- Michelle Rodriguez
Rodriguez at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010.
Born Mayte Michelle Rodríguez
July 12, 1978 
San Antonio, Texas, US
Occupation Actress Years active 1999–present Website michelle-rodriguez.com
Mayte Michelle Rodríguez (born July 12, 1978), known professionally as Michelle Rodriguez, is an American actress. Following on from her breakthrough role in 2000's Girlfight, she is best known for playing tough-girl roles and starring in Hollywood blockbusters such as The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil, S.W.A.T., Avatar, Machete and Battle: Los Angeles, as well as for her role as Ana Lucia Cortez in the television series Lost (2005–2006, 2009–2010).
Michelle Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Carmen Milady (née Pared), a native of the Dominican Republic, and Rafael Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican who served in the United States Army. She has a total of ten siblings and half-siblings. She was partly raised by her devoutly religious maternal grandmother and was brought up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses (her mother's religion), though she has since abandoned that faith. Rodriguez moved to the Dominican Republic with her mother when she was eight and lived in Puerto Rico until the age of eleven, later settling in Jersey City, New Jersey. She dropped out of high school, but later earned her GED; in total she was expelled from five schools. Rodriguez briefly attended business school before quitting to pursue a career in acting, with the ultimate goal of becoming a writer and director.
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, 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, Independent Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards, Las Vegas Film Critics Sierra Awards, and many others. The film itself took home a top prize at the Sundance and won Award of the Youth at the Cannes Film Festival.
Subsequently, she has had notable roles in other successful movies, including The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil, Blue Crush, and S.W.A.T.. In 2004, Rodriguez lent her voice to the video game Halo 2, playing a Marine. She also provided the voice of Liz Ricarro in the Cartoon Network series IGPX. From 2005 to 2006, she played tough cop Ana Lucia Cortez on the television series Lost during the show's second season (the character's first appearance was a flashback on season 1's finale, Exodus: Part 1), and returned for a cameo in the second episode of the show's fifth season The Lie in 2009 and 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.
In 2008, she appeared in Battle in Seattle alongside Charlize Theron. Rodriguez next appeared in the fourth installment of the The Fast and the Furious franchise, which was titled simply Fast & Furious and released to theaters on April 3, 2009. Rodriguez starred in James Cameron's high-budget sci-fi adventure film Avatar, which was released to theaters on December 18, 2009. The film became the highest-grossing film in history and Rodriguez's most successful film to date.
She starred in Trópico de Sangre, an independent film based on the Dominican Republic's historic Mirabal sisters who were assassinated in 1960 by the Dominican dictator Trujillo for opposing his rule, the same year.
In 2010, Rodriguez appeared in Robert Rodriguez's Machete, which also co-starred Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro and Steven Seagal. The film was opened to mostly positive reviews and earned $44 million in the box-office on a $10 million budget. In 2011, she appeared with Aaron Eckhart in the science fiction film Battle: Los Angeles which grossed over $200 million in the worldwide box ofiice, becoming a blockbuster success.
As of July 20, 2010, Rodriguez's films have grossed $1,272,734,719 in the United States and $3,686,521,043 worldwide.
Following her debut in Girlfight, Rodriguez has consistently portrayed tough girl, tomboyish characters that operate in traditional male fields such as the police force or armed forces. Rodriguez says that she does not mind the typecasting, and in fact, is somewhat responsible for it:Oh baby, I was typecast the minute I did a film called Girlfight years ago. That has nothing to do with anything, it just has to do with… you allow yourself to be typecast. If I decided I didn't want to be typecast tomorrow I'd just go do an indie film where I play some poor girl who goes through some excruciating experience and win myself an award for crying or being raped [breaks into laughter] or playing someone with mental illness. But at the end of the day I'm not in it for the acting. If I were in it for the acting then I would be worried about people not giving me the opportunity to express my vast array of emotions on the screen. I could give two shits. I only wanna be someone I respect or someone that I consider interesting or fun. I'm here to entertain people and make a statement about female empowerment and strength and that's what I've done for the last 10 years, and people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself and I put myself in that box for saying no to everything else that came on my plate. Saying no to the girlfriend, saying no to the girl that gets captured, no to this, no to that. and eventually I just got left with the strong chick that's always being killed and there's nothing wrong with that.
Several times over the course of her career, she has been ranked in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World", Maxim's "100 Sexiest Women", and People en Español's "50 Más Bellos", and was ranked No.74 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2009".
Rodriguez is currently working on two screenplays. One is a family film based on a concept which she describes as "a 2012 story about purity and animals and children" and the other is a revision of an American remake of the 1997 German film Bandits which she describes as a film "about four girls who break out of jail and get chased across the country by the feds and by this MTV-like representative".
