Fans of Gina Rodriguez are in for a treat when they see her in Annihilation. We may all know and love her as the plucky and sunny Jane Villanueva in Jane the Virgin but she’s working on another level in Alex Garland’s latest sci-fi thriller. There’s the look, yes: the Chi-town native partly shaved her head to become Anya Thorensen. But there’s also an edge to her badass paramedic that will be a welcome surprise to many who only know Rodriguez from her CW show or her bubbly persona off-screen. Thorensen is one of five women who are enlisted to head into the mysterious Area X (“the shimmer”), an environmental phenomenon that is warping everything inside it and where no one who’s gone in has yet to come back. And to say she has one of the standout (and most shock-inducing slash terrifying) scenes in the film is but an understatement: Miss Gina knocks it out of the park.
For his follow-up to the Oscar-winning (and also Oscar Isaac-starring) Ex-Machina, Garland recruited some of the best actresses working right now. The female-fronted ensemble is led by Natalie Portman (playing Isaac’s wife, and keen to find out why he’s the only person who’s ever come back from Area X), Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Tuva Novotny and Tessa Thompson. As Rodriguez shared with Remezcla on the red carpet premiere of Annihilation, working with all these women was very exciting, but with Thompson in particular. “I’m absolutely in love with Tessa. She knows it; the world knows it. I’m completely obsessed with that woman!” she gushed, adding that she felt “very empowered to be have another Latina around, another woman who understood the importance of our presence there.”
And, in this exclusive behind the scenes featurette, Rodriguez and Garland talk about why her work in Annihilation will blow people away. “She’s fearless, actually,” the Brit director points out. “She’s a very gifted actor. And very in possession of what she’s doing.” With this and the upcoming Miss Bala, we can’t wait to make 2018 the year of Gina.
Annihilation opens in theaters on February 23, 2018.