As a little girl, Génesis Rodríguez would tell anyone who’d listen that she was going to be an actress some day. After all, this U.S.-born stunner was no stranger to the limelight thanks to her father, legendary singer and actor José Luis Rodríguez ‘El Puma.’
At 17, she stepped out of his shadow, taped her first Spanish-language telenovela and set her sights on Hollywood. Since moving to Los Angeles four years ago, Génesis, now 26, has appeared in movies like Man on a Ledge, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Identity Thief and The Last Stand. “Recently, [I’ve been] the only ethnic person in the room [in a] mainstream kind of competition and getting the job,” says Genésis, of Venezuelan and Cuban descent. “I beat out everybody no matter how I look or what my last name is or how I speak. I want to keep on getting those roles where my name is Lynn, Ashley, Allison, because I feel that’s who we are, that’s my generation.”
You were taping Spanish-language soap operas in Miami but decided to move to Los Angeles to do movies. What has that change been like?
It’s been quite a change [but] I’m living my dream. I always imagined doing movies. I talk to people now and they tell me: ‘When you were 12, you used to say you’d be in movies.’ And now I am! It’s very surreal. I can’t believe what I’ve accomplished! It’s crazy. It motivates me to do more; it’s so exciting to be doing what I’m doing.
You are now a Latina representing your community in mainstream entertainment in Hollywood…
I am so unbelievably honored. There are bilingual, bicultural girls, boys who have both worlds so integrated and I feel so honored to be representing that. I always saw myself as American as everybody else; just recently I realized that I’m not, but that’s a good thing. Talent, focus will prevail.
You just filmed Run All Night with Liam Neeson. What was that like?
Such a fun movie, but it was [hard] work because I had this 10-pound [prosthetic pregnant belly in the film]. The great excuse is that I would eat a lot and people who didn’t know it was a fake belly would ask: ‘How many months are you?’. [Laughs]
Where does all that food go? How do you stay in such great shape?
[In] Latin culture, we love to eat. I like to take care of myself when it comes to eating, but not to the extent that I’m going to hate eating clean. Whenever I feel like eating dessert, rice, beans or fries, I give myself that as long as I work out. I know I can’t eat whatever I want and look the way I want, so you need to work for it. I give credit to Pilates and my parents’ good genes.
Those genes have given you a killer bikini body! If you have a good bikini and have worked hard in the gym, why not show your body?
Being by the ocean is the greatest thing. I love Miami, I miss it so much. I miss the beach, the peace it brings you. I love the sound and smell of the sea. I can be at the beach all day without doing anything, just meditating and enjoying it.
Is there anything you would change about your physique?
My feet. I have flat feet! What I would give to have an arch. That you cannot buy, people! I get tired quickly and when I travel, when I walk a lot, I get swollen because of [lack] of circulation.
What are your rules for always looking your best?
Having a great tailor. You can have a $3,000 dress that is not perfect and have a $40 one that fits perfectly. Dress according to how you feel and the place you’re at. If in Miami, use colorful clothes. In Los Angeles, I stay with neutrals because the weather changes all day. Gray, black, white. Lastly, what completes a look is the shoes. I live for a great pair of shoes!