Action actress Michelle Rodriguez was born on July 12, 1978 in San Antonio, Texas. She is of of Puerto Rican and Dominican ancestry. She is known for her tough-chick roles, a cross between beauty and brawn.
Living in Texas until she was 8, she moved with her family to the Dominican Republic where she lived for two years before moving to Puerto Rico. When Michelle was 11, her family relocated for the last time to Jersey City, New Jersey.
Michelle has been working as an extra in the entertainment industry since 1999 in such films as Summer of Sam (1999) and Cradle Will Rock (1999). It wasn’t until she saw a magazine ad announcing an open casting call in New York that Michelle decided to audition. The role was for the female lead in the movie Girlfight (2000). Despite her lack of experience in film and boxing, Michelle auditioned, along with 350 other girls. After numerous 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 received critical acclaim for her performance earning awards from the Deauville Festival of American Cinema 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 (2002). She would continue in the rest of the Fast and Furious series and in Resident Evil: Retribution as well.
Unstoppable, unapologetic, and uncontainable, Michelle Rodriguez continues to amaze and inspire. The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival 2118 honored Michelle Rodriguez with the Artemis Action Revolutionary Award for not only refusing roles where the characters are ’average’ females but choosing roles where the characters she plays are inspirational and indelible.