IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Genesis Rodriguez Talks 'Identity Thief' Blu-ray/DVD and Throwing Out the First Pitch at Dodger Stadium

Monday, 03 June 2013 23:16 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Genesis Rodriguez Talks 'Identity Thief' Blu-ray/DVD and Throwing Out the First Pitch at Dodger Stadium

Former Telemundo TV series actress Genesis Rodriguez is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood!

After a recurring role on HBO’s Entourage, Rodriguez has appeared in a string of popular movies with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Man on a Ledge with Sam Worthington, Casa de Mi Padre with Will Ferrell, What to Expect When You’re Expecting with Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, and The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most recently she appeared opposite Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in the box office hit comedy Identity Thief, which will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning June 4th. 

In the film, Rodriguez stars as Marisol, an assassin working for a crime boss that is hired to take down Melissa McCarthy’s Diana who sold him some bad credit cards. Marisol teams-up with a hitman named Julian (T.I.) but their plan for revenge becomes complicated when Sandy (Jason Bateman), an ordinary accountant who’s identity has been stolen by Diana, attempts to kidnap her in order to clear his name and get his life back. 

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals game at Dodger Stadium where Genesis Rodriguez had the honor of throwing out the first pitch. I was on the field when she threw the ball to her father, Venezuelan singer/actor Jose Luis Rodriguez, and afterwards we were escorted to a private box suite where I had a chance to speak with Rodriguez about her work on Identity Thief, as well as throwing out the pitch. The beautiful young actress discussed her work on the movie, acting with T.I., improvising with Melissa McCarthy, what she’s learned from working with stars like McCarthy, Will Ferrell, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, director Seth Gordon, creating her character, and which she likes more – making comedies or action films, as well as the honor of throwing out the first pitch, practicing for the event, tossing the ball to her father, and whether or not she is a Dodger fan. 


Here is what she had to say:

IAR: To begin with, can you talk about having the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Dodger’s game today and if you were nervous at all?

Genesis Rodriguez: Extremely. It was just a mortifying experience for me because all my friends were like, “You can’t throw like a girl. At least throw it over the base.” I was like, oh, Lord knows I’m going to screw this up.

Did you practice for the event?

Rodriguez: I did. I had two days a week in between, but I think I did pretty good.

You also had the opportunity to throw the pitch out to your father, Venezuelan singer/actor Jose Luis Rodriguez. Was that extra meaningful for you?

Rodriguez: Yes. My father wasn’t supposed to do it but then they asked him and he was like, “Yeah, okay, let’s do it!” I got kind of scared because the first time I warmed up with him he did not catch the ball. I was like, Dad you cannot screw this up for me!

Do you consider yourself a baseball fan?

Rodriguez: I’m Cuban so baseball runs through my blood. This is very special. I totally dedicate that pitch to my Grandpa. He was a baseball aficionado and every single game he would watch. It’s just a beautiful. Cubans are just passionate about it. There whole life is about it. They get into such heated arguments over it.

Are the Dodgers your team? 

Rodriguez: Yes, definitely.


Let’s talk about Identity Thief. Most of your scenes are with T.I., what was it like working with him?

Rodriguez: He just doesn’t take himself seriously. He’s a cool dude. He’s one of the biggest hip hop artists in the world but he’s down to earth and so cool. I was like, oh, my gosh is this guy going to be a diva? But no, he’s an actor. He was totally down to improvise and just be open. I felt like I had a partner really. I don’t know how he could possibly have a bad reputation because if you have ten minutes with the dude he’s just so nice. For an actor you need another actor to be present and just be with you, feeding off of you and giving you something to work with. So it wasn’t like acting with a wall, it was like acting with a partner. 

With Melissa McCarthy, you’re working with one of the best improve comedians in the world, and I think Jason Bateman is one of the best straight men ever. What was it like working with them on set? Was there a lot of improvisation while shooting scenes?

Rodriguez: Always. With Melissa you have to really watch her because she’s so fast. She’s so smart, and so quick. That’s what it is. She’s in the moment and anything will come, anything will go so you got to be ready. It’s kind of intimidating, but I was there before we filmed our scenes to watch her a little bit and to study how she works.

Was the first scene you shot with them the sequence in the house at the beginning of the film?

Rodriguez: Yes, the first day was the house. But I saw the argument between her and Jason before I went in, so I saw how she works and I saw what I have to be able to do. From the entrance I had to improvise everything. They would say, “Okay, say a bad word! Say this in Spanish!” It was always a call out from behind and I had to be ready to do it.


In the last few years, in addition to Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, you’ve appeared in movies with Will Ferrell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Forest Whitaker. Has working with that level of talent been a good learning experience for you as an actress?

Rodriguez: Totally. Every actor I’ve worked with has been a learning experience for me and I feel like the number one quality that they all have, the big ones, is that they’re all so humble, so sweet and kind people to work with. They really bring the best attitude so for me it’s just very easy. They made me feel welcome. So for an actor to be validated like that on the set, you kind of want to prove to them that there’s no mistake you are there. It’s like, I’m here and I’m going give you my best.

Can you talk about working with director Seth Gordon? What is he like on set? Is there a lot of room to do your own takes or does he make you stick pretty closely to the script? 

Rodriguez: He first wants the takes that are written, then he wants to improvise a little bit, and then he wants it completely different. So you get a chance to interpret your own character, start talking differently and start playing around. So it gets very fun. With Seth he was pretty cool to work with, just a sweet guy and he gave me a lot of liberty. Then he would get ideas and he would say, “Gen, what did you say? I was like, in Spanish? So I would just say the most awful things, and he was like, “I like it!”

Your character speaks with a little bit of an accent, was the character written that way or did you bring that to the role?

Rodriguez: I think it’s what I did in the audition. The role wasn’t meant to have an accent and I just made a little accent. I just started not pronouncing my “J’s” and I made her extremely intense. I tried to make her batshit crazy. It was perfect because that’s what they liked. It wasn’t intended to be that way but they agreed to it. It was fun to be able to make something from scratch, take it from the writing and just make a character out of it. It was executed the way I wanted it to be.


Finally, you’ve gotten to do action films and comedic movies. Which do you like more and which do you find more difficult to do?

Rodriguez: They’re both equally difficult. There is a certain rhythm to comedies. With action movies you have to be in front of a green screen most of the time and you don’t see anything so you have to imagine everything and it’s just very hard. I don’t enjoy either more than the other. I do I really enjoy being on set and it makes me happy. I like being able to reach different audiences at the end of the day. I know some people who are action people, and I know some people that like comedies. I’d like to be able to service each and every one of those crowds. That’s what I’d like to do.

Identity Thief will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning June 4th.

To read our interview with Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy about Identity Thief, please click here.

To read our exclusive interview with director Seth Gordon about Identity Thief, please click here

To watch our exclusive interview with screenwriter Craig Mazin about Identity Thief, please click here


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