Michelle Rodriguez

Last updated

Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez Cannes 2018 cropped.jpg
Rodriguez at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Born
Mayte Michelle Rodriguez

(1978-07-12) July 12, 1978 (age 41)
OccupationActress
Years active2000–present

Mayte Michelle Rodriguez [1] (born July 12, 1978) [2] [3] is an American actor. Her breakout role was as a troubled boxer in the independent film Girlfight (2000), which was met with critical acclaim and earned her several awards, including the Independent Spirit Award [4] and Gotham Award for Best Debut Performance. [5] The following year, she starred as Letty Ortiz in the blockbuster film The Fast and the Furious (2001), a role she has reprised in five additional films in the Fast & Furious franchise. During her career, Rodriguez has played in a number of successful action films, including Resident Evil , S.W.A.T. , and Avatar .

An independent film, independent movie, indie film or indie movie, is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the major film studio system, in addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers' personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower budgets than major studio films.

<i>Girlfight</i> 2000 film by Karyn Kusama

Girlfight is a 2000 American sports drama film written and directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Michelle Rodriguez in both of their film debuts. It follows Diana Guzman, a troubled teenager from Brooklyn who decides to channel her aggression by training to become a boxer, despite the disapproval of both her father and her prospective trainers and competitors in the male-dominated sport.

Independent Spirit Awards award

The Film Independent Spirit Awards, founded in 1984, are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers. Winners were typically presented with acrylic glass pyramids containing suspended shoestrings representing the bare budgets of independent films. Since 2006, winners have received a metal trophy depicting a bird with its wings spread sitting atop of a pole with the shoestrings from the previous design wrapped around the pole.

Contents

Rodriguez also branched into television, playing Ana Lucia Cortez in the second season of the television series Lost . She has also had numerous voice work appearances in video games such as Call of Duty and Halo , and lent her voice for the 3D animated film Turbo and the television series IGPX . [6] With her films grossing over $5 billion (U.S.) collectively, a 2013 Entertainment Weekly article described Rodriguez as "arguably the most iconic actress in the action genre, as well as one of the most visible Latinas in Hollywood". [7]

Ana Lucia Cortez character from the American mystery fiction television series Lost

Ana Lucia Cortez is a fictional character on the ABC television series Lost, played by Michelle Rodriguez. Ana Lucia made her first appearance as a guest star in the first season finale, and became part of the main cast for season two. After Oceanic Flight 815 splits in mid-air, the tail section and fuselage crash on opposite sides of a mysterious island. Ana Lucia becomes the leader of the tail section. Flashbacks in her two centric episodes, "Collision" and "Two for the Road", show her life as a police officer before the crash.

<i>Lost</i> (TV series) American television series

Lost is an American drama television series that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 episodes. The show contains elements of supernatural and science fiction, and follows the survivors of a commercial jet airliner flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, after the plane crashes on a mysterious island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean. The story is told in a heavily serialized manner. Episodes typically feature a primary storyline set on the island, augmented by flashback or flashforward sequences which provide additional insight into the involved characters.

Voice acting act of doubling a character in an animated movie or to voice-over

Voice acting is the art of performing voice-overs or providing voices to represent a character or to provide information to an audience or user. Examples include animated, off-stage, off-screen or non-visible characters in various works, including feature films, dubbed foreign language films, animated short films, television programs, commercials, radio or audio dramas, comedy, video games, puppet shows, amusement rides, audiobooks and documentaries. Voice acting is also done for small handheld audio games.

Early life

Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas. [8] [3] Her mother, Carmen Milady Rodriguez (née Pared Espinal), [lower-alpha 1] is Dominican, and her father, Rafael Rodriguez, was a Puerto Rican, who served in the U.S. Army. [9] [3] [10] Rodriguez moved to the Dominican Republic with her mother when she was eight years old and lived there until age 11. Later, she moved to Puerto Rico until the age of 17, and finally settled in Jersey City, New Jersey. She dropped out of high school, but later earned her GED. [11] In total, she was expelled from five schools. [12] She briefly attended business school before quitting to pursue a career in acting, with the ultimate goal of becoming a screenwriter and director. [13]

People of the Dominican Republic ethnic group of people who are associated with the Dominican Republic.

Dominicans are people who are ethnically associated with the Dominican Republic. Dominican was historically the name for the inhabitants of the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, the site of the first European settlement in the Western Hemisphere. The culture held in common by most Dominicans is referred to as mainstream Dominican culture, a mixture of different influences and customs having origins predominately in a European cultural basis, largely derived from the traditions of Spain, especially from Andalusia and the Canary Islands. The country has also been highly influenced by African culture, and Native Taino being a significant minority. The Dominican Republic has also received immigration from other parts of Spain such as Catalonia as well as from other European countries such as France and Portugal.

