Rosie Perez plays a mother who’s been sentenced to life in prison in The Counselor, a new crime thriller directed by Ridley Scott. Perez spoke exclusively with Uinterview about how she took on the role of the hardened criminal and how she bonded with costar Michael Fassbender.

In order for Perez to embody the essence of her character Ruth, Scott wouldn’t let the actress wear any makeup or have her hair done. “I look beat-down, downtrodden, horrific even [in the movie]. Not only did [Ridley Scott] not let me wear makeup, he also asked them to put makeup on to make me look worse,” Perez laughed. “The only thing that I objected to was could I at least have my hair nice? People in prison, they do their hair. And he’s like, ‘No, absolutely not. You just don’t care. You’re just that type of woman – you just don’t care about anything except your son.’”

Perez ultimately agreed that her haggard appearance in The Counselor suited the character she was portraying, who, as she says, “is a tough woman, a woman who perceives herself as a boss and doesn’t have any fear whatsoever but still has a heart.” It was this characterization, along with Ruth’s sense of family that drove Perez’s transformation into the role.

When the cameras weren’t rolling, Perez was able to chat with her costar Fassbender, who also stars in the critically acclaimed 12 Years a Slave, about an unlikely common interest – professional boxing. “Michael Fassbender came into the makeup and hair trailer to say hi to me,” Perez told Uinterview exclusively. “And the first thing he said, he goes ‘Mayweather fan?’ I went ‘Yes!’ And we took off from there because I had no idea he loved boxing.”

The Counselor hit theaters on Oct. 25. It also stars Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz and Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris.

– Chelsea Regan

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