In early 2000, Rodriguez broke off a near engagement to a Muslim boyfriend, citing opposition to religious requests he asked of her. She has since dated or reportedly been linked with her Fast and the Furious co-star Vin Diesel, and SWAT co-star Olivier Martinez.
In July 2006, Rodriguez told UK's Cosmopolitan magazine that she was not lesbian, but had "experimented with both sexes." In November 2006, her openly bisexual Bloodrayne co-star Kristanna Loken's comments to The Advocate were widely interpreted and reported by the media as an admission that the two were in a relationship, though the relationship was never officially confirmed by either actress.
In June 2007, the lesbian magazine Curve ran a cover story that claimed Rodriguez to be bisexual. Rodriguez criticized the magazine for this, asserting that the magazine "put words in (her) mouth". She again stated that she was not a lesbian in a November 2008 interview in the Dominican women's magazine Cayena.
Between 2002 and 2008, Rodriguez was involved in a number of legal issues, mostly relating to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol.
In November 2003, Rodriguez went to court to face eight misdemeanor charges based on two driving incidents including a hit and run and DUI. 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. 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.
In 2005, while filming Lost in Hawaii, Rodriguez was pulled over by Honolulu police multiple times; she was cited for driving at 83 mph (134 km/h) in a 55 mph (89 km/h) zone on Oahu on November 1, and was fined $357, paid a $300 fine for driving 90 mph (140 km/h) in a 35 mph (56 km/h) zone on October 20, was fined $197 for going 80 mph (130 km/h) in a 50 mph (80 km/h) zone on August 24.
On December 1, 2005, Rodriguez and her Lost co-star Cynthia Watros were pulled over (separately) and arrested for driving under the influence. Rodriguez pleaded not guilty when arraigned, but on the day of her trial in April 2006, she pleaded guilty to one charge of driving under the influence. She chose to pay a $500 fine and spend five days in jail instead of doing 240 hours of community service. Rodriguez cited her high doses of allergy-relieving steroids as part of the reason for her erratic behavior. Because the Kailua incident was a violation of her Los Angeles probation, Rodriguez 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, by a judge in Los Angeles on May 1, 2006. Because of overcrowding, she was released from jail on the same day she entered. She wrote about the experience on her blog.
In September 2007 however, Rodriguez allegedly violated her probation by not completing her community service and not following an alcohol education program. It was reported that Rodriguez originally submitted a document stating she performed community service on September 5, 2006, but it was later confirmed she was actually in New York City that day. Her lawyer claimed it was a clerical error. 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, as she had been deemed ineligible for work furloughs and house arrest. However, after turning herself in to begin the jail term at the Century Regional Detention Facility located in Lynwood, California on December 23, 2007, Rodriguez was released 18 days later on January 9, 2008 due to overcrowding.
Film Year Film Role Notes 2000 Girlfight Diana Guzman Deauville Film Festival Prize for Best Female Performance
Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance
National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress
Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards for Best Female Newcomer
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Awards for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated – Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cinematic Debut/Breakthrough
Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Black Reel Award: Best Actress
Nominated – ALMA Award for Outstanding Latino Cast in a Feature Film
2001 The Fast and the Furious Leticia "Letty" Ortiz Nominated – ALMA Award for Best Actress in Film 3 A.M. Salgado Nominated – ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Made for Television Movie or Miniseries 2002 Blue Crush Eden Resident Evil Rain Ocampo 2003 S.W.A.T. Police Officer Third Grade Chris Sanchez Imagen Foundation Award for Best Supporting Actress In A Film 2004 Control Teresa 2005 BloodRayne Katarin 2006 The Breed Nicki 2007 Battle in Seattle Lou 2008 Cats: The Movie Jujube Voice Gardens of the Night Lucy 2009 Fast & Furious Leticia "Letty" Ortiz Trópico de Sangre Minerva Mirabal Avatar Captain Trudy Chacon 2010 Machete Luz/Shé 2011 Battle: Los Angeles Technical Sergeant Elana Santos Fast Five Leticia "Letty" Ortiz Photograph
2012 Resident Evil: Retribution Rain Ocampo In production
Television Appearances Year Title Role Notes 2005 Punk'd Herself 1 episode Immortal Grand Prix Liz Ricarro 26 episodes 2005–2006, 2009–2010 Lost Ana Lucia Cortez 26 episodes
ALMA Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
2007 Adventures in Voice Acting Herself 1 episode 2010 Top Gear Herself 1 episode 2011 Curiosity Herself 1 episode: Alien Invasion, Are We Ready? 2011 Terra Nova Unknown Role Video Game Voice-overs Year Title Role Notes 2003 True Crime: Streets of LA Rosie Velasco Driv3r Calita 2004 Halo 2 Marine 2009 James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Trudy Chacon
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