Cypherotylus by André De Kesel Via Flickr: A triangular shaped pleasing fungus beetle Cypherotylus sp. (16mm, Coleoptera, Erotylidae) from Peru (Loreto, in dry collection since 2012).
Studio work; specimen was rehydrated, cleaned, prepared and posed. Focus stack based on 73 images, assembled in Zerene Stacker (Dmap & Pmax). Sony A6500 + Metabones adapter + Canon EF 100mm 1:2.8L IS USM; ISO-100, f/6.3 (last one f/8), 1/160s, single diffused flash.
“It met him on set of the first movie, actually. It was his fault I was in the movie. He saw my indie film “Girlfight,” and requested me to play his girlfriend in “The Fast and the Furious.” They read me in New York, and I got cast right away.“ –Michelle Rodriguez
Vinchelle is at the top of my list when it comes to actor relationships that I admire. They first met through the first Fast and Furious movie and with the situation of Vin not only understanding but also standing up for her desires when it came to her character in the series they became quick friends despite her first impression of thinking he would be a dick. They’ve known each other more than ten years and that respect remains intact with how they treat and represent each other in the eye view of their audience and the media alike. I think no matter what it always come back to that first movie where you first get to see their chemistry. Its amazing to think of how far both of their careers and their own personal relationship has grown just from the development of these characters. Even though originally Michelle’s character Letty was supposed to leave Dom for Brian, its very difficult to not only imagine what that would be like but the ripple effects it would’ve had. Given these two actors chemistry which has impacted not only the story but its audience, that original storyline would have made everything totally different.
“In the script, she was with the Dom character and she was trying to get with the Paul Walker character. I thought that was stupid. First of all, no girl would leave the toughest guy for a weaker one. In the eyes of the street, it doesn’t work like that. I didn’t want to be a slut. I felt like a lot of Latinas in Hollywood were doing that, and that’s not how I wanted to be viewed by millions of people around the world. I was crying on set, and I remember Rob [Cohen] thinking, “I’m trying to make a good movie with fast cars, what are you bitching about?” I remember Vin saying, “I got this. I’m going to take a bullet for you, kiddo.” “Vin was the first one to pull me to the side while I was crying,” she declared. “And he just looked at me and said, ‘I got your back. Chill out and let me handle this, and you’re right — it makes me look bad anyway.’ And there you go. That was beginning of the Letty fairytale.” –Michelle Rodriguez
I love when actors who work together find that they have similar thoughts or outlooks that helps them bond and even sometimes helps their careers through this communication. I think Vinchelle is a prime example of this kind of partnership. It’s clear just from their interviews together that they are two people who actually have an open communication and who agree and see things from some of the same levels. I watched their Pico interview and what I saw take place can only be described as chemistry and a cosmic bond, it’s the language of two people who know each other and that takes form in different ways vocally and nonverbally. She knows what type of character he wishes to portray and after he ask her to describe the thought process behind that desire you can tell that they’ve had in depth conversations about it and that it’s a topic they are both passionate about because it’s something Michelle herself speaks on a lot. Music taste and such things that are cues to actually knowing a person are known between them and it’s just great to see a friendship that has bonded through a shared passion of creativity.
