Michelle Rose is amazing. In every sense of the word. She’s incredibly talented, kind, patient, and beautiful. Her performance is brilliant and she made me feel absolutely everything at once. All the fear, the tension, the pain, the determination, the bravery … she did an amazing job and I can’t wait for everyone to see it! But first, let’s get into the background!
‘By Night’s End‘ introduces us to the story of Michelle’s character, Heather, and her husband who, while struggling with their own demons, one night must face a decision that will change their lives forever.
And now … here we go!
The character Michelle plays, Heather, has to face many emotional challenges throughout the movie and I wanted to know what the hardest scene was for her on an emotional level and this is what she told me:
“The hardest thing was the attic being where I’m talking to my husband about a traumatic event that I had while I was fighting in Iraq. And, you know, the just a lot of dialogue and a lot of emotional content. So I would say that was the hardest one”.
With such an emotional challenge ahead, I was interested to know what it was like for Michelle to have to face these types of scenes, to put herself in Heather’s shoes and if she could prepare in advance to be as faithful as possible to reality, to the behavior of a person in the same situation as Heather. She dispelled all my doubts.
“We had a girl working on the project with us who has a military background who allowed me to interview her. I kind of talk about life and sort of delve into, you know, what that’s like. But I use a lot of her information, her experiences. I tried to tap into that for that thing. Like I say, that was that was probably the hardest one came through”
Michelle’s character, Heather, has a big story behind her and she’s one of the characters that I admire the most, so I had to ask her what made her say yes to this role. And I got my answer:
“Well, first, I’ve known the director for quite a bit. We shot some smaller projects together and he always said he wanted to work with me on a feature film. And he finally wrote the script and came to me and said, “you want to work on it?”And I love, I love all his work. So before I even really knew the story, I already said yes, but but once I read it, I really did like it a lot”.
As I mentioned, I admire Heather, I’m in awe of her. And something told me that Michelle felt exactly the same about her. She simply loves this character with all her heart, and feels true respect and admiration for her, which is why she can understand her essence so perfectly. Heather is a strong, brave and determined woman, just like the one I had a chance to talk to. But I had to know what Michelle admired most about Heather. And her answer says it all.
“I think I love that it was a strong female character. You know, it’s being driven. I love the action component to it. It’s very dynamic. I don’t feel like you get a lot of roles like that for leading women. So yes, I liked it a lot, but a lot of it did have to do with wanting to work with Walker. I think he had a lot of talent and I’m sure he’ll do bigger thing. This is his debut feature film”.
Heather is a badass. I mean, she’s the one who takes care of the problem, the one who manages to think more coldly and decide what to do. The one who makes the right decisions. She’s the one who saves the day. She’s strong, she’s brave and she’s determined. Personally, I like that we see more and more strong women steal every scene.
Michelle has a lot of experience in the audiovisual medium and I wanted to know if my feeling that things are changing for women in Hollywood was shared. Perhaps, Hollywood is learning (albeit very slowly) and is breaking stereotypes regarding female characters. This is what Michelle told me:
“I think that was something that I did like about this movie is it does show, you know, that she can be strong and tough, but still emotional. And she does hide behind a mask. A lot of the film, she’s a lot more reserved and that’s part of the problem with her between her and her husband. They don’t they are able to communicate their feelings.
But I think part of that is she has a military background and she can be emotional when she was leading her squad. So, you know, that’s the heart and that’s where the challenge comes in. How do you connect with her husband? Still kind of remained strong person.
So, yeah, it is dynamic. I think that show that is that is how life works. You know, we have many layers to it. We are just the we’re not just weak, but we aren’t always strong. There’s a little bit of both. And so I think that that that character had both both sides to her”.
Michelle is a proud Latina living in the US right now. That’s a difficult situation. The news about the US president’s decisions regarding immigrants crossed the globe and reached Spain. There is a piece of news that left me wanting to vomit. Not long ago, the world heard the news of Trump’s order to separate immigrant families, order their illegal incarceration in a kind of modern concentration camps and, if that weren’t cruel enough, his victims include even children.
And that’s only part of the problem. Today, minorities are literally fighting for their lives on the streets. The world knew those chilling images of the murder of George Floyd and, unfortunately, his is not the only name that is included in this bloody list. They all deserve their killers to pay for what they did. They all deserve justice. But they don’t get it. A few days ago, the punishment that Breonna Taylor’s killer would face was made public, and it is, to put it mildly, clearly an injustice.
