How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to Michaela Jaé Rodriguez


Since bursting onto the Hollywood scene with memorable performances in shows like “Nurse Jackie” and the critically acclaimed FX drama “Pose,” Michaela Jaé Rodriguez has shown her many dimensions.

The Golden Globe winner stars in the Apple TV comedy “Loot,” alongside Maya Rudolph, and “American Horror Story: Delicate,” with Emma Roberts and Kim Kardashian; both premiered in April. Her characters, respectively a determined nonprofit director and a single mom who’s likely a part of a satanic cult, couldn’t be more different.

“It’s a blessing,” says Rodriguez, who in 2021 became the first transgender performer to land an Emmy nomination in a lead acting category. “I never thought that I would have two shows coming out at the same time. It’s also a little bit overwhelming. I’m not going to lie, but I’m always optimistic.”

Rodriguez, who has showcased her singing and dancing skills on “Pose” and “Loot,” also is preparing to release her first studio album later this year. She dropped an Afrobeat-infused Christmas single called “Snow Globe” in December.

“When the mic is there and I put the headphones on, I step right into Michaela Jaé, the artist,” she says. “Not Michaela Rodriguez … it’s simply just Michaela Jaé.

“I feel like she’s this kind of entity that comes over me that’s just like, ‘This is what you have to do. This is the message,’” adds Rodriguez, who got her start in a 2011 off-Broadway production of “Rent.” “I’ll show up when I’m on the stage, girl, but, like, this is [my] time to tell my story.”

Rodriguez, who’s known for always turning a look both on and off the red carpet, dreamed up her ideal Sunday for us. It includes shopping at the Grove, working on music at the studio, playing video games and going on adventures around L.A. with her mom.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.

5:45 a.m.: First, skincare

It’s so ingrained in my body to get up at least by 5:45 or 6 a.m. It’s probably because when I wake up in the morning, I always go to the bathroom and set the water [temperature] so it can start getting hot. I love to put a hot towel on my face to let my skin cleanse itself and then I go into my skincare treatment, which is the best thing for me — that’s like therapy for me. I take about an hour or two to do all of that first before I even get my day started.

7 a.m.: Meditation and manifestations

After I’m done, I usually turn on some lo-fi or meditation music, and I take 20 to 30 minutes to meditate and just be thankful. I usually pray and send manifestations up to the universe so the creator can hear. I really just try to manifest and pray on the things that I want and the things that I feel like need to be changed. And while that’s all happening, my boyfriend [Stephen Gimigliano] is probably up already cooking some food because he cooks every morning.

7:30 a.m. Breakfast and tea with my boyfriend

When we’re in L.A., which is most of the time, we are health gurus. In the morning, he’ll usually cook a nice, tasty boiled egg with some salt and pepper. Then he’ll take out some broccoli that he marinated overnight and he’ll garnish it with some onions and garlic. That’s usually it because we don’t want to have a heavy breakfast.

We drink all different types of herbal teas. We’ve been having some really specific ones that are good immune boosters. We like going to Wild and Tea [in Highland Park]. They have all of the natural dried-out herbs like lavender and cloves. We make all of these teas ourselves and drink it every morning.

9 a.m.: Dance it out in my living room

After that, girl, it’s me time. I have to move. I’m always dancing in my home, so I turn on some music and I take about an hour to get all of the energy out of my body because I have a lot. It’s so liberating. It’s therapeutic. Stephen will come in sometimes and he’ll root me on, but I take that time just to really, really celebrate dance. I have a lot of space to do pirouettes, battements and twerk.

I’ve been listening to Tyla’s new album on repeat. The girl is so talented. I’ve also been listening to Doechii — she is fantastic. I’ve always been a fan of Halle and Chloe, and I’m a huge fan of my girls Flo, from London. I’m always supporting my girls, especially my girls of color. They are out here storming the industry, and I hope they keep doing that.

10:30 a.m.: Studio time

For the past couple of Sundays I’ve been going into the studio, and it’s been so freeing to me. I write music but I have really good collaborators. Their names are Sophie Hintze and Micah Gordon. We’ve been trying to build this album that I’ve been working on. We have so much fun when we’re working on music, so I’ll spend about four hours there. The album is pretty much complete, so sometimes when we’re in the studio, we just play around. New music is coming out this year! I hope people love it.

2:30 p.m. Hang out with my mom

During the week I’m quite busy, and I noticed that I don’t get to see my mom as much, so I always take time on Sundays to go over to her apartment to chill with her and the pups. I try to spend as much time as I can with her, whether we’re going out to the Grove or this cute little place called Little Beast where we get dinner, or even Soho House. Those are our places and that’s where we’ve found our tribe at.

My mom and I have great, deep conversations about the industry, about me and her, about family, just about everything. It really, really feeds my soul. I’m so thankful I still have her, along with both of my dads too, but she’s such a pillar.

4 p.m. Eat pasta at the Little Beast

The Little Beast is one of my favorite restaurants. Their menu is seasonal, but they have this really tasty drink called the hibiscus margarita and they line it with Tajin. I love ordering their Brussels sprouts because they [douse] the Brussels sprout in a tasty vinaigrette. They also garnish it with some garlic and peppers. They have a ragù as well as a rigatoni that’s tasty. I’m a pasta girl. If you didn’t see me, you’d think I was Italian, honey. That’s how much I love pasta [laughs]. They also have butter pasta that is so good, but it’s not in season anymore, which I’m a little sad about.

5:30 p.m. Play video games

On Saturdays and Sundays, I usually like to take at least two or three hours for myself to play video games. I am a video gamer to the core. I love saying this because so many people are like, “Oh my God. She’s fashion. She’s art.” And I’m like, “I’m all of that but also a nerd, so never forget it.”

I even tried to shoot my shot to Margot Robbie to try to get a role on this new “Sims” movie. I’ve been playing “The Sims” since I was like 11. I also love fighter games, so I’ll play “Mortal Kombat,” and a game called “Multiverses.” But I’m not a sports girl at all. I’ll leave that to the boys. I also love playing X-Men games and “Super Smash Bros.” It really is my safe place. I escape and it’s so fun to do.

I’m naturally a PC girl — hence me having “The Sims” as my top priority, like that is my dollhouse. That is my way of feeling like I am God and have some control over something, because we realize we don’t have any control. I’m a PC girl at heart, but I’m going to play a PS5 all day. That’s my favorite console.

8 p.m. Scroll on TikTok until I fall asleep

By the time all of this stuff is done, my body is like, “OK, we need to head back to that bathroom and start doing our skincare treatment for the night so we can be prepared for Monday” [laughs].

The nighttime routine doesn’t usually take as long as the morning routine. When I go out, I love beating my face. Just a little beat — it don’t hurt nobody. So after I come in, I use a makeup wipe and wash my face completely. Then I’ll go in with a night serum from Charlotte Tilbury and let that sit for like 15 minutes. Then I’ll use her Magic Night Cream. You’re supposed to let it sit on your face so it can saturate, and you’ll wake up with a beautiful glow.

I’ll usually try to start winding down in the bed by 8 or 8:30 p.m. After a [long] day, sometimes your body does not want to go to sleep, so I’ll be on TikTok figuring out ways to inspire the children. [laughs].





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