Date of Birth
12 July 1978, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Mayte Michelle Rodriguez
5' 4" (1.63 m)
Known for tough-chick roles, Michelle Rodriguez is proof that there is a cross between beauty and brawn. Born in Bexar County, Texas on July 12, 1978, Michelle always knew she was destined to become a star, she just didn't know how to get there. Michelle lived in Texas until the age of 8 when her family moved to the Dominican Republic where she lived for two years before moving to Puerto Rico. At 11, Michelle's family relocated for the last time to Jersey City, New Jersey. 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 Michelle 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, Michelle 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, Michelle began gaining critical acclaim for her performance earning her awards like the Deauville 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 2000 release, Michelle was already hard at work with films like 3 A.M. (2001), the blockbuster hit The Fast and the Furious (2001), and Resident evil: Experiment fatal (2002). With Hollywood calling her name, the future for this feisty Jersey girl is as strong as the punches she throws.
Was raised in Texas, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and in Jersey City.
Is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent.
She beat out 350 other girls for the role of Diana Guzman in Girlfight (2000).
Girlfight (2000) was her first acting audition, and she got the role. The Fast and the Furious (2001) was her second audition, and she also got that role.
Is an avid in-line skater.
Didn't have a driver's license before filming The Fast and the Furious (2001) and had to obtain one during her training for the car chase sequences.
Plays the piano.
Has two half-sisters on her father's side.
Has two older twin brothers named Raul and Omar.
Dropped out of high school at 17, but later obtained a G.E.D. equivalency certificate.
Ranked #77 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" (2002).
Ranked #34 in Maxim's "100 Sexiest Women" (2002).
It was announced in 2005 that she would be joining the second season cast of the hit ABC drama "Naufragiatii" (2004).
She was the original choice for the title role in Æon Flux (2005).
When interviewed to join the cast of "Naufragiatii" (2004) 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.
Is often seen singing karaoke alongside Lindsay Lohan, Bo Barrett, Emile Hirsch, and Nicole Richie at Beverly Hills hot spot "Guys" .
Has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Was considered for the part of Christine Thayer in Crash (2004/I).
Good friends with Jason Sarayba and Nicole Eggert.
Is a vegetarian.
I think empathy is a beautiful thing. I think that's the power of film though. We have one of the most powerful, one of the greatest communicative tools known to man. It's a form of communication and it's gonna reach you in a way of growth- most of the time.
I don't want people thinking of me sexually. I don't want people to be like, 'She's hot-looking,' you know? I want them to listen to me for what I am saying. And I think the best way to do that is to sniff my armpits, and like, sit and burp every now and then. It just completely throws people off. I had a couple of offers to do some hot scenes in the shower with some guy and to make it real hot and sexy. The next thing you know, I'd be the next J.Lo or something. But that's easy. I want [success] the hard way.
My favorite part of my body is my brain. I think no matter what my body looks like I wont be satisfied unless I know how to use it.
I don't think it's narcissistic at all to love yourself and believe in yourself. I think some people are really scared to do that. I have to. If I don't, I would not succeed in what I do.
No matter what, people are so narrow minded that it won't ever be Michelle Rodriguez the actress, it will always be Michelle Rodriguez the Latin actress. And it's just something that I have to live with, because of the fact that people need labels to understand things. I can't even get into this ignorance that I'm dealing with. So I just ignore it, you know? Ignore the ignorance.
[on why she always plays the "tough girl"]: Well, could you really imagine me playing the girlfriend that needs rescuing? Or the girlfriend?
You can keep knocking me down forever, I'll keep getting up and trying.
Basically, right now Hollywood is a giant factory of remakes because everyone is pussying out and they don't want to try anything new because they're scared, I guess. The money situation in the States isn't so keen right now. Our dollar is shitty, so I can understand why the studios are doing the guaranteed hit-off movies. I'm banking on that and I'm proud to be part of franchises that want me back.
Where Are They Now
(August 2003) Filming her upcoming movie Control (2004).
(July 2008) Having completed Battle in Seattle (2007), Furios si iute 4 - Piese originale (2009) and James Cameron's Avatar (2009), she's now set to star as the late 'Minerva Mirabal' in Tropico de Sangre (2010).