Gina Rodriguez is about to star in her first big Hollywood blockbuster—as the real-life Andrea Fleytas in Deepwater Horizon, alongside Mark Wahlberg—and she’s ever the stunner on Latina’s October issue, striking with a half-shaved head and steely eyes. It’s the cover image that’s the best, though:
What a close-up, what a movie star. It’s to Latina’s credit for doing a headshot portrait instead of a full-body fashion shot—something the magazine did for its Eva Mendes and Demi Lovato covers, too—as it establishes this illusion of intimacy with the reader’s gaze, something that’s smart to replicate on the newsstand. Plus, G-Rod already seems accessible through her conversational, casual, smart social media personas, so it’s like saying hi to someone on the street because you think that they’re your friend, only to realize that you know them because they are famous. (My male friend did this to Abbi and Ilana from Broad City once but they played along; I definitely would probably do this to Gina Rodriguez, and then feel only slightly dumb about it.)
In the accompanying interview, Rodriguez discusses her star turn in Hollywood, her anti-bullying campaign, and her working relationship with Mark Wahlberg. (I must admit, I laughed aloud when I read the question “HOW WAS IT WORKING WITH MARK WAHLBERG? DID HE UNDERSTAND YOUR STRUGGLE AS A LATINA AND WOMAN?”) It’s a short Q&A, but she really pulls through with some gems, and lest we forget, reminds us of why stars like her are so important. On shaving her head for the film Annihilation:
I think it all plays into the idea of being your own hero and not feeling like you have to live up to other people’s expectations. I am not my beauty. Who I am is not my fucking hair, and to be an actor is to transform. To represent a community is to commit, to give my entire all. So if I’m going to represent Latinos in the industry and in art, if I’m going to represent my little cousins in Chicago, they’re going to know that I went full out. Who are we afraid of? What are we afraid of? The worst thing that can happen is we die. Anything else you can handle.
Amen, righteous woman.