It’s time for some gift giving from THE INTERVUE and today you’re in for a real treat. Christmas in the DMV, A24 will deliver a hot new film from the filmmaker who gave us The Florida Project just year before. Red Rocket tells the tale of a formerly successful but now near penniless porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown; there he labors less for people’s affection and acceptance than “to persuade them to do what he wants”.
For one of our final interviews of 2021, our next guest has made her movie debut in Red Rocket. You will learn she went from walking her dog one day and being discovered by director Sean Baker to being in one of the hottest films of the season. Let’s give a winter welcome to Brittney Rodriguez!
Well, the first question I want to ask you is, you were approached by Sean Baker, and you met by chance while he was scouting locations for the film, and you are walking your Chihuahua. And that is amazing that you went from a refinery worker to being in your very first film. And I want to know what attracted you to the role of June?
Honestly, I thought was a screw, how we’re all connected with the character. It almost sort of fell in like that role was written for me specifically. And it was just the opportunity to have a lifetime that I could not pass up. As written. So well, I was very excited to play with very expressive, and now I get to do that for a minute. So, I’m like “Yo, sign me up”
So glad to hear and your performance in the film, which is all at Middleburg was so fascinating. It was so wonderful that I still could not believe that this is your very first movie role, like, I could not believe it.
I still can’t believe it either. It is like a dream come true. And I think that things are pulling out of a movie and just put onto this planet. I feel like I was born from this planet and going into the movie. I’m just happy. I’m so frickin’ blessed and thankful.
Well, I’m blessed people that you took on the role and that Shaun Baker found you by chance. Now let’s talk about working with the cast who worked with you have most of your scenes with Simon Rex and Judy Hill who plays Leondra, who’s also a first-time actor and this film is full of first time actors. So how does it feel to be in that environment?
Honestly, like I didn’t put too much thought into it as far as like the experiences though. It was more so like just the way I connected with the people individually. And so, like for someone like Simon (Rex) who’s great, he’s a professional. It was a bit intimidating to benefit and felt like a roller coaster ride as well. So, it was a bit intimidating thing that I’ve never done this before, but they may he kind of pulled me to the side he’s like “Yo, you got this” and I’m like “I had to take it.”
We just we had a little bit of a back and forth and He was like “You’re so patient, just do you.” So, it’s almost to an extent like I felt like he stepped out of the shoes of an actor and kind of stepped into the shoes of a friend and it was just like y’all here for me. It was honestly after the first scene; it was no longer intimidating to work with Simon, and I enjoyed it. It was it was easy to slip into my character. It was amazing to work with okay now cannot wait to work with Simon again.
Judy Hill, with her like being a first timer, it kind of felt like we were on the same level. So, for me, it was more playful like we were being playful in some of the scenes. She also had like a lot of stories herself and I was very open to hearing them. I was very optimistic the whole time.
Yeah, so glad to hear that both Simon and Judy gave you some pointers into being a first-time actress and that you carry you help carry the film with your role. It was such dynamic and I had so much fun watching you and the rest of cast give this amazing performance that Washingtonians are about to see come Christmas Day, which is such amazing.
I remember from our conversation that because you’re from Texas, that you got to help the cast and crew to make sure that they capture the heart of the area especially since you represent true Texas. And you not only worked in front of the camera, but you also got to do some behind the scenes work. Is that correct?
Yes, that is correct. My first week of shooting was in Texas City and I was actually on set filming. With filming, I learned very quickly there is a whole bunch of hurry up and wait. There’s a lot of times to where I was just sitting there. And I’m not really that kind of person. I’m more of a hands-on person. And so, any chance that I got a hold I will have even if I didn’t ask them, I might have just observed. I’m like, “How does this work? What does that do? What is this for?”
I was just out I was pretty much just figuring out how things work through observation. And I will also add all these different questions if I couldn’t figure it out by just observing and the entire group were more than happy to say “No, this is how this works. Come stay right here. Come check this out. Look at this.”
From that experience. I’ve already told them that was artists the first to be creative. I did a little bit of art for the project. So, they’re like, do you want to come back next week and work with us? I’m like “Um….yeah!” No, it was so much better to be there because they were actually, in my city, I didn’t have to travel. So that was a plus.
That is a great plus. I mean, that is a rarity in the business where you get to just walk to the set of the film that you’re working on and not have to travel to New York or Los Angeles or Washington DC but it’s right there at home. And that must have brought a great sense of pride of working in your home city in your home state representing a character that represents you entirely.
It is it is an asset. At The Donut Hole, that location specifically, for the refinery that you can see behind it.
I used to work there before I was laid off. Yeah, that was the one that I actually worked at. So, for them to choose that donut shop of all places. I was like “Yo this for me, it’s like another Easter egg in the movie.” But as we were filming there, some of my old bosses they were leaving work and they spotted me. They take my phone they’re like “Yo what are you doing?” I’m like “Yo, we’re in here we’re making the movie and I am never come back!”