“I fought for that one too! I fought for the punch, because they didn’t think a girl would ever get involved,” she added. “It’s like, have you ever been to the ghetto, homie? If your boys are fighting and you don’t fight, they make fun of you, they crack on you, and they’d probably kick you out of the group.” –Michelle Rodriguez
“Yeah I mean we have a very, very strong relationship. Uh, we’ve been (pause) friends for so long and there’s so much trust. When the pre-production phase happens I usually invite her in to the writing phase. That’s how much I respect her creativity and her brain. She’s actually, no one realizes, but she’s actually a brilliant screen writer. I have worked with her on that. She’s dedicated in a real refreshing way, a way that you don’t always see. She’s willing to do anything to make the film special.” –Vin Diesel
Michelle is a very vocal woman, she speaks her mind with a frankness that some might consider inappropriate, because the media only likes to talk about bad stuff most think she’s wild and not so serious. You forget that she has two cats, that she doesn’t like make-up that much unless shes working, that if you actually listen and comprehend what she’s trying to say instead of looking for fault, you’ll actually find that she’s actually very deep, conscious aware of the world today and history itself. As an actress she really has this integrity of thinking about the story than herself. And not every actor/actress can say that. Women, def women in a minority group has a smaller window so it’s easier to fall to temptation to get your name out there or to just have a job because the pickings are slim and even if you get past that there’s other elements to worry about. My favorite actresses I feel that they’re all conscious of not only their character but the story itself, that desire to be a part of a concrete piece of work. Often these actress still get disrespected, looked down upon, and often put into a box so others don’t have to think about their real worth and the struggle to get where they’ve gotten. Michelle is one of those actresses, people are okay with categorizing her as the wild party girl so they don’t have to acknowledge her work ethic. Everyone behind the scenes has been called a genius, but people forget to name Michelle – the vocal actress that’s stopped them from making quite a few plot mistakes. And that’s why I respect Vin so much not only because he stood for her at a time she needed him to but because advocates, never slow on the uptake to let people know about the facets of her they not yet know of.
“It’s like losing a limb. I can’t explain it any other way. It was hard. I could see it. He’s a quiet, reserved guy when it comes to emotion. For him to f—ing show how he feels. He’s old-school alpha male. I think the only time Vin was able to show his true emotions about everything that happened was when the movie was finally cut and they showed it to us. That was the first time Vin breathed and let go. He texted me right after and I had a long conversation with him. I’m incredibly impressed with Universal and the entire “Fast” family. Everyone felt the weight of doing the best work they possibly could to make sure [Paul’s] legacy is something that can be revered. That was the biggest worry for me and Vin. How are they going to approach it? It’s not only a celebration. It’s also a goodbye. They could have been announcing other movies. That would have been an abomination. I’m so happy they were classy about it. I just feel like everybody came through 150 percent” –Michelle Rodriguez
After Paul Walker’s death, there were people who seemed discontent with what they felt were lack of emotionalism of Vin’s part. It’s disrespectful to act like everyone shows emotions the same, and these people obviously know nothing about Vin Diesel. I like to call Vin Mr. Poker Face because you have to look deep for cues of his emotions, he’s very quiet and very reserved. Quite often in interviews, he looks down a lot, he shuffles and fidgets a lot or he’s very excitable. In interviews with Michelle he often ask her to speak when they have to go into detail about anything or when given the a option question he looks at her to go first (even though because of that laugh-laugh moment he usually ends up going first anyway). I personally see elements of the actors in their F&F characters and while the sunglasses is catered to by both Dom and Vin, Vin isn’t as wordy as Dom. When any emotion comes into play with Vin while speaking that emotion shines through, and sometimes his excitement or emotionalism causes him to lose words and such things, this is another reason he lets Michelle explain things on top of just liking how eloquently she puts things. You can tell Vin is always aware of the audience and he tries not to offend anyone. It was horrible to see people try to denounce that friendship he and Paul had, it’s great when people like Michelle who was around both men speak on how their relationship really was.
