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Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez Cannes 2018.jpg
Rodriguez at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Mayte Michelle Rodríguez

(1978-07-12) July 12, 1978 (age 45)
  • Actress
Years active 1999–present

Mayte Michelle Rodríguez (born July 12, 1978) is an American actress. She began her career in 2000, playing a troubled boxer in the independent sports drama film Girlfight (2000), where she won the Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award for Best Debut Performance. Rodriguez played Letty Ortiz in the Fast & Furious franchise, and portrayed Rain Ocampo in the Resident Evil franchise. She appeared in the crime thriller S.W.A.T. (2003), and later starred in James Cameron's science fiction epic Avatar (2009) and in the action film Battle: Los Angeles (2011).

After portraying Minerva Mirabal in the biopic Trópico de Sangre (2010), Rodriguez headlined the exploitation films Machete (2010) and Machete Kills (2013), and starred in the computer-animated comedy films Turbo (2013) and Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017), while her performance in the heist film Widows (2018) was critically praised.

Outside of film, Rodriguez played Ana Lucia Cortez in the drama television series Lost (2005–2006; 2009–2010), and voiced Liz Ricarro in the English-language translation of the anime Immortal Grand Prix (2005–2006). She reprised her roles in video game spin-offs of Avatar and Fast & Furious, and also appeared in True Crime: Streets of LA (2003), Driver 3 (2004), Halo 2 (2004), and Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012).

Early life

Mayte Michelle Rodriguez was born on July 12, 1978, in San Antonio, Texas. Her mother, Carmen Milady Rodriguez (née Pared Espinal), is Dominican, while her father, Rafael Rodriguez, was Puerto Rican and served in the U.S. Army. Rodriguez moved to the Dominican Republic with her mother when she was eight years old, and lived there until age 11. Later, she moved to Puerto Rico until the age of 17, and finally settled in Jersey City, New Jersey. She dropped out of William L. Dickinson 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. Rodriguez has 10 siblings and half-siblings. She was partly raised by her devoutly religious maternal grandmother, and was brought up as a Jehovah's Witness (her mother's religion), although she has since abandoned the faith. A DNA test of Rodriguez, performed by the television program Finding Your Roots, found that her ancestry is 72.4% European, 21.3% African, and 6.3% Native American. She also stated on the show that there was some racial conflict between her families, since her Puerto Rican father had a light complexion, and her Dominican mother had a dark complexion.


Film and television

Michelle Rodriguez at the New York Fashion Week crop
Rodriguez at the New York Fashion Week in 2006

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.

Rodriguez has had notable roles in other successful films, including Letty in The Fast and the Furious (2001) and Rain Ocampo in Resident Evil (2002). She appeared in Blue Crush and S.W.A.T. In 2004, Rodriguez lent her voice to the video game Halo 2, playing a Marine. She 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 during the first season's finale, "Exodus: Part 1"), and returned for a cameo in the second episode of the show's fifth season, "The Lie", in 2009. She returned again in the penultimate episode of the series, "What They Died For", in 2010. In 2006, Rodriguez appeared in her own episode of G4's show Icons.

Rodriguez in December 2009

In 2007, Rodriguez appeared in the political drama Battle in Seattle opposite Charlize Theron and Woody Harrelson. In 2009, she appeared in Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious film series. Later that year, Rodriguez starred in James Cameron's science fiction adventure epic Avatar, which became the highest-grossing film in history and Rodriguez's most successful film to date. In 2009, Rodriguez starred in Trópico de Sangre, an independent film based on the Dominican Republic's historic Mirabal sisters.

Battle Los Angeles cast by Gage Skidmore
From left to right, Rodriguez, Jonathan Liebesman and Aaron Eckhart at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International

In 2010, Rodriguez appeared in Robert Rodriguez's Machete. In 2011, she appeared with Aaron Eckhart in the science fiction film Battle: Los Angeles. In 2012, she returned to play the good clone and bad clone of Rain Ocampo in Resident Evil: Retribution. In 2013, she reprised her roles as Letty in Fast & Furious 6 and Luz / Shé in the Robert Rodriguez sequel Machete Kills. She also voiced a character in DreamWorks Animation's Turbo.

In 2015, she appeared in Furious 7. In 2016 she starred in The Assignment alongside Sigourney Weaver. In 2017, she lent her voice to Smurfs: The Lost Village. She starred in The Fate of the Furious, which broke records for the largest global box office opening of all-time. In 2018, she starred opposite Viola Davis in Widows from director Steve McQueen, and in 2019 reunited with director James Cameron on the film Alita: Battle Angel. Rodriguez started Cheshire Kat Productions, a production company that produced the documentary Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story (2019).


As of 2013, Rodriguez stated she was working on several projects, including a family adventure film and a female-oriented period piece.

Personal life

Michelle Rodriguez by Gage Skidmore 2
Rodriguez at the San Diego Comic Con (2013).

Rodriguez's hobbies include tactical gun training, skydiving, and DJing.

In early 2000, Rodriguez broke off an engagement to a Muslim boyfriend, citing opposition to religious requests he made of her. In 2001, she reportedly dated her Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel.