I bet indeed. Well thank you had a taste of working behind the scenes and see what happens when it comes to shooting, lighting and sound. Do you see yourself working in another part of the industry asides from acting?
Yes definitely! Sign me up! For me to be in front of the camera and do what I did I surprise myself because I don’t like taking pictures. You can scroll through my phone and it’s more pictures of those than me. So, for me, I surprised myself being able to work behind the cameras, and I enjoyed it. I was like, Yo, I think I could do this. I think I like to compare myself to someone like, like Adam Sandler, you know, I would love to start my own shit. And just invite, like, you can’t bring everybody would you realize some of the homies that I know can make it run.
And so I’ve written stories but I keep them to myself. I’ve written for college essays, and they’re like, “Yo, your stuff is amazing. Why don’t you keep writing.” I’m like, God, that person just came from this came from a different place. And so, before those types of stories, I never really wanted to share with anybody else. But now that I’m not in those things, you know, it’s easier for me to share them. And so I definitely think I could see a great writer, you know, I think I did okay, on screen, but everybody else thinks it’s great. So, you know, there’s always room to grow. But I think I could do it all.
Absolutely. And I can say from one writer to another, I’ve been doing this for over twenty years now. And I can tell you, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to falter, you’re going to not get the right words, but you always got to keep practicing. Always got to keep trying. And believe me, you’re going to be the best writer because I see that potential with you. You should continue to pursue it and see where it goes, you know.
Hear that from someone like you I know. I’m proud of myself. And thank you for saying that. There’s more reassurance, but I’ve can be my worst critic.
Trust me, I’m in the same boat. After so many years, I still feel I’m an I’m my own worst critic. Well, since this is your first acting role in a major motion picture, and that’s been getting such rave reviews, what are some lessons that you will take into your future roles, your future steps into this wonderful career?
My major thing is to not be so hard on yourself. This stress does not help anything. You know, it’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to be curious. So, just to allow myself to believe, because so many times I felt like I held back. Even during my performance, you know, I feel like I could have done better. So, from the outside looking in. And that’s the only thing that I wish I wouldn’t have done. So yeah, just allow me to be and don’t be so hard on myself. You know, it’s not the end of the world.
No, it’s not, it’s the beginning for you. And you cannot be hard on yourself the first time out. You will grow. You will mature. You will know when to hit those strides and when to give it all you got. When to take it back a bit. It takes a lot of time. And it takes a lot of practice to find your rhythm because you’re just at the beginning of your career.
Once you get the second role, your third, your 19th Roll and beyond. It’ll just come naturally and before you know it you won’t have that doubt and you’ll say “I got this. I will roll with this. I will make it my own.” One step at a time. That’s all it takes right.
Now that you’ve travelled across the country and around the world promoting Red Rocket, has it all sunk in being in this atmosphere?
Honestly, I don’t really think it has, like it still feels so fresh to me. I’m still taking everything in and it doesn’t really it doesn’t really seem real. I don’t feel like this and I don’t know that I ever will. I don’t feel like this big superstar like I just feel like I am Brittany Rodriguez who has a dope ass job.
I know that is good enough, especially I say you’re at the beginning. And I’m glad to hear that you’re still humble about the experiences. I know sometimes first-time actors with their first film out of the gate and they think they’re the top shit but they’re not. They got to pay their dues, they got to earn their keep, they got to walk that road that thousands of people have walked before.
And then they find their big break and it could be their first, their second or their fiftieth. Once they find it, they can be able to enjoy it. I’m glad that you stayed really humbled to yourself. And that’s why I’m proud that I got to talk to you after the film at Middleburg and here right now.
Speaking of which, what would you like your newfound fans to know about you since you still upcoming?
I would like people to know that June is just a role. My face is just my face, I’m not going to be anybody else. And if you come and talk to me if you if you take the time to get to know me, you’ll get to know an incredible person and the minute you’re like “Yo, what’s up?” you’ll see the biggest smile on my face ever. So don’t be intimidated by me. I’m human. I’m a person.
And you are a wonderful person and I’m so glad that I took the time to talk to you as a person because that’s the one thing people forget about celebrities that they’re people at the end of the day. They have to faults and they have their desires. They have their cool moments so still treat them as they are people.
Definitely no definitely and that goes right back to me saying no, I’m not I’m not this huge and I don’t ever think I would ever feel like a huge celebrity. I just have a really cool job who, at the end of the day, I’m still I’m still a human being just as you said. So, I would like my fans and just different people to take away that anything is possible when you’re yourself and you stay in your own lane.
Absolutely, absolutely. So once you’ve finished with the tour what is next for Brittney?
I’m actually in the process of doing a short film. I’ve been offered a couple roles for other short films and other projects that I have not accepted yet. l I’m still going through the motions in the phases. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin. So, I’m just trying to ride the Red Rocket wave until you know I figure out a little bit more.
Red Rocket opens in nationwide CHRISTMAS DAY!!!
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