Michelle Rodriguez Told James Cameron He 'Can't' Resurrect Her 'Avatar' Character: 'Overkill'

After playing three other characters that have been brought back to life in other franchises, Rodriguez put her foot down with Cameron's long-overdue Avatar follow-ups

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (13846908gg) American actress Michelle Rodriguez arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' and eOne's 'Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves' held at the Regency Village Theatre on March 26, 2023 in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, United States. Los Angeles Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' and eOne's 'Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves', Regency Village Theatre, Westwood, Los Angeles, California, United States - 26 Mar 2023; LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 13: James Cameron attends the AFI Awards Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/WireImage)
Photo: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock; Amy Sussman/WireImage

Michelle Rodriguez isn't big on life after death when it comes to her roles.

After she died onscreen as Marine pilot Captain Trudy Chacón in 2009's Avatar, the actress, 44, recounted telling filmmaker James Cameron to let the character remain dead "as a martyr" in upcoming sequels during a recent interview with Vanity Fair.

"Dude, when I saw Jim recently, he was like, 'I was thinking, What if Michelle came back? A lot of the other characters came back [in The Way of Water],'" she said. "I was like, 'You can't do that—I died as a martyr.

"'Jim, I came back in Resident Evil, I wasn't supposed to. I came back in Machete, I wasn't supposed to. I came back with Letty [in the Fast & Furious franchise], I wasn't supposed to,'" Rodriguez recalled telling him. "'We can't do a fourth, that would be overkill!'"

She theorized that since she's rarely cast with a romantic lead, directors don't know what to do with her characters.

Avatar (2009) Michelle Rodriguez

"I don't understand, it's so weird," Rodriguez mused. "I guess they don't know what to do with the girl who doesn't have a boyfriend. 'She doesn't have a boyfriend. Should we keep her alive, or kill her?'"

When she was first cast in Avatar in 2007, Rodriguez raved about getting to work with the Academy Award-winning director on her website at the time. "I'm so not [the] type to ass kiss, and I've never had a mentor in this business, not anyone I respect as much," she wrote.

"I am about to embark on a journey with one of my favorite storytellers and mythology manifestors of all time," she added. "I wouldn't mind being this man's assistant, anything I could learn from him would make me so happy."

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Cameron's long-overdue sequel Avatar: The Way of Water premiered in December, surpassing $500 million worldwide in its first week and beating his own hit Titanic as the third-biggest international release ever. Cameron has since said he has ideas for up to five more films in the franchise.

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Rodriguez returns as Letty once again for Fast X, the upcoming 10th Fast & Furious installment premiering May 19. She can currently be seen in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

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