Michelle Rodriguez Biography
Mayte Michelle Rodriguez, better known as Michelle Rodriguez, is an American actress, known for starring in films such as Girlfight, The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil, and S.W.A.T. as well as her role in the television series Lost.
Rodriguez was born in Bexar County, Texas, the daughter of Carmen Milady (née Pared), a native of the Dominican Republic, and Rafael Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican who served in the U.S. Army. She has a total of ten half-siblings or siblings. She was partly raised by her devoutly religious maternal grandmother and was brought up in her mother's Jehovah's Witnesses religion, though she has since abandoned that specific faith. Rodriguez moved to the Dominican Republic with her mother when she was eight and lived in Puerto Rico when she was 11, later settling in Union City, New Jersey. She dropped out of high school but later earned her GED. 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. Rodriguez's performance as Diana Guzman, a troubled teen who decides to channel her aggression by training to become a boxer, was recognized by both critics and audiences, but despite major industry buzz of a possible Academy Award nomination, she did not receive the Oscar nod. Rodriguez did however accumulate several other significant 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 top prizes at both the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals.
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 in 2009. 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 appears in the latest installment of the The Fast and the Furious franchise, which is entitled simply Fast & Furious, due to hit theaters April 3, 2009. Rodriguez can also be seen in James Cameron's upcoming $200 million sci-fi adventure Avatar, due out December 18, 2009.
She recently wrapped filming on Trópico de Sangre, an independent film she is co-producing with her production company Cheshire Kat Productions, based on the Dominican Republic's historic Mirabal sisters who were assassinated in 1960 by the Dominican dictator for opposing his rule.
Multiple 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 Espanol's "50 Mas Bellos".
Rodriguez co-founded a production company called Cheshire Kat Productions which is currently producing a historical drama called Trópico de Sangre (Tropic of Blood), in which she also stars.
Rodriguez is currently writing a screenplay for a family film based on a concept which she describes as "a 2012 story about purity and animals and children".
In early 2000, Rodriguez broke off a near engagement to a Muslim boyfriend, citing opposition to religious requirements he demanded of her, which included covering herself completely. Around 2001, Rodriguez dated her The Fast and the Furious co-star, Vin Diesel. In 2003, Rodriguez was photographed sharing a kiss with Kylie Minogue's boyfriend Olivier Martinez and the two were later spotted partying together on Puff Daddy's yacht in the south of France.
In 2006, she "had her eye on" Irish actor and S.W.A.T. co-star, Colin Farrell. In July 2006, Rodriguez told UK's Cosmopolitan magazine that she was not gay, but had "experimented with both sexes." In November of 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 Loken has since married Noah Danby.
In early 2007, Rodriguez was again photographed with Olivier Martinez. This time the two were seen dining together at Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles where Martinez was staying, with reports claiming she didn't emerge from the hotel until the following morning. In June 2007, Curve ran a cover describing her as a "bi bad girl" and considered by many to be trailing an interview in which Rodriguez would out herself. Rodriguez never even did an interview with the magazine however, and therefore in response used her blog to criticize the magazine and express her feelings on the issue.
When asked by Latina Magazine in April 2008 about the constant questions and speculation surrounding her sexuality, Rodriguez responded, "I don't answer those questions. I just keep it to myself and it's nobody's business. If I wanna fuck a girl, a boy, a dog—that's my business."
In November 2008, during an interview with the Dominican Republic's women's magazine Cayena, Rodriguez stated that she is not a lesbian.
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.
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 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 it. 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, CA on December 23, 2007, Rodriguez was released 18 days later on January 9, 2008 due to overcrowding.