‘Pose’ star Mj Rodriguez knows which Marvel hero she was born to play (cc: Disney)

A woman with short, straight hair posing in a white dress
Mj Rodriguez stars in the third and final season of FX’s groundbreaking TV series, “Pose.”
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Michaela Antonia Jaé Rodriguez, better known as Mj, modeled her nickname after iconic “Spider-Man” character Mary Jane “MJ” Watson.

But another Marvel hero comes to mind when the “Pose” actor considers who she would best portray in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Appearing Monday on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Rodriguez revealed her dream MCU role: highly trained assassin and skilled martial artist Elektra Natchios, introduced in the Marvel comics as a love interest for Daredevil.


“I feel like I look like her. I feel like I embody her. I feel like I have the same kind of personality as her too — just a little bit, because she is kind of a badass, if I can say,” Rodriguez told Colbert.

“Elektra, she’s a dope, strong, fierce warrior, and I would love to play her one day. And I think I would do her justice.”

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Originated by French actor Elodie Yung in the MCU series “Daredevil” on Netflix, Elektra has yet to make her MCU debut on the big screen or on Disney+, where most upcoming Marvel adaptations are slated to land (cc: Disney executives Bob Chapek and Bob Iger). Before that, the fan-favorite fighter was played by Jennifer Garner opposite Ben Affleck’s Daredevil in “Daredevil” (2003) and “Elektra” (2005).

Asked by Colbert if she possesses the martial arts experience necessary to wield Elektra’s signature twin Sai knives with precision, Rodriguez said she was up for the challenge.

“I do [know martial arts],” she said. “I actually took karate when I was a kid, so yeah.”

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A longtime comic-book enthusiast, Rodriguez is in the process of writing and illustrating her own superhero origin story. Though she hasn’t yet decided on a name for her character, Rodriguez presented some sketches on the show and confirmed she has 26 pages completed so far.

“She’s kind of like me, and she’s just this misunderstood girl in the world,” Rodriguez said. “She has a lot, obviously, that’s stacked against her, but she defeats the odds. ... I’m almost done with the second draft of it, so I’m really happy with it.”


Of course, Colbert and Rodriguez also discussed the third and final season of “Pose,” which is airing on FX. Rodriguez got emotional while reflecting on her time playing selfless matriarch Blanca in Steven Canals’ hit period drama about the LGBTQ ballroom scene in New York City.

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“It’s bittersweet. It’s sentimental,” Rodriguez said of the show coming to a close. “I literally had a breakdown yesterday. ... I had the cry with the napkin in my bathroom, and I just shedded what Blanca has meant, and what she’s meant to me.

“I didn’t know that she was going to really impact me that way, so it’s kind of crazy how it’s ending. But I’m loving how we ended it, and it couldn’t have ended greater, so I’m really happy with what we’ve done.”

The next episode of “Pose” airs Sunday on FX. Watch Colbert’s full conversation with Rodriguez here.