The wisecracking team of Marines is probably the best thing about James Cameron’s Alien sequel from 1986 and one of the best things about that team is Private First Class Jenette “El Riesgo Siempre Vive” Vasquez.
Sure, Hicks seems like the ne plus ultra of the gang, but even he and Hudson, are both completely dominated by Vasquez. Game over, man! She’s an undeniable force: quick-tempered, loyal unto death, fearless, completely self-possessed. Even Ripley seems soft in comparison.
Vasquez was portrayed by Jenette Goldstein, who at the time had been unemployed in Britain, bodybuilding to kill time. But decided to try out to read for Aliens but figured it would be a little rom-com about an American who marries a Brit to get a resident card. After multiple readings in which James Cameron got down on the floor with her to improv military scenes — she got the job.
Vasquez is the likable unlikable person we all wish we could be because she’s comfortable being herself. She’s loyal to her comrades and respected for it, and if you give these traits to any character, she might connect with an audience long-term.