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Alba, Jessica and Rodriguez, Michelle (Machete)

Even though Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming grindhouse-style flick Machete is centered on the ass-kicking character played by Danny Trejo, the writer/director was smart enough to realize that every badass guy needs an equally badass girl to come along for the ride. Or in Machete’s case, three of them.

Recently Dread Central caught up with Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba, two of Machete’s leading ladies, during their press tour for the upcoming movie to find what attracted the duo to the project and just what it is about Machete that drives all the ladies wild.

For Rodriguez, who’s built her career on portraying strong females, the decision to work with the modern auteur behind movies like Desperado and Planet Terror was a no-brainer.

I have always wanted to work with Robert so I immediately said yes to Machete,” explained Rodriguez. “I think there’s only a few directors out there who really understand strong female characters – to find that balance between strong and sexy – and Robert really gets that. He understands that balance between men and women and how to complement that energy in a story.”

“I feel like the footprint that the Latin community has been able to leave on Hollywood has been a little grey over the years, and everyone working on Machete knew this would be a project that would leave a huge mark on Latin entertainment. Robert’s been part of sharing that Latino voice with the world for 15 years now, and he’s the guy to help keep that movement going forward into the future too,” Rodriguez added.

Machete was an opportunity for Alba to collaborate once again with director Rodriguez after 2005’s Sin City. However, her character of I.C.E Agent Sartana in Machete is a far cry from her Sin City character Nancy, who had Bruce Willis running to her aid. This time Alba is taking down the bad guys, one stiletto at a time.

Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba Talk Machete

Alba said, “I loved all the fight scene stuff I got to do in Machete since I have always had a soft spot for action projects, especially since my adult acting career really began because of Dark Angel. There is one scene in Machete that still was my favorite to film and it involved me killing someone via a stiletto. It was fun because I spend so much time with stilettos on, and I must say it’s far more fun to kill with them than it is to wear them.”

“You always take a leap of faith when you work with directors, but with someone like Robert, he’s always got everyone’s best interests at heart and somehow it ends up making his movies that much stronger. I think you see that passion on screen in anything he’s ever directed,” Alba added.

Despite the outrageous body count and grindhouse nature of Machete, both actresses were excited by the premise that such an over-the-top movie could still have a strong message at the core of it.

I love the fact that you can get away with so much in exploitation flicks but that there’s still something deeper going on,” explained Rodriguez. “When you tackle a huge topic like immigration and you put it in the context of all this over-the-top violence and action with hot women, that’s just cool to me. At the end of the day there’s still a message in Machete, and I think it will resonate with audiences.”

“I certainly think that it’s exciting for us as Latin entertainers that we get to have a voice for so many people who don’t have a voice. We have the opportunity to look at these kinds of issues and push them to the forefront and still manage to entertain while doing it,” Alba added.

And while the character of Machete is very much a fighter, he also still manages to find time to sweep the ladies off their feet. Dread Central asked both Rodriguez and Alba just what it is about Machete (and Trejo himself even) that makes all the girls go weak in the knees.

Rodriguez said, “Danny is a total sweetheart in real life and his heart could attract legions of women, I’m sure. There’s something about him as a person that’s very innocent and sweet even though in appearance it may not seem that way. In his face you can see he’s been through so much, but when you look into his eyes, you see there’s still this innocence that lives inside him. So much of that comes out with his character Machete, too. He’s hard to resist!”

“You should have seen him on set. Hot women were trying to throw themselves at him even then! It was so funny and sweet to see,” Alba added. “He’s such a great guy so it’s not a total shock.

Look for Machete in theatres September 3rd, 2010.

Badass Machete Artwork and Lobby Card Gallery

Heather Wixson

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