Beauty, brains and brawns; these are the three words that perfectly capture the essence of Michelle Rodriguez. Since making her debut in the year 2000, the American actress has established herself as one of the top action heroines in Hollywood. She has also won several accolades and is now one of the most visible Latinas in Hollywood. However, as all that glitters may not be as they seem, the outside story is that Rodriguez endured a troubled upbringing that threatened to derail her career. Want to know more about this? Read on.
What Were Her Early Years Like?
Mayte Michelle Rodriguez was born on the 12th of July 1978 in San Antonio, Texas. Her father, Rafael, is Puerto Rican while her mother, Carmen, is from the Dominican Republic. The actress also has a total of ten siblings – both biological and half-siblings. Rodriguez spent the first eight years of her life in Texas. She subsequently moved to the Dominican Republic where she was raised in the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith by her maternal grandmother. After three years in the Dominican Republic, the young girl moved once more to Puerto Rico. She lived there up until the age of 17 when she finally returned to the United States of America.
All through these relocations, Rodriguez was enrolled in as much as five schools. She was however expelled from all of them and had to complete her diploma via the GED route. The actress has since attributed her troubled teenage years to ADD, a condition marked by hyper activeness, impulsive and difficult behavior.
Michelle Rodriguez’s Journey to Stardom
Upon settling down in America, Rodriguez initially hung out with a rough crowd and refused to do much with her life. One of her elder brothers, however, counseled her on the need to do something productive with her time. The young lady took this advice to heart, and with the help of another elder brother, found work as a movie extra. She thus spent the next two years working as a background player on several movies including Cradle Will Rock, For The Love of The Game and Summer of Sam.
All of Rodriguez’s hard work finally paid off when she landed the lead role in the 2000 movie, Girlfight. In the film, she portrayed a troubled teen, Diana Guzma, who learns to channel her aggression and rage into becoming a boxer. Her excellent performance made her a household name overnight. It also fetched her several awards including the Independent Spirit Award for best debut performance, Deauville Film Festival Award for best female performance, The National Board of Review Award for best breakthrough performance by an actress as well as The Gotham Award for breakthrough actor.
Since her 2000 breakthrough, Michelle Rodriguez has gone on to appear in several blockbuster movies including The Fast and the Furious Franchise, Resident Evil, S.W.A.T, Avatar, Battle in Seattle, Trópico de Sangre, 3 A.M., Machete, The Assignment, Battle: Los Angeles, and Alita: Battle Angel. The Girlfight star usually portrays tough-gal characters and has stated that she would continue to fight for women to be portrayed in a strong light rather than as victims. The actress has also revealed that her dream remains to make a movie about a female Latina superhero.
Troubles with the Law
Following her breakthrough in Girlfight, Michelle Rodriguez ran into a series of troubles that threatened to derail her nascent career. The actress was arrested for fighting with her roommate in March 2002. The charges were however dropped as the roommate refused to pursue the matter. Additionally, between 2003 and 2005, the Latina movie star was arrested on various driving-related offenses including DUIs, hit and run, drunk driving, as well as driving with a suspended license. She was sentenced to short jail stints (2-5 days) as the jails were overcrowded. She was also ordered to pay fines as well as perform community service. Rodriguez’s antics made her persona non grata in Hollywood for some time. She, however, got a chance at redemption when Titanic director, James Cameron, cast her in Avatar. This revamped her career and she has been on an upward trajectory since.
Is Michelle Rodriguez Straight or Gay?
Rodriguez has often made the headlines for her sexual orientation. The actress was first rumored to be gay in 2006 after she was romantically linked with a female co-star, Kristianna Loken. She, however, refused to address the rumors and maintained that she “would make a sex video if she wanted to share details of her sex life with the world”. Fast forward to 2013, the actress boldly came out to tell the world that she is bisexual. According to her, she finds men and chicks equally intriguing and so, falls under the ‘B’ part of LGBT. She equally revealed that she came out in order to help others who may be struggling with their own sexuality.
Meanwhile, an examination of Rodriguez’s love life would indeed confirm that she is bisexual. The actress has dated both men and women over the years. They include her Fast and Furious co-star, Vin Diesel; French actor, Olivier Martinez; Irish actor, Colin Farrell and American singer, Lenny Kravitz. Rodriguez also dated the British supermodel, Cara Delevingne in 2014. They, however, broke up after several months together. Since then, Rodriguez has not been spotted with any other romantic interest. It may mean that she is single. It may also be that she has a special somebody in her life but is choosing to shield the person from public scrutiny.