Puerto Ricans Ethnic group

Puerto Ricans are people of ethnic origins in Puerto Rico, the inhabitants, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and their descendants. Puerto Rico is home to people of many different national origins as well.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Rodriguez has 10 siblings and half-siblings. She was partly raised by her devoutly religious maternal grandmother, and was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness (her mother's religion), although she has since abandoned the faith. [14] [15] A DNA test of Rodriguez, performed by the television program Finding Your Roots , found that her ancestry is 72.4% European, 21.3% African, and 6.3% Native American. [16] She also stated on the show that there was some racial conflict between her families, since her Puerto Rican father had a light complexion and her Dominican mother had a dark complexion.

<i>Finding Your Roots</i> television series

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a documentary television series hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. that premiered on March 25, 2012 on PBS. In each episode, celebrities are presented with a "book of life" that is compiled with information researched by professional genealogists that allows them to view their ancestral histories, learn about familial connections and discover secrets about their lineage. The series was renewed for a fifth season that premiered on January 8, 2019 with guests including Paul Ryan, Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman, Christiane Amanpour, Michael Moore, Marco Rubio, S. Epatha Merkerson, Joe Madison, Tig Notaro and Ann Curry.

The indigenous peoples of Europe are the focus of European ethnology, the field of anthropology related to the various indigenous groups that reside in the nations of Europe. According to the German monograph Minderheitenrechte in Europa co-edited by Pan and Pfeil (2002) there are 87 distinct peoples of Europe, of which 33 form the majority population in at least one sovereign state, while the remaining 54 constitute ethnic minorities. The total number of national or linguistic minority populations in Europe is estimated at 105 million people, or 14% of 770 million Europeans.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre-Columbian inhabitants of North, Central and South America and their descendants

The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Career

Film and television

Rodriguez at the New York Fashion Week in 2006 Michelle Rodriguez at the New York Fashion Week crop.jpg
Rodriguez at the New York Fashion Week in 2006

Having run across an ad for an open casting call and attending her first audition, Rodriguez beat 350 other applicants to win her first role in the low-budget 2000 independent film Girlfight . With her performance as Diana Guzman, a troubled teen who decides to channel her aggression by training to become a boxer, [17] Rodriguez accumulated several awards and nominations for the role in independent circles, including major acting accolades from the National Board of Review, Deauville Film Festival, [18] Independent Spirit Awards, [4] Gotham Awards, [5] Las Vegas Film Critics Sierra Awards, and many others. The film itself took home a top prize at the Sundance [19] and won Award of the Youth at the Cannes Film Festival.

Womens boxing Boxing when practised by girls/women

Although women have participated in boxing for almost as long as the sport has existed, female fights have been effectively outlawed for most of boxing's history, with athletic commissioners refusing to sanction or issue licenses to women boxers, and most nations officially banning the sport. Reports of women entering the ring go back to the 18th century.

Deauville American Film Festival film festival

The Deauville American Film Festival is a yearly film festival devoted to American cinema, taking place since 1975 in Deauville, France.

Gotham Awards award

The Gotham Independent Film Awards are American film awards, presented annually to the makers of independent films at a ceremony in New York City, the city first nicknamed "Gotham" by native son Washington Irving, in an issue of Salmagundi, published on November 11, 1807. Part of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), "the largest membership organization in the United States dedicated to independent film", the awards were inaugurated in 1991 as a means of showcasing and honoring films made primarily in the northeastern region of the United States.

Rodriguez has had notable roles in other successful movies, including Letty in The Fast and the Furious (2001) and Rain Ocampo in Resident Evil (2002). She also appeared in Blue Crush and S.W.A.T. . [20] In 2004, Rodriguez lent her voice to the video game Halo 2, playing a Marine. [21] She also provided the voice of Liz Ricarro in the Cartoon Network series IGPX. [6] From 2005 to 2006, she played tough cop Ana Lucia Cortez [22] on the television series Lost during the show's second season (the character's first appearance was a flashback during the first season's finale, "Exodus: Part 1"), and returned for a cameo in the second episode of the show's fifth season, "The Lie", in 2009. She returned again in the penultimate episode of the series, "What They Died For", in 2010. In 2006, Rodriguez was featured in her own episode of G4's show Icons. [23]

<i>The Fast and the Furious</i> (2001 film) 2001 American-German street racing action film by Rob Cohen

The Fast and the Furious is a 2001 crime action adventure film directed by Rob Cohen and written by Gary Scott Thompson and David Ayer. It is the first installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. It was released in the United States on June 22, 2001. The Fast and the Furious follows Brian O'Conner, an undercover cop tasked with discovering the identities of a group of unknown automobile hijackers led by Dominic Toretto.