I wanted to ask Michelle how she felt about all this situation of social injustice and the battle for minority rights that is being waged right now in the US. Her response was enlightening, wise, sensible, and moving. We both share the sadness and pain of having to witness something like this in the 21st century.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking to watch because I feel that we’re a society of immigrants. We’re a country of people that came here, you know, from all over the place. And so, yeah, it’s hard to watch. I’m half Mexican and a lot of my mother’s side of the family are mexican. I was in Mexico, so I feel connected to that culture. And even though I’m American born and raised in the United States, so it’s hard to watch because I just at the end of the day, I see that we all are people trying to make a life for ourselves and the life for our family. I don’t really know what else to say other than that. It breaks my heart”.
Speaking about minority rights, it was impossible for me to notice that we are always surprised that a cast or a crew behind the camera is made up mostly of POC or Latinos. That is usually the exception, never the rule. I wanted to know if Michelle believed that, one day, everything would be the other way around and we would not be surprised to see a team made up almost entirely of minorities because that would be the rule, not the exception. This is what she told me.
“Yes, we’re on our way of seeing more of that. I don’t know even just any other culture. I really enjoyed watching movies like Crazy Contagion. It shocks me that that’s even a conversation has to be had because, like I said, I see it all as humans. But of course, we need more diversity and more roles that showcase both cultures and people because we all exist and people want to connect with that.
They want to watch people like them on screen. So I hope, I hope that there’s more roles out there. And I think they’re starting to open their eyes a little bit more to it. And it’s slowly but surely”.
Heather is a sergeant in the US Army who recently returned home and has these panic attacks triggered by memories of what she witnessed there. I wanted to know how she prepared for this challenge. Because I find it very brave that post traumatic stress disorder is treated so clearly.
“We had a production assistant on our project that has a military background. And she was kind enough to let me sit down and talk with her. So I just sort of interviewed her. She doesn’t have PTSD necessarily, but, you know, she was able to sort of explain what that life is like. And so I just really listened to her and her experiences and try to tap into. I’ll never understand, because I’ve never been through it, and you get anything for being able to understand what it must be like to go through a traumatic experience”.
Normally most productions try to ignore that this problem is a reality, it’s simply something that is not talked about because it’s a taboo subject, that’s why this movie seems so important to me. It was a very emotional situation for Michelle, and she explained to me how the character was feeling, how she internalized it and got into her skin.
“I always played sports growing up. And so I know what it is to be a part of a team. And essentially what happened to her, this character is…she loses her team and she was the one in charge and that…It has been very, very difficult to go through, to watch your team lose their lives and then she blames herself. You know, I just I thought about it in terms of like that. I think that, you work with these people. They become your family, your team. And to lose them when you were the leader has to be a really difficult thing to go through”.
I’m honored to be speaking with the SAG award stunt winner for her work on Avengers saga. And, sometimes, I feel that the stunt team doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves within an audiovisual production. I wanted to ask Michelle if, with her experience, she felt the same. This was her reply.
“Yes. I think action is valid and it’s important. And it’s a lot harder, I think, to showcase action on lower budget movies, because, obviously there is a, you know, as many resources and money. But it’s it’s an art form. Action is also an art form. I would call it physical acting. You know, there’s a reason why people like watching big budget action movies because it’s very exciting and really so…for us to be able to do it on a low budget film presented challenges. But I hope we get justice even if it was on a smaller scale. But, yeah, I think action, action movies and stuff are popular with them correctly”.
Michelle is a very versatile artist and have participated in projects of various kinds. She’s a photographer, actress, producer, and director. With so much on her plate, I wanted to know what next project we could find her on. This is what she told me.
“My next project…I just working in a movie be called Mal de Ojo. It’s an Amazon movie. I’m doing stuff on that one. And then I’m currently working on a Marvel TV show, although I’m not allowed to talk about it”.
We can’t wait to see her at Mal de Ojo and can’t wait to find out which show she couldn’t tell us about!
This is where my wonderful talk with Michelle ended. We said goodbye in Spanish and I’m dying to speak Spanish with her again! In the meantime, you can look for Michelle in her upcoming film ‘By Night’s End‘ which will be released on October 6 on digital platforms.