Tick, Tick…Boom! and Pose star Michaela Jaé (MJ) Rodriguez graces the cover of the 2022 Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair alongside seven other screen talents.
Posing with Rodriguez on the cover are Idris Elba (The Harder They Fall), Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos), Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and Andrew Garfield (The Eyes of Tammy Faye).
Along with her appearance on the cover, Rodriguez was also photographed for her own personalized cover. She is shot laying beside a tiger on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre.
“I’m just a regular, shmegular girl,” Rodriguez says at the start of her feature.
It’s a humble sentiment, but something that many would say is far from the truth. “Regular, shmegular” people don’t break ground by becoming the first transgender woman to earn an Emmy nomination in a lead acting category like she last year. They also don’t become the first transgender star to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series like she did last month.
In the interview, Rodriguez says that winning a Golden Globe this year “changed my whole perspective of how I saw myself and how I saw myself as an actress…I just felt so seen.”
She also discussed the fact that she still has not watched stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special The Closer, which included Chappelle telling jokes about trans people. “I had nothing to say to it because I didn’t watch it,” Rodríguez said. “I couldn’t let someone’s opinion or their thought process or even their comedy about the trans community deter me, because the moment I let that happen, they win.”