<i>Resident Evil</i> (film) 2002 action film by Paul W. S. Anderson

Resident Evil is a 2002 action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, and Colin Salmon. It is the first installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the video game series of the same name.

<i>Blue Crush</i> 2002 film by John Stockwell

Blue Crush is a 2002 sports film directed by John Stockwell and based on Susan Orlean's Outside magazine article "Life's Swell". The film stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake and Mika Boorem, and tells the story of three friends who have one passion: living the ultimate dream of surfing on Hawaii's famed North Shore.

Rodriguez in December 2009 MichelleRodriguezDec09.jpg
Rodriguez in December 2009

In 2008, Rodriguez appeared in the political drama Battle in Seattle opposite Charlize Theron and Woody Harrelson. [24] In 2009, she appeared in Fast & Furious , the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious film series. [25] [26] Later that year, Rodriguez starred in James Cameron's high-budget sci-fi adventure epic Avatar , which became the highest-grossing film in history and Rodriguez's most successful film to date. In 2009, Rodriguez also starred in Trópico de Sangre , an independent film based on the Dominican Republic's historic Mirabal sisters. [27] [28]

From left to right, Rodriguez, Jonathan Liebesman and Aaron Eckhart at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International Battle Los Angeles cast by Gage Skidmore.jpg
From left to right, Rodriguez, Jonathan Liebesman and Aaron Eckhart at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International

In 2010, Rodriguez appeared in Robert Rodriguez's Machete . [29] In 2011, she appeared with Aaron Eckhart in the science fiction film Battle: Los Angeles which grossed over US$200 million in the worldwide box office. In 2012, she returned to play the good clone and bad clone of Rain Ocampo in Resident Evil: Retribution . In 2013, she reprised her roles as Letty in Fast & Furious 6 and Luz / Shé in the Robert Rodriguez sequel Machete Kills . She also voiced a character in DreamWorks Animation's Turbo . [30]

In 2015, she appeared in Furious 7 which grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide. [31] In 2016 she starred in The Assignment alongside Sigourney Weaver. In 2017, she lent her voice to Smurfs: The Lost Village . She also starred in The Fate of the Furious , which broke records for the largest global box office opening of all-time. [32] In 2018, she starred opposite Viola Davis in Widows from award-winning director Steve McQueen, and in 2019 reunited with director James Cameron on the film Alita: Battle Angel . [33] [34]

Screenwriting

As of 2013, Rodriguez stated she was working on several projects including a family adventure film, a drug drama, and a female-oriented period piece. [35]

Personal life

Hobbies

Rodriguez's hobbies include tactical gun training, [36] skydiving, [37] and DJing. [38]

Relationships

Rodriguez in 2013 at San Diego Comic Con Michelle Rodriguez by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Rodriguez in 2013 at San Diego Comic Con

In early 2000, Rodriguez broke off an engagement to a Muslim boyfriend, citing opposition to religious requests he made of her. [39] She has since reportedly dated actor Vin Diesel eleven years her senior. [40]

In 2013, Entertainment Weekly quoted her saying: "I've gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks." [7]

As she explained to Latina magazine: "I'm getting older. Eventually it's going to wrinkle up and I'm not going to be able to use it. I wanted to be honest about who I am and see what happens." [41]

The following year, she said in an interview that she hoped her actions would help others in a similar situation: "Maybe by me opening my big fat mouth like I usually do and stepping up and owning who I am, maybe it might inspire somebody else to do the same." [42] She described herself as bisexual in another interview later that month: "Bi, yeah, I fall under the B category of LGBT". Regarding the lack of unconventional female roles available in films, she said: "What's wrong with being bi? I mean, we're getting flak everywhere we go." [43]

In March 2002, Rodriguez was arrested for assault after getting into a fight with her roommate. The charges were later dropped, after the roommate declined to press the allegations in court. [44]

In November 2003, Rodriguez went to court to face eight misdemeanor charges based on two driving incidents, including a hit and run and driving under the influence (DUI). [45] In June 2004, Rodriguez pleaded no contest in Los Angeles to three of the charges: hit and run, drunken driving, and driving with a suspended license. [46] She went to jail for 48 hours, performed community service at the morgues of two New York hospitals, completed a three-month alcohol program, and was placed on probation for three years. [47]

In 2005, while filming Lost in Hawaii, Rodriguez was pulled over by Honolulu police multiple times for speeding violations, and on December 1 was arrested for DUI. [48] [49] In April 2006, she pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence, and chose to pay a US$500 fine and spend five days in jail. [46]

She cited her high doses of allergy-relieving steroids as part of the reason for her erratic behavior. [50] Because the incident was a violation of her Los Angeles probation, she was sentenced to 60 days in jail, a 30-day alcohol rehabilitation program, and another 30 days of community service, including work for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. [51] Because of overcrowding, she was released from jail on the same day she entered.

