Michelle Rodriguez plays a schoolteacher lifting the spirits of a young boy bullied by fellow students in her latest movie, the Milton's Secret film adaptation.
The Furious 7 star said she was inspired to join Donald Sutherland and William Ainscough in the light family drama, based on the children's novel by pop-spirituality author Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, because she, herself, was bullied as a child.
Growing up in Jersey City, N.J., Rodriguez was horribly tormented by other kids, she told The Hollywood Reporter as Milton's Secret had its world premiere at the Vancouver Film Festival.
"I was bullied as a kid, but I dealt with it a lot differently because I was at a different level growing up in Jersey City," said Rodriguez. "If you didn't adapt, you die, or parts of your soul would be crushed. People were just really mean in Jersey City. I had to learn to fight really early," she added.
Milton's Secret follows a boy (Ainscough) who discovers that his fearful obsessions prevent him from finding true happiness. The ensemble cast includes David Sutcliffe, Mia Kirshner??and Hays Wellford.
Barnet Bain directed Milton's Secret, which is produced by Buck Productions, Riverside Entertainment and Hulo Films.
Read more: 'Milton's Secret': Film Review