“She’s very brave. Too brave. It scares me sometimes. Everything I feel for her is shown in the movie through Dom’s efforts. If it wasn’t for Michelle Rodriguez, there wouldn’t be any Fast & Furious 6.” - Vin Diesel
“I love Vin because he’s got that gangsta ass street cred that you don’t get a lot with people who play tough. You know…he’s got this…it’s in his eyes you know. It’s like I grew up in the hood just like you kinda thing, so you know I vibe with that. I’m like yeeeaaaah homie. Started from the bottom now we’re hurr (laughs) I love that. So every time I look at him I think of it. I think of how we just came from…out of nowhere…into Hollywood and introduced to Hollywood with this franchise….” –Michelle Rodriguez
These are probably my favorite quotes they have about on another. It’s not just because of the descriptors they draw about each other, or the obvious emotion, but because their quotes reflect also on who they are themselves. The F&F franchise is ingrained in their friendship not only because its where they met and connect but because the series is symbol for their own journey. Like Michelle say’s ‘Started from the bottom no we’re here’ that’s both true for the series and them as individuals in their careers. You can tell that Michelle’s past is deeply a part of who she is, it plays part in how she views people and herself, it plays as both a motivation and an experience that she draws from to connect with work in her career. I think the ideal of being able to look at someone and see the reflection of how far you both have come is a flooring thing really. It’s also one of my favorite things about these two because they do reflect off each other a lot, rather from similarities or differences – either way it’s a combination they’ve used to balance out the odds, what one lacks the other may have. There’s that great balance of respect, and admiration. Although Michelle’s responses are funny when Vin starts to compliment her on any level, which I find interesting because she has no problem complimenting others. She’s very down to earth, with this openness about her work and her thoughts on societal issues, everything comes off more as a conversation instead of anything actually formal.
“I didn’t do two or three because Vin wasn’t in them. And I knew he was my only rock. I don’t fight over action. I don’t care who is beating up who. I fight for integrity. Vin was my only back up. There were too many cooks in the kitchen. I didn’t want to deal with all the chaos.” –Michelle Rodriguez “I would work with Vin any of day of the week outside of Fast, it’s just that when you have that connection like Letty and Dom do in the Fast and Furious franchise, it’s like we look at other projects and we’re like uhh…it’s kinda whack compared to what we already got going on (…) when I have something special, I like to keep it special. I don’t like to mess with it. But who knows, maybe there’s something really cool that will come down the line that Vin would wanna do and where we’d get to work together on the project. That’d be awesome. But so far it’s just that Dom and Letty relationship is just so awesome, I couldn’t compete with it.” -Michelle Rodriguez
I personally am all for them working together on another project. I’d kill to see them in something that reinvents their chemistry dynamic. Michelle hasn’t really played in any mystical fantasy type movies like Vin likes to do and while I’d love to see that happen Vin’s little love interest in those movies are either nonexistent or they die >.> I’m not here for that. I’d love to see them in a kickass type of action flick, I don’t mean like F&F because that’s a total different type of action, I mean something like Mr. & Mrs. Smith (but not that plot line cause I’m not talking about revamping the movie) I just want that type of partnership hand to hand action. The dynamic is so different. Playing Letty and Dom they never really got to play strangers even with the amnesia that past was still present in the movie. It would be interesting to see what that kind interaction would look like for them. I’m down for a modern type of Bonnie & Clyde rendition with their own flare, or something dark and edgy (they’d make a sexy B&C – But I’d like for them to not die…or end up in jail)…anything with stealing, some gun action, and a fight scene or two thrown in. Unfortunately, they haven’t found a script that moves them enough and honestly I think for them ever to really work together outside the factor of Letty and Dom its gonna have to be an idea they both collectively imagine and pitch. I keep my fingers crossed but truly that’s something only time can tell. But truly, I’m happy that we’ve been blessed with their pieces together that we already have.
“This chemical connection is something you can’t fake. Me and Vin got chemistry. And we’ve got a 13-year rapport with each other. You can’t buy that with other actors — either you got it or you don’t. It’s a special thing.” - Michelle Rodriguez
Note: AsI promised here’s the Vinchelle piece I wanted to do, since I just finished the Dotty ship awareness I thought this would be a perfect way to sum all that up. Next I’ll probably do Dom & Brian as my first Brotp, then directly after follow that with the huge F&F Franchise break down I’ve been wanting to do.
As luck would have it…thanks @monchichitamberine!…Shy and I are in the perfect spot this weekend for this weeks challenge. It doesn’t get much more California native than Joshua Trees in the Joshua Tree National Park. We’re camping nearby and took a nice motorcycle ride through the park this morning.