In September 2007, Rodriguez allegedly violated her probation by neither completing her community service nor following an alcohol education program. Her lawyer claimed it was a clerical error. [52] On October 10, 2007, following a hearing, she was sentenced to 180 days' jail time after agreeing to admit to violating her probation. She was expected to spend the full 180-day term in jail but was released 18 days later due to overcrowding. [53] In January 2009, Rodriguez completed her community service. [54]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
2000 Girlfight Diana Guzman
2001 The Fast and the Furious Letty Ortiz
2001 3 A.M. Salgado
2002 Resident Evil Rain Ocampo
2002 Blue Crush Eden
2003 S.W.A.T. Officer Chris Sanchez
2004 Control Teresa
2005 BloodRayne Katarin
2006 The Breed Nicki
2007 Battle in Seattle Lou
2008 Gardens of the Night Lucy
2009 Fast & Furious Letty Ortiz
2009 Los Bandoleros Letty OrtizShort film
2009 Avatar Captain Trudy Chacon
2010 Machete Luz / Shé
2010 Trópico de Sangre Minerva Mirabal
2011 Battle: Los Angeles Technical Sergeant Elana Santos
2011 Fast Five Letty OrtizUncredited
2012 Resident Evil: Retribution Rain Ocampo [55]
2013 InAPPropriate Comedy Harriet
2013 Fast & Furious 6 Letty Ortiz
2013 Turbo Paz (voice)
2013 Machete Kills Luz / Shé
2015 Furious 7 Letty Ortiz
2016 The Assignment Frank Kitchen / Tomboy
2016 Milton's Secret Ms. Ferguson
2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village Smurf Storm (voice) [56]
2017 The Fate of the Furious Letty Ortiz
2018 Widows Linda
2019 Alita: Battle Angel GeldaUncredited
2020 Fast & Furious 9 Letty OrtizPre-production
TBA Dreamland Post-production

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
2003 Slavi's Show HerselfTV show (1 episode)
2005 Punk'd Herself1 episode
2005–06 Immortal Grand Prix Liz Ricarro [57] 26 episodes
Voice: English version
2005–06,
2009–10
Lost Ana Lucia Cortez Guest (season 1)
Main cast (season 2)
Special guest star (season 5 & 6): 22 episodes
2011 CollegeHumor Original JessicaEpisode: "Sorority Pillow Fight"
2012 Germany's Next Top Model HerselfEpisode: "A Dream Comes True: Hollywood is Waiting"
2015 Running Wild with Bear Grylls HerselfEpisode: "Michelle Rodriguez"
2015Super IntoHerselfEpisode: "Michelle Rodriguez is Super Into Superbikes"

Music videos

YearTitleArtist
2000"I Can Do Too" [58] Cole featuring Queen Latifah
2001"Always on Time" Ja Rule and Ashanti
2002"If I Could Fall in Love" [59] Lenny Kravitz
2015"Confident" Demi Lovato
2018"Nice for What" Drake

Video games

YearTitleVoice role
2003 True Crime: Streets of LA Rosie Velasco
2004 Driver 3 Calita Martinez
2004 Halo 2 Marine
2009 James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Captain Trudy Chacon
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Strike Force Soldier

Theme park ride

YearTitleRoleNotes
2015 Fast & Furious: Supercharged Letty

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2001 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Most Promising Newcomer
Girlfight
Nominated
Deauville Film Festival Best Female Performance Won
ALMA Award Outstanding Latino Cast in a Feature Film Nominated
Black Reel Award Best Actress Nominated
Independent Spirit Award Best Debut Performance Won
National Board of Review Award Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress Won
Gotham Award Breakthrough Performance Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society AwardBest ActressNominated
Best Female NewcomerWon
Online Film Critics Society Award Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
2002 ALMA Award Best Actress in Film
The Fast and the Furious
Nominated
Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
3 A.M.
Nominated
2002 MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Team (with Kate Bosworth and Sanoe Lake)
Blue Crush
Nominated
Imagen Foundation Award Best Supporting Actress in a Film
S.W.A.T.
Won
2005 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Lost
Won
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television Nominated
2006 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress
BloodRayne
Nominated
2009 ALMA Award Actress in a Film
Fast & Furious
Nominated
2011 ALMA Award Favorite Movie Actress-Drama/Adventure
Battle: Los Angeles
Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star: Female
Fast & Furious 6
Nominated
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action
Furious 7
Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite Action Movie Actress Nominated
2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action The Fate of the Furious Nominated

Notes

  1. This article uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is "Pared"and the second or maternal family name is "Espinal".

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References

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