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The Religious Affiliation of Actress
From: Meghan Sutherland, "Michelle Rodgriguez: Attitudinal Actress" page in "Beautiful People" article, published in Paper Mag, April 2002 (http://www.papermag.com/magazine/mag_02/mag_apr02/beautiful_people2002/michelle_rodriguez.html; viewed 11 August 2005):
Michelle Rodriguez knows her weaknesses. Discipline? "My irresponsibility could lead me to get blacklisted from Hollywood one day." Surfing? "I suck. I'm bad." Being feminine? "I don't like sitting around looking cute, that's not me." As she proved in Girlfight (2000), the 23-year-old actress also knows how to be tough. After growing up a Jehovah's Witness with five brothers in Texas, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez landed in Jersey City and dropped out of high school.
From: Beat Box Betty, "Celebrity: Michelle Rodriguez" on BeatBoxBetty.com, October 2000 (http://www.beatboxbetty.com/celebetty/michellerodriguez/michellerodriguez.htm; viewed 11 August 2005):
Betty [interviewer]: You seem very grounded for your age. Can you tell me a little bit about your family background?
From: Olivier Martinez, Interview with Michelle Rodriguez published in Interview, September 2003 (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1285/is_8_33/ai_106914962; viewed 11 August 2005):
Michelle [Rodriguez]: My family background? Whew. That's pretty cookey. I was born in Texas and I lived there 'till I was eight. Then I moved to the Dominican Republic with my mom, lived there for two years and forgot every word of English I knew. From there, 'cause my brother just couldn't get the education he wanted, we moved to Puerto Rico for a year, and from there I came to Jersey City! I grew up a Jehovah's Witness because my grandmother was really influencing that lifestyle on me. That is a very morally intense religion. And although they keep you from experiencing a lot of the bad things that can really hurt you out there in the world, they are also depriving you from experiencing life. And a lot of things you learn from after being in life.
So, I had that Jehovah Witness influence 'till I was fourteen in Jersey City and whenever I would visit my dad, it was like Freud and Darwin, and "learn for yourself," and "play chess," and experience things for yourself. So I grew up torn. That's my background.
OM [interviewer Olivier Martinez]: So when you became an actress, what was the reaction of your family and friends?
From: Farrah Weinstein, "Michelle Rodriguez: Substance & Style" in New York Post, 12 January 2003 (http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/53055.htm; viewed 11 August 2005 on http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/14/44351/1.ashx):
MR [Michelle Rodriguez]: A lot of my friends were really happy for me, and there were others that were jealous. And my mom's a Jehovah's Witness, so she wasn't too happy. It was more along the lines of "They're using you." I'm part of the devil's tool. [laughs] But my brothers are really happy for me.
She's known for playing super-tough chicks in movies like "Girlfight," "The Fast and the Furious," "Resident Evil" and "Blue Crush" (set for DVD release on Jan. 14). Her hot on-screen chemistry with Vin Diesel in "The Fast and the Furious" was so convincing that rumors circulated of a real-life romance between the two.
While filming "Blue Crush" in Hawaii, the 24-year-old, 5-foot-6 Latina earned the nickname "Pitta," the name for outlaw local girls, because of the risks she took while surfing.
She has a tough image off screen, too. Rodriguez was arrested for beating up her roommate in Jersey City last April.
Born in Bexar County, Texas, brought up in New Jersey, and raised as a Jehovah's Witness, Rodriguez was kicked out of six different schools.
She first found work as an extra in "Summer of Sam" and "Cradle Will Rock." The brawny brunette beat out 350 girls for the lead role of Diana Guzman in 2000's "Girlfight," which catapulted Rodriguez to stardom.
Webpage created 11 August 2005. Last modified 11 August 2005.
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