Overview (4)Born July 30, 1984 in Chicago, Illinois, USA Birth Name Virginia Ernestine Rodriguez Nickname Cutz Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Named the "next big thing" and one of the "top 35 Latinos under 35," by The Hollywood Reporter, Gina Rodriguez's profile has been rising steadily since her breakout performance as the titular character in FILLY BROWN during the Sundance Film Festival in 2012.
Gina Rodriguez was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Puerto Rican parents Magali and Genaro Rodriguez, a boxing referee. She started performing at age seven with the salsa dance company Fantasia Juvenil. She went on to work with other companies including Los Soneros Del Swing, performing at several Salsa Congress' in Chicago, California, New York and Puerto Rico. At sixteen, Gina was one of thirteen teens to be accepted into Columbia University NY- Theatrical Collaboration taught by Richard Niles. She wrote, directed and performed original work with twelve other kids from around the world. She fell in love with New York and NYU called her name-she was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, and the calling was clear, theatre was it. Gina had four years of intense theatre training at both the Atlantic Theatre Company and Experimental Theatre Wing, working with David Mamet and William H. Macy, the brilliant guidance of Rosemary Quinn and other wonderful professors. Directly after graduation, Gina booked her first lead role in the feature film Tiny Dancer. After, Gina originated the role of Frida Kahlo in the world premiere of "Casa Blue: The Last Moments in the Life of Frida Kahlo," at the American Stage Theatre. She continued to work in NY with multiple theatres and her work in film and TV steadily grew, including shows "Jonny Zero," "Army Wives," and "Law and Order," in addition to several short and indie films. One in particular, Osvaldos, was accepted into festivals including ABFF, NY HBO Latino Film Fest, Chicago International Film Fest, Urbanworld. They named Gina winner of the "Best Actor" award at the First Run Film Festival in NY and the film aired on HBO in 2010 and was named one of the "Five Best Shorts." After the years of success in NY, Gina booked a lead role in a feature film Go for It (Lionsgate) in which she received a 2011 Imagen Awards nomination. After this, Gina booked her first co-star TV role on CBS' "Eleventh Hour." She went on to book series regular roles on web series "Eden's Court" and "No Names;" her first studio film Our Family Wedding with America Ferrera; and a lead in film Superchicas. Since then she has also guest starred on the TV shows: "The Mentalist," "Happy Endings" and "Ten Things I Hate About You." Next up came one of Gina's most exciting roles, to date, Filly Brown. Originally, this role had been written as a spoken word artist, an area that Gina had experience, but upon meeting the directors and producers, they informed her that they were changing the part to a rapper. After an outstanding audition, in which Gina provided an impromptu rap performance, she secured the role. Gina collaborated with music producers, E Dub and Khoolaid from Silent Giant, to come up with over five original songs for the film. Filly Brown is set to hit theatres nationally in April 2013.
Up next, Gina stars as the lead in the indie dark comedy Sleeping with Fishes, written and directed by Nicole Gomez Fisher. The film focuses on Alexis Rodriguez Fish, who returns home to her family after the death of her cheating husband. Anna Ortiz will play her sister. Gina remains in the midst of an ABC studios holding deal, and will be seen in a supporting role in Snap, a reunion with her FILLY BROWN director Youssef Delara. Her indie film California Winter with Ruttina Wesley remains in the pipeline as well.
Gina is a supporter of Inspira, an organization that works to spotlight Latino leaders who shape their communities. She also works with the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and the Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative, and won an Imagen award winner for "Best Actress in a Feature Film: Filly Brown".
As of 2014, Gina stars in the CW television series Jane the Virgin (2014), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe (Best Actress in a Television Series - Comedy). She lives in Los Angeles, CA.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: MLC PR
Serves as a board member for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
She has said that her dream role is to play a superhero.
Slated to play the character Carmen Sandiego twice: once as voice-over performer in Carmen Sandiego (2019) and again in the live action film Carmen Sandiego.
Personal Quotes (36)
I try to keep in mind that it's a long journey. It's not a race. It's about staying focused, continuing to do good work, make my family and community proud; that's all I really want to do... and pay my bills.
