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1. Michelle Rodriguez's closet is filled wall to wall with nothing but black tank tops.
2. Michelle Rodriguez is always a cop. Except when she's a Marine.
3. Michelle Rodriguez has a nasty habit of getting herself killed all the time.
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Mayte Michelle Rodriguez (born July 12, 1978) is a Latina American (mother Dominican, father Puerto Rican) actress, best known for playing badass characters (that are often in the army or a police officer) in movies such as The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil (2002), Avatar, and Machete. She also made a brief foray into television by playing—you guessed it—a badass cop character that dies in Lost. Tends to die in movies, but at least in a badass way.

She came out as bisexual in 2013 casually during an interview, and has supported LGBT+ causes, though she's unwilling to discuss her personal life further, disliking that the news media focus on her sexuality. In 2014 she was spotted widely along with Cara Delevingne. This included photos taken of them kissing while in Mexico together. However, neither publicly commented on their relationship (outside tabloid claims), and it appears they broke up soon after since they were not seen together again subsequently.

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Filmography


Tropes commonly used in her roles

  • Action Girl: She has stated that she won't work in Latin American cinema because of their reductive views on female characters. She also turns down any submissive roles that get offered to her in the U.S. She usually does her own stunts too, as seen in The Fast and the Furious, Blue Crush, Girlfight etc.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: When approached to star in Lost she requested to only be around for a season, so her character is killed off at the end of Season 2.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: She told her agent to let her know the second a Resident Evil movie was greenlit, and sure enough, she played Rain in Paul WS Anderson's film.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Averted. Though Michelle is well-known for her live-action roles, her voice acting resume is rather extensive and dates back to the early 2000s.
  • Chronically Killed Actor: Since she's often Vasquez, this comes into play quite often.
  • Dawson Casting:invoked Diana in Girlfight is a teenager, but Michelle was already in her twenties.
  • Doing It for the Art:invoked She didn't know how to drive when she was cast in The Fast and the Furious, and learned during production for the sake of a scene.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:invoked
    • She trained for two months to prepare for Girlfight.
    • The physical training she did for Battle: Los Angeles was so intense that she was still in great shape when she filmed Machete.
  • Hidden Depths: She's said that one of the first things she spent money on when she started to "make it" as an actress was buying a whole bunch of books, with science being one of her favorite subjects, in part to make up for what she felt was poor schooling. She also claims that on the set of Avatar she spent hours talking to James Cameron about biology and technology between takes, just because it interests both of them.
  • Kubrick Stare: She's very fond of giving these in her movies.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Try to find a movie where she's not, with her frequently being in revealing clothing and occasionally topless too. However, she is very vocal about her private life having no bearing on her work, and resents having her bisexuality brought up all the time.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Her characters tend to be stoic and serious, with very little in the way of warmth. Thus it can be a shock to see her smiling and laughing in interviews.
  • Romance on the Set:invoked She dated Vin Diesel during The Fast and the Furious. It's also rumored that she dated Kristanna Loken while filming BloodRayne.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: As a Tanktop Tomboy, her roles often mean forgoing sleeves to seem tougher.
  • Spicy Latina: She provided the page image from S.W.A.T., due to playing lots of characters who fit this, with the standard looks, quick tempers, highly attractive and tough from harsh backgrounds.
  • Star-Making Role: invokedWith The Fast and the Furious and Resident Evil (2002), she broke out quite quickly.
  • Tank-Top Tomboy: She seemingly always wears tanktops in her roles, showing her as less of a girly-girl while still allowing for some fanservice. In many, many roles her characters are firm tomboys.
  • Throw It In:invoked A gag in Widows when Linda likens Alice's dress to a condom was an ad-lib by Michelle.
  • Typecasting: Her roles don't vary much, usually being some variety of tough action girl/tomboy. See this Cracked.com article for an analysis. She claims it's her own fault for turning down more passive roles.
  • Unkempt Beauty: She's often portrayed as a grease monkey or other character type who usually stays or otherwise looks dirty while still being quite beautiful.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: She usually plays the tougher girl in a work, and dies for it.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Rain was supposed to die much earlier in Resident Evil (2002) (JD's death was meant for her). The reasons for the change range from Michelle being one of the most recognizable names in the cast and therefore better to keep in the film longer, or Milla Jovovich protesting to make the female characters more empowered (her character Alice was originally just a Damsel in Distress until she protested).
    • She was the first choice for the lead in the Æon Flux movie, which ended up played by Charlize Theron.
    • She was considered for the role of Christine in Crash that went to Thandiwe Newton.
    • Her character Santos didn't exist in the initial drafts of Battle: Los Angeles, and wasn't added until a month before filming began.
    • In Resident Evil: Retribution she filmed some scenes as a zombie doppelganger, but they were cut.
    • She initially turned down the role of Linda in Widows ("I didn't see the female empowerment in soft power. It was an all-too-familiar tale of poverty in an urban environment. I've lived that life - why would I want to portray it?"). Steve McQueen auditioned several other actresses, none of whom he felt fit the role, so he met with Michelle and convinced her to sign on.

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