Michaela Jaé Rodriguez is making her next move in Hollywood. The Pose trans actress will star in the thriller Wildfire. The film tells the story of a 7-year-old girl who accidentally starts a wildfire. Unable to speak, the child still manages to trick a trans woman named Merribelle (Rodriguez) into kidnapping her.
According to Deadline, the film made the industry’s 2022 Black List, which includes the best screenplays of the year that were not produced. Wildfire was written by Chaya Doswell (Everyone I Love is Dead) and will be produced by Oscar and Emmy nominee David Permut (Hacksaw Ridge), Dawn Krantz (Man Down), and Randy Jackson (American Idol).
“I’m so excited to be working with Michaela on this amazing project,” Jackson told Deadline. “Michaela is one of the superstars of now and the future. She’s immensely talented.”
Jackson, of course, isn’t the only one who thinks so highly of Rodriguez. During the 2023 Golden Globes on Tuesday evening (January 10), writer, director, and producer Ryan Murphy (Pose) made sure to recognize Rodriguez when he was receiving the Carol Burnett Award for his successful career.
Last year, Rodriguez became the first trans woman to win a Golden Globe in the history of the show for her role in Pose. However, since the ceremony wasn’t aired on TV because of the backlash the organization received over its lack of diversity, Rodriguez was not celebrated as much as she should have been.
During his acceptance speech, Murphy made sure to remedy that by asking Rodriguez to stand up, so she could receive her round of applause from her fellow actors.
“I was so thrilled when it was announced [last year] that MJ Rodriguez from my show Pose had been awarded Best Actress in a Drama Series,” Murphy said. “I thought, ‘Wow, how I would have loved for MJ to be on the stage getting the standing ovation she deserved for making history. So, MJ, please stand up, and let’s give her the ovation she deserves to get.”
Next up for Rodriguez is a voice role in the upcoming sequel Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. In the film, she plays a ninja robot known as Nightbird.