Jul. 12th, 1978
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Michelle Rodriguez's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Mayte Michelle Rodriguez (born July 12, 1978), simply credited as Michelle Rodriguez, is an American actress, screenwriter and disc jockey. Known for tough-chick roles, Rodriguez is proof that there is a cross between beauty and brawn.
Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas. Her mother, Carmen Milady Rodriguez (born Pared Espinal), is a native of the Dominican Republic, and her father, Rafael Rodriguez, is a Puerto Rican who served in the United States Army. Rodriguez moved to the Dominican Republic with her mother when she was eight years old and lived there until the age of 11 for 3 years, Later she moved to Puerto Rico til the age of 17 and finally settled in Jersey City, New Jersey. She dropped out of high school but later earned her GED; in total, she was expelled from five schools. She briefly attended business school before quitting to pursue a career in acting, with the ultimate goal of becoming a screenwriter and director.
Although she has been working since 1999 as an extra in such films as Summer of Sam (1999) and Cradle Will Rock (1999), it only took a magazine ad announcing an open casting call in New York for Rodriguez to decide to finally step into the spotlight. The role was the female lead, the movie was Girlfight (2000). Despite the lack of experience in film and boxing, Rodriguez auditioned, along with another 350 girls.
After various trials inside an actual boxing ring and five arduous months of training in Brooklyn's Gleason's Gym, she was finally chosen to portray the role of Diana Guzman. As soon as the independent film began making the rounds at various film festivals, Rodriguez began gaining critical acclaim for her performance earning her awards like the Deaxville Festival of American Cinema award for Best Actress and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society for Female Breakthrough Performance. As Girlfight (2000) continued to gain notoriety with its September 200 release, Rodriguez was already hard at work with films like 3 A.M. (2001), the blockbuster hit The Fast and the Furious (2001), and Resident Evil (2002). With Hollywood calling her name, the future for this feisty Jersey girl is as strong as the punches she throws.
In 2008, Rodriguez appeared in Battle in Seattle. In 2009, she appeared in Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of the The Fast and the Furious film series. Later that year, Rodriguez starred in James Cameron's high-budget sci-fi adventure film Avatar, which became the highest-grossing film in history and Rodriguez's most successful film to date. She has expressed interest in returning for the film's two sequels. In 2009, Rodriguez also starred in Trópico de Sangre, an independent film based on the Dominican Republic's historic Mirabal sisters.
In early 2000, Rodriguez broke off a near engagement to a Muslim boyfriend, citing opposition to religious requests he made of her. She has since dated or reportedly been linked with her Fast and the Furious co-star 'Vin Diesel', and S.W.A.T. co-star 'Olivier Martinez'.
In July 2006, Rodriguez told Cosmopolitan magazine that she is not a lesbian, but had "experimented with both sexes".
- Ranked #77 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" (2002).
- Plays the piano.
- Ranked #34 in Maxim's "100 Sexiest Women" (2002).
- Has two half-sisters on her father's side.
- _Girlfight (2000)_ (qv) was her first acting audition, and she got the role. _The Fast and the Furious (2001)_ (qv) was her second audition, and she also got that role.
- She beat out 350 other girls for the role of Diana Guzman in _Girlfight (2000)_ (qv).
- Didn't have a driver's license before filming _The Fast and the Furious (2001)_ (qv) and had to obtain one during her training for the car chase sequences.
- When interviewed to join the cast of _"Lost" (2004)_ (qv) as a tough LAPD cop, she insisted that she would only sign on for one year because she is a "nomadic spirit". The producers came up with a story line and sold the idea of the short contract to the network.