How To Be A Good Partner by Freddy Rodriguez

Back when Robert Rodriguez was about to release Planet Terror the partner Grindhouse-style film to Tarantino's Death Proof. We got the chance to talk to Freddy Rodriguez who played the film's anti-hero, El Wray who had his lady's back more than we'd seen in a while. Even then he'd been married for over a decade and he still is. So we asked Freddy to create Ten Essential Tips for a Healthy Relationship. His advice is to the point and covers the gamut, especially if you're looking for longevity, prosperity and consistency in your relationship.

The original story was first published in BLAG Vol. 2 Nø 9 print edition in 2008


Portrait of Actor Freddy Rodriguez. Freddy sits on a chair backwards and glances to the side. He wears a striped dress-shirt. The background is a rich, natural dark slate.
Freddy Rodriguez photographed by Amanda Marsalis


Interview by Sally A. Edwards Photography by Amanda Marsalis Styling by Lawren Sample Hair by Jonathan Hanousek

Grooming by Shiyena


What do you get when you mix three colour-coded syringes with three stages of delivery, the best goddam sauce in Texas, a go-go dancer turned comedian, a bunch of beautiful people transforming into a bunch of absolutely gross zombies, loads of blood, loads of flying limbs, heightened sound effects and the ultimate anti-hero? Well, not only do you get a superb lead performance from Freddy Rodriguez as El Wray (the aforementioned anti-hero), but a rip-roaring rollercoaster ride of mouth covering, absolute attention grabbing action. With the additions of gasps and completely unexpected laughter you’ve got ‘Planet Terror’. A next level ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ that commands respect and a good old-fashioned nod and wink of approval. Only someone like Robert Rodriguez could pull this off. ​ We spoke to Freddy to learn more and take not only inspiration from El Wray, but his own 11 year marriage to get his Ten Essential Tips for a Healthy Relationship. ​ *** ​ Both ‘Planet Terror’ and its sister film, ‘Death Proof’ form a double action bill known as ‘Grindhouse’ - now unfortunately separated, but still each as strong alone. Both films have a new concept drawing from old for inspiration and both certainly looking at cult status. Freddy believes it’s the directors’ history, plus the style, “Everything is so new and innovative you know? It’s a mixture of old-school with a new school twist. So I really think that the audience members are going to be in for a treat. It’s going to be something, maybe they haven’t seen in a long time, or something they’ve never seen before.” ​ So can you tell us about how you got the part? “Well, I auditioned for it and at the time Robert had about 30 pages written. I believe that’s how the story goes as he tells it! So, myself along with the other actors that got the parts went in and auditioned, and inspired him to write the rest of the script. Then he called me up and told me he wanted me to be in it.” ​ Can you explain what Planet Terror is about and describe your role, because it’s really exciting isn’t it? “It is! The film is directed by Robert Rodriguez. It’s a horror film. If you’re familiar with Robert’s films of the past he always has some sort of hero, you know whether it’s an action hero or an anti-hero, there’s always some sort in his film and that’s who I play in ‘Planet Terror’. I’m kind of a combination of both, but there is a lot of action involved.” ​ Brilliant, and that’s really different for you isn’t it? “Yeah, it is different. It’s the first time I’ve played a character like that.” ​ What was it like getting involved in the film and getting the role? “Well, it was the most physically demanding role that I’ve ever done. I had months of gun training and knife training. Fight choreography and physical training, so that was different. We shot the entire movie at night ‘til like 7 or 8am and there were times when we had to film pretty extensive fight sequences and action sequences at around four in the morning.” ​ Oh wow. “Yeah, it was tough. It was really tough, but I think it turned out pretty well.” ​ It did. What was the feeling like once you’d finished filming and you’d had the chance to reflect on what you’d done? “The feeling was... I was burnt out! [laughs] I needed a big rest! It just took it right out of me, but in retrospect I was so grateful to be a part of it and to play that character. You know, at the end of it when you get enough rest and you get your bearings back you just become appreciative.”

Ten Essential Tips For A Healthy Relationship ​by Freddy Rodriguez

Nø. 1 ​ Have a healthy relationship with God first. Once that is active, everything else falls into place. Nø. 2 ​ Open communication. If you can’t talk about what’s wrong or right, then how do you know where the relationship is going? Nø. 3 ​ Great sex life. Gotta be adventurous. Reinvent. The same ‘ol, same ‘ol gets stale after a while. Nø. 4 ​ Sense of humour. You have to be able to make each other laugh. Constantly. If you can’t, you’ll get bored of each other, quick. Nø. 5 ​ Friendship. Your mate has to be your best friend. Be cool, leave judgment aside. Nø. 6 ​ Social Life. Make sure that the people you hang with are also couples, or if on an individual basis, the person you hang with is in a committed relationship. If you hang with single people long enough, depending on who you are, you start to do single things if you know what I mean? If you hang with a wild single person who’s out there doing single things I think eventually you will probably fall into that thinking if you hang with that person long enough! Nø. 7 ​ Conversation. If you stay current with the news or politics or anything that interests you, you have something to talk about. You educate each other. Rather than talking about how good the chicken is at dinner every night. Nø. 8 ​ Stay looking good. The days of beer gut couch potatoes are over. Gotta keep your mate interested visually somehow. You don’t have to be a body builder, but stay healthy. Keep updated with clothes and hair styles. Maintain the eye candy appeal that made him / her interested in the first place. ​ Nø. 9 ​ Hygiene. You have to, have to, smell good. Your scent is strong to your mate, it sends signals. Either the, ‘I want to be around you, smelling you, loving you’ signal. Or the, ‘I want to get away from you, you stink, you get no affection’ signal. That goes for breath too. Nø. 10 ​ Security. You’re mate always wants to know that you’re there for them. Have their back. Even at that moment of truth when you need to strap a gun leg on them to go kick some ass!