ET’s Courtney Tezeno recently sat down with the Miss Bala co-stars at the film’s press day, and while they definitely impress in the action thriller, it’s another role of Rodriguez’s — as Carmen Sandiego — that Mackie couldn’t stop gushing over. His high praise for the actress made her get a little emotional.
“She goes from Nashville to Norway, Bonaire to Zimbabwe, Chicago to Czechoslovakia and back, Well, she’ll ransack Pakistan, and pull a scam in Scandinavia!” Mackie sang, as soon as Rodriguez’s new gig as Carmen Sandiego was brought up. The Jane the Virgin star voices the iconic character in Netflix’s new animated series, which started streaming on Friday.
Carmen was originally brought to TV in the ’90s, in a show voiced by Rita Moreno, following the character’s first appearance in a 1985 educational mystery video game series called Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
“[It was] my favorite show. As a kid, I watched it, like, every day,” Mackie revealed as Rodriguez, overcome with emotion, started tearing up.
The 34-year-old actress clearly has a lot of pride over the project, telling ET in another interview that she started crying after seeing the show’s trailer. “As a Latina, seeing that brown skin on animation is revolutionary,” she shared at the time. Rodriguez will also play the character in an upcoming live-action movie, for which Netflix has acquired the rights.
“I’m excited for her. I feel like a role like that — and for the things that Gina’s doing in this day and age and in this business, it’s kind of revolutionary,” Mackie raved at the Miss Bala press day, with his co-star crying over his kind words. “She’s not sitting back and waiting for the hit of her show to garner her work. She’s going out and, not only creating work, she’s finding projects that are right for her, other women, people of color, using her power to develop that and give those people opportunities.”
“For so long, so many people in this business have been given opportunities, and they’ve just sat back waiting for Hollywood to give them a job,” he continued. “And to see someone of her age, of her experience, to go out and make that, that’s dope. And a property like that, that’s such a big property. For her to go and grab it and make it, I’m excited.”
“He told me to bring tissue, ’cause he was gonna make me cry. Well, you done did it,” Rodriguez said, wiping her tears.
“No, but it’s real,” Mackie replied. “I mean, it’s so easy to sit on your hands and become complacent. And I feel like so many people say there aren’t any opportunities, and we don’t get this, and we don’t get that. Well, goddammit, what’d happen if you get up and make your opportunities?”
“That’s dope! That’s what little girls need to see. That’s what little boys need to see,” he added.
Rodriguez also impressed her other Miss Bala co-star, Ismael Cordova, who opened up to ET about their instant chemistry on the set of the film — and how the actress’ “strength” as a woman immersed in a cartel following her friend’s kidnapping leads the film. Watch below.
Miss Bala hits theaters on Feb. 1.