It was “Girlfight” in 2000 that put then 22-year-old Michelle Rodriguez on the map. It would be the film that would showcase her talent through the decade, culminating in earning a spot in James Cameron’s “Avatar,” since it was “Girlfight” that clued Cameron in to Rodriguez’s skills. She was born in Texas in 1978 to a Dominican Republic and Puerto Rican household. She spent time in both countries as a youth before settling in New Jersey; the amount of globetrotting would later contribute to her identification with tough roles.
She won the role for “Girlfight” in 2000 and the film did exceptionally well that year, winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and playing at Cannes later that year. For Michelle, it was a career launcher, and she took the easy money – “The Fast and the Furious,” “Blue Crush,” “Resident Evil,” and “S.W.A.T.” – before moving on to smaller pictures (“Battle in Seattle,” for example) while busy on ABC’s “Lost.” She came back to the “Fast & Furious” franchise in 2009, the same year as the release of Cameron’s “Avatar.” In the meanwhile, Michelle has gotten herself into legal trouble in New York, L.A. and Hawaii, mostly due to driving under the influence. Her tough girl persona she has embodied on film has crossed over into real life, and if her true pursuit is behind the camera as she has stated, she is accumulating plenty of experience for future works.
Michelle on the Web
Michelle’s ultimate web resource guide.
TV Guide: Michelle Rodriguez
Photos, bio and video clips of Michelle.
Good bio with links to new projects.
Bio, external links and filmography.
Michelle’s official site.
Movies Online Interview
Michelle talks about working on “Avatar.”
Michelle on Video
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Michelle visits the Kimmel set.
Michelle & Vin Diesel Interview
Brief clip of the two.
Michelle on Ellen
Ellen asks the tough questions with Michelle.
Michelle on the Screen
“Girlfight” was her on-screen debut in 2000, and she followed that with Hollywood action pictures like “The Fast and the Furious,” “Resident Evil,” and “S.W.A.T.” She found a home on television for a time with “Lost” and James Cameron recruited her as a pilot in “Avatar.”
On director James Cameron:
“I’d serve James Cameron coffee every day for four years and I would consider that college.”
On how she views her career:
“I’m very happy. I wouldn’t take back anything.”