I like to peel it and share it with friends. You can spread the love with an orange.
Every morning, my dad would have me looking in the mirror and repeat, 'Today is going to be a great day; I can, and I will.'
This industry is all about work, and just because Sundance exposed me to the world, it is my job to stay deserving in that world. The work never ends; the hustle just get harder, and you get stronger!
I think when you work really hard and you help others, God helps you get what you want.
Latinos don't go out and support their own films, but at the same time, it's not their responsibility.
It's clear to me that execs need to step outside of their office and really look at life. We are in interracial relationships. We speak multiple languages. We're multiple religions inside of that. I have Jewish ancestors. My sister converted to Judaism. I have Christians and Catholics and Buddhists in my family. I have multiracial, multiethnic relationships. We need to start casting color-blind because there is no specific anymore.
I've learned a lot about what kind of actor I want or do not want to be while being on set. I sit back and observe how other actors treat the totem pole of set politics.
I started salsa dancing with a few different companies and started touring the country. It was fantastic, but I realized that I really wanted to talk every time we were performing. That's a problem because when you're dancing, if you stop to talk, that's not really cool to the other dancers.
'Filly Brown' gave me the wings to fly, but red carpets are still very uncomfortable.
I dream big, baby. I want to do thrillers, I want to do smart David Lynch-type mysteries.
What I will not do is continue to perpetuate stereotypes. I'm the daughter of a maid; why do I have to also play a maid? My mom was a maid so I didn't have to be a maid.
I can live in L.A. as a struggling artist. I cannot live in New York as a struggling artist.
I've specifically decided to say no to projects that weren't advancing Latinos, that weren't showing us in a positive light, roles that were gratuitous and spreading untruths.
I don't want the Latino community to think I think the reason Latino films are not doing well is because of us. It is not fully our responsibility.
With each dream accomplished, bigger ones are put in their place.
I do not devalue the role of a maid or nanny, or the stereotypical roles that some members of our family have actually done to feed our families in real life.
I grew up dancing salsa - you know, a traditional Puerto Rican dance.
I am not going to take a role because there's money. It might extend my checkbook, but not my integrity.
Acting is how I'll be able to change how Latinos are viewed in media and change how little girls see and talk about themselves.
I learned a lot from Ana Ortiz, who plays my sister in 'Sleeping with the Fishes'.
I started small with commercials and print.
I love relatable stories.
I grew up in Chicago, so hip-hop has always been a part of my life.
I love telling stories that allow people to be less afraid to tell theirs.
I think all Latino actors want to be storytellers first. I want to be an actor first, and then I want to be Latina.
I started performing very young as a salsa dancer, and every time I was on that stage dancing, all I knew was that I wanted to speak. I wanted the music to stop, and I wanted to speak.
When I got out of college, I booked a movie called 'Go for It!' with Lionsgate, came out here, and I've been acting ever since - or trying, constantly trying.
I was a salsa dancer for the majority of my life, from, like, 7 to 17, and did the World Salsa Congresses. I realized that I wanted to continue obviously to be a performer. But in my household, being an actor and jumping into acting is not really accepted.
What makes characters real are details, and if you're crafting a person from scratch, you're probably not going to pay as much attention to a question like, 'Does this person bite their nails?'
I went to college at NYU for acting, since acting was my dream from very young. I did a lot of hip-hop courses while I was there. I helped co-write a hip-hop production for the main stage of NYU, but I never touched rap.
Being an actress wasn't realistic. I knew that I was going to have to do it in a way that would speak to my parents. So I went to NYU Tisch School of the Arts for theater, and I studied at the conservatory.
I've been very lucky; God has done amazing things for me.
I will play the characters with last names like Sanchez and Gonzalez until the day I die, but I also want to play the 'Michelle Smiths.'
I'm not messing with skiing. You can't get this Puerto Rican on the slope. Uh-uh.
I felt very vulnerable after 'Sleeping with the Fishes'; I gained weight for the role. I felt a bit out of my skin in the movie, and it was hard to watch.