Mayte Michelle Rodríguez (born July 12, 1978)  is an Amer­i­can actress, screen­writer and disc jock­ey.  Rodriguez got her break­out role in the inde­pen­dent film Girl­fight (2000), which was met with crit­i­cal acclaim for her per­for­mance as a trou­bled box­er, and earned her sev­er­al awards, includ­ing the Inde­pen­dent Spir­it Award  and Gotham Award for Best Debut Per­for­mance.  The fol­low­ing year, she made her Hol­ly­wood debut star­ring as Let­ty Ortiz in the block­buster film The Fast and the Furi­ous (2001), and would reprise the role with its sequels Fast & Furi­ous (2009) and Fast & Furi­ous 6 (2013).

Dur­ing her career, she has appeared in a num­ber of suc­cess­ful action-themed films, play­ing tough, inde­pen­dent roles in films includ­ing Blue Crush, S.W.A.T., Bat­tle: Los Ange­les and James Cameron’s record-break­ing Avatar. She is also known for her repris­ing roles as Shé in Robert Rodriguez’s action exploita­tion films Machete and Machete Kills and as Rain Ocam­po in the sci­ence-fic­tion fran­chise Res­i­dent Evil and Res­i­dent Evil: Retribution.

Rodriguez also branched into tele­vi­sion, play­ing Ana Lucia Cortez in the sec­ond sea­son of the tele­vi­sion series Lost (2005–2010) as part of the main cast and then mak­ing numer­ous guest appear­ances before the series’ end. She has also done numer­ous voice work in video games such as Call of Duty and Halo and lent her voice for the 3D ani­mat­ed film Tur­bo and in tele­vi­sion for IGPX.

Rodriguez was born in San Anto­nio, Texas. Her moth­er, Car­men Mila­dy Rodriguez (née Pared Espinal), is a native of the Domini­can Repub­lic, and her father, Rafael Rodriguez, is a Puer­to Rican who served in the Unit­ed States Army. Rodriguez moved to the Domini­can Repub­lic with her moth­er when she was eight years old and lived there until the age of 11, lat­er set­tling in Jer­sey City, New Jer­sey. She dropped out of high school but lat­er earned her GED; in total, she was expelled from five schools. She briefly attend­ed busi­ness school before quit­ting to pur­sue a career in act­ing, with the ulti­mate goal of becom­ing a screen­writer and director.

Dur­ing the pro­mo­tion­al tour of Fast & Furi­ous 6 Rodriguez has stat­ed that she orig­i­nal­ly joined the Hol­ly­wood busi­ness to become a screen­writer. She has also stat­ed that she has two screen­plays under devel­op­ment and plans to take a break from act­ing to pur­sue her writ­ing. One is a fam­i­ly film based on a con­cept which she describes as “a 2012 sto­ry about puri­ty and ani­mals and chil­dren”, and the oth­er is a revi­sion of an Amer­i­can remake of the 1997 Ger­man film Ban­dits which she describes as a film “about four girls who break out of jail and get chased across the coun­try by the feds and by this MTV-like representative”.

Rodriguez has been per­form­ing as a disc jock­ey since 2009 — both inter­na­tion­al­ly in night­clubs and at film pre­mière after-par­ties. Rodriguez has stat­ed that her pre­ferred genre to mix is house music and has gone on the record to say, that “for the most part I like play­ing for mature crowds so that I can go all the way back to the 1930s then through the 1960s, 1970 and 1980s — then kick it into house, hip-hop and R&B. I like to mix it up, it’s pret­ty eclectic.”