yourself and all these
That was horrifying. It was protecting them first
and make sure they don't realize they are in danger. Keep face and try
not to stress out. Stay calm, while freaking out inside. Did I get their
coats? Run to the car, make sure their seat belts are on. A million
things were running through my mind before I even said a line. Why
wasn't my first mom role like Family Ties, or
something with a beautiful family? No, I had to get this super-stressful
Everyone was worried for Gabriela's brother. It
looked like he was going get it any minute!
I know, my poor brother! I got him into that mess.
Was it hard pretending to be pregnant?
The [fake] belly weighed down on me so much
because it weighed 15 pounds; it took a toll. It was like a real
pregnancy, it affected how I walked and ran and picked up things.
How was it shooting at the cabin with all that fog? Was
it a machine?
It was a machine. There was one day we did
have actual fog. On reshoots we had a fog machine, because we actually
had too much fog. We shot this in the dead of winter and on reshoots we
had to match that look. That's when we were using that fog. But it was
so beautiful in that cabin. I had never seen anything like that before,
I had never been outside the city. It was upstate, it's so beautiful. I
had no idea you guys had that here. You've got to utilize that.
You grew up in the warm weather.
I was at the beach two days ago. I was doing
some Miami press and when I landed I was like, "This ain't right."
Have you done much work with kids
before? Those kids seemed to have had it down.
Jaume was really good. He would talk to them,
know when to cover for them, give them a different take. They were just
little actresses. One of them was so small, she was three at the time
and turned four. They get tired. They get cranky. They don't want to do
15 takes. They're like "I already said it, I don't want to say it
again!" It was cute, but at the same time we were like "Come on, please
say it again!" It's always hard, they're just kids, they just want to
play around. Working at night they're sleepy, they're cranky, it's not
easy. So that was the struggle.
I thought the adults were hard.
a lot of humanity in this movie, where she opens the door to the
Family is family at the end of the day. We're
raised in that culture, Latinos especially. If you don't like or get
along with a family member but you're in trouble, you better believe
they'll be there for you or you'll be there for them. It's an unspoken
thing. That's the way I was raised, and I'm glad that they got that into
the movie. Blood is thicker than water. You don't have to get along with
your family members, that's not the point. It's about accepting them.
What was your favorite scene in the
I guess it was the [one] where Mike walks in
and tells me I have to go get the girls. That was the toughest one. We
did that about four o'clock in the morning to eight o'clock in the
morning and I was exhausted. So what you saw that day was just pure
exhaustion, and it was coming off my gut. I'd like to see that.
The bathtub scene where various
gangsters are looking for all of you was pretty intense. Not to give
Well I shot it, so I know how it ends. I know
How did you keep the girls playing your daughters so
They were good about that.
You were very invested in these
characters. What did you take away for yourself from this character?
You're not a mother, so what did you learn?
Gabriela was just the coolest wife even if
she got pissed off. I would not have moved without an explanation. I
would not have moved a muscle, some disastrous thing would happen and
I'd get shot. It's a hard thing to see your husband on the news all
night and then say, "Hey, let's call the cops," and he's not letting you
call the cops and he's telling you you need to run away. "No no no, I
need to know because if I don't know I can't help." So she was cool. She
was pissed, but she was cool. At some point I'm sure she got an
explanation. I would have loved to see that scene.
a great action movie — the pace never lets up.
I know, everyone tells me the same thing. I'm
so excited because first off, Jaume [Collet-Serra] is such a visual and
actor's director, so I'm so excited to see the shots. I'm dying to see
the restaurant scene between me and Ed because when I read it I was
like, "Oh man, that's master class acting right there." But all in all I
did see some dailies and the dailies looked fabulous, and I'm going to
see it tonight with everyone and it's exciting.
What's coming up that contrasts with
I play a pissed-off Canadian PE teacher in my
next movie. In that one I hate kids. It's called The
Yoga Hosers and
it's from Kevin Smith. It's the sequel to Tusk and
I just [have] a cameo in that one. In the third movie we're shooting
soon, I reprise my role of Allison in Tusk.
You see her now as an exotic animal specialist — this character is like
Richard Dreyfus in Jaws.
So you know there's going to be lots of monologues and lots of weirdness
in that one too. I have Home coming
out next year with Topher Grace, Callan Mulvey, and Patty Clarkson. It's
a psychological thriller about this guy that's released in a psyche ward
and everything that goes down in three days — you don't know if he's
imagining it or not.
You did the Comic Cons for Big Hero 6; did you
also go with Kevin?
I did. That was like I was with a Beatle.
People were just screaming, I was like oh my gosh, this is serious. I'm
in nerd central with the god of the nerds, this is not normal. I
wouldn't want to do San Diego Comic Con without him. We were in the big
hall, Hall H, he had everyone's attention for three hours. He is
something else to watch, he's hypnotizing.
He was also quite a presence at New
York Comic Con 2014.
I loved New York Comic Con. I hope to come
back to that one because it's less chaotic. Lot more organized.
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