In late 2010, Rodriguez trained with Sea Shepherd to join the direct action activism of the marine conservation organization during Operation No Compromise.

In 2013, Entertainment Weekly quoted her as saying: "I've gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks." As she explained to Latina magazine: "I'm getting older. Eventually it's going to wrinkle up and I'm not going to be able to use it. I wanted to be honest about who I am and see what happens." The following year, she said in an interview that she hoped her actions would help others in a similar situation: "Maybe by me opening my big fat mouth like I usually do and stepping up and owning who I am, maybe it might inspire somebody else to do the same." She described herself as bisexual in another interview later that month: "Bi, yeah, I fall under the B-category of LGBT." Regarding the lack of unconventional female roles available in films, she said: "What's wrong with being bi? I mean, we're getting flak everywhere we go."



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Girlfight Diana Guzman
2001 Fast and the Furious, TheThe Fast and the Furious Letty Ortiz
3 A.M. Salgado
2002 Resident Evil Rain Ocampo
Blue Crush Eden
2003 S.W.A.T. Officer Christina "Chris" Sanchez
2004 Control Teresa
2005 BloodRayne Katarin
2006 Breed, TheThe Breed Nicki
2007 Battle in Seattle Lou
2008 Gardens of the Night Lucy
Adventures in Voice Acting Herself Documentary
2009 Fast & Furious Letty Ortiz
Los Bandoleros Short film
Avatar Captain Trudy Chacón
2010 Machete Luz / Shé
Trópico de Sangre Minerva Mirabal
2011 Battle: Los Angeles Technical Sergeant Elana Santos
Fast Five Letty Ortiz Photo
2012 Resident Evil: Retribution Rain Ocampo
2013 InAPPropriate Comedy Harriet
Fast & Furious 6 Letty Ortiz
Turbo Paz (voice)
Machete Kills Luz / Shé
2015 Furious 7 Letty Ortiz
2016 The Assignment Frank Kitchen / Tomboy
Milton's Secret Ms. Ferguson
2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village Smurf Storm (voice)
The Fate of the Furious Letty Ortiz
2018 Widows Linda
2019 Alita: Battle Angel Gelda Uncredited cameo
2020 She Dies Tomorrow Sky
2021 Crisis Supervisor Garrett
F9 Letty Ortiz
2023 Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Holga Kilgore
Fast X Letty Ortiz


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Slavi's Show Herself TV show (1 episode)
2005 Punk'd Herself 1 episode
2005–2006 Immortal Grand Prix Liz Ricarro Voice role, anime TV series
Lost Ana Lucia Cortez Guest (season 1)
Main cast (season 2)
Special guest star (seasons 5 & 6)
2011 CollegeHumor Original Jessica Episode: "Sorority Pillow Fight"
Curiosity Herself Episode: "Alien Invasion: Are We Ready?"
2012 Germany's Next Top Model Herself Episode: "A Dream Comes True: Hollywood is Waiting"
2015 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Herself Episode: "Michelle Rodriguez"
Super Into Herself Episode: "Michelle Rodriguez is Super Into Superbikes"
2021 Getaway Driver Co-Host
2023 Barmageddon Herself Episode: "Kelly Clarkson vs. Michelle Rodriguez"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2003 True Crime: Streets of LA Rosie Velasco Voice
2004 Driver 3 Calita Martinez
Halo 2 Marine
2009 James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Captain Trudy Chacon
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Strike Force Soldier
2020 Fast & Furious Crossroads Letty Ortiz Voice and motion capture

Music videos

Year Title Artist(s)
2000 "I Can Do Too" Cole featuring Queen Latifah
2001 "Always on Time" Ja Rule and Ashanti
2002 "If I Could Fall in Love" Lenny Kravitz
2015 "Confident" Demi Lovato
2018 "Nice for What" Drake

Theme park ride

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Fast & Furious: Supercharged Letty

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Most Promising Newcomer Girlfight Nominated
Deauville Film Festival Best Female Performance Won
ALMA Award Outstanding Latino Cast in a Feature Film Nominated
Black Reel Award Best Actress Nominated
Independent Spirit Award Best Debut Performance Won
National Board of Review Award Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress Won
Gotham Award Breakthrough Actor Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award Best Actress Nominated
Best Female Newcomer Won
Online Film Critics Society Award Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
2002 ALMA Award Best Actress in Film
The Fast and the Furious
Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
3 A.M.
2002 MTV Movie Award Best On-Screen Team (with Kate Bosworth and Sanoe Lake)
Blue Crush
Imagen Foundation Award Best Supporting Actress in a Film
2005 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television Nominated
2006 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress
2009 ALMA Award Actress in a Film
Fast & Furious
2011 ALMA Award Favorite Movie Actress-Drama/Adventure
Battle: Los Angeles
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Star: Female
Fast & Furious 6
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action Furious 7 Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite Action Movie Actress Nominated
Chinese American Film Festival Golden Angel for Best Leading Actress of the Year Won
2017 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action The Fate of the Furious Nominated

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michelle Rodriguez para niños

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