Eiza Gonzalez is beyond grateful for what the past year has brought her, but there is still so much that she wants to accomplish.
“I just can’t believe it can get better than 2018,” the actress told ET’s Courtney Tezeno during the Welcome to Marwenjunket in Los Angeles, when reflecting on her career highlights and upcoming projects.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Gonzalez would be part of The Fast and the Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, in the new role of Madam M. Gonzalez told ET that while filming the action flick, she had a moment of panic, thinking this was “too good to be true.” Thankfully her mother, Glenda Reyna, helped her reflect on the big opportunity.
“I had a conversation with my mom. Two days ago, she was with me on the set of Hobbs & Shaw. I sat down with her and I looked at her and I said, ‘I am scared,'” the 28-year-old actress revealed. “And she said, ‘What do you mean?’ I was like, ‘I’m just scared this is going to be the end?’ I’m still a woman. I’m still insecure and I fear when you’re like, ‘This is too good to be true!’ I’m so determined and I always want to do the best job that I can. I’m such a perfectionist that if I’m not then I feel like people are going to be disappointed in me.”
“All I care is representing Latina women in a way where they feel proud. So that is daunting too,” she continued. “But that’s the beauty of having a beautiful family. She looked at me and said, ‘All that matters, babe, is to be a good person. Continue to be the loving, thoughtful girl that you are and that will bring things to your life.'”
Beginning her acting career in Mexico when she was 13 years old, Gonzalez has successfully crossed over into Hollywood, landing roles in Baby Driver,Godzilla vs. Kong, Bloodshot and James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel. Every project, she said, has only made her a better actress.
“Everything’s a lesson,” Gonzalez relayed about what she’s learned over the course of her career. “[I’ve learned] that you should also be proud of everything you do. There’s no small things in life. There’s this stigma of doing soap operas and I’m like, soap operas prepped me. I would have never been ready for this. The things that you learn, the discipline and work ethic that you have to have at 13 in a soap opera, that keeps on going every single day and you have to shoot 100 scenes. That’s a lesson. That prepped me to be really well prepared for when I came to America. Every single step down the line has been a massive lesson to me in what not to do too.”
It’s having that perspective, as well as a strong support system like her family, that has helped her achieve her dreams. She also credits Robert Rodriguez for helping kick-start her Hollywood career.
“My mentor is Robert Rodriguez,” she said, adding that he helped her land the role of Santánico Pandemonium in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. “He brought me into this industry and he’s taken care of me.”
The duo recently reunited to work on Alita: Battle Angel, a CGI action-adventure film in which she portrays cyborg Nyssiana — a role she calls “a special performance.”
“As my career has gone forward, I’m a driven actress in the sense of, to me, there are no small roles,” she expressed. “[My role in Alita], it’s a small thing comparatively speaking, but what excited me was [that it’s] the first time I got to do motion capture, which introduced me and prepped me for Welcome to Marwen. So there’s no experience that will not leave you a lesson.”
What makes this role even more unique for Gonzalez is the fact that she wasn’t necessarily portraying a Latina.
“I got to portray a character where I didn’t necessarily have to be anything related to a Latina,” she explained, adding, “That’s what I also want to do, is branch out and kind of show and broadcast that Latina women are everything. I can be the typical Adelita [in Marwen], just a very typical Mexican woman. But I can also be a cyborg and I can also be a worldly woman.”
“You’ll Google some actresses and it says ‘actress,'” Gonzalez explained. “But if you Google me it’s ‘Mexican actress,’ and that’s the stereotype that I want to break. As an actress, that’s my agenda. If that means taking smaller roles that’s going to help get to that place and be seen in a different light [so be it]. [I want people to say], ‘Oh, she went and did this but then went and did that.’ That, to me, is the ideal.”
There’s no doubt that Gonzalez will achieve that and so much more, already starring in a variety of different roles that fans will get to see in the coming year.
Welcome to Marwen arrives in theaters on Dec. 21. Hear all about her experience on the Steve Carell-led drama in ET’s interview below.
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