Genesis Rodriguez never had to work a day in her life. Such is the luxury of being the daughter of Jose Luis Rodriguez, Venezuela’s most popular singer, and model Carolina Perez. But that didn’t stop the Miami-born actress from working her tail off in pursuit of her goal of becoming an actress. When she was just 2 years old, Rodriguez began taking acting classes, something she continued to pursue well into her teens at New York’s Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. She eventually took her training to California, and then back to Miami, before landing recurring roles in several popular telenovelas, including Dona Barbara, on which she played the seductive Marisela Barquero for a whopping 230 episodes!
The moment we laid eyes on Genesis Rodriguez playing Turtle’s enticing employee on Season 7 of HBO’s Entourage, we knew we were watching the birth of a major sex symbol. Then, our premonition was confirmed when Rodriguez maximized a bit part in Sam Worthington’s blink-and-you-missed-it thriller Man on a Ledge, when she stripped down to sexy pink lingerie, a head-turning moment that vaulted the so-so flick into our personal “best films of the year” list. From that moment forward, we knew that if Genesis Rodriguez’s name was on the poster, our butts would be in the seat.
We’re not sure if Genesis Rodriguez ever thought that her background in telenovelas would ever help her win a leading role in a major Hollywood film, but that’s exactly what led director Matt Piedmont to cast her in Casa de mi Padre, the Will Ferrell-starring telenovela-Western mash-up. In fact, Rodriguez was the first actress they auditioned for the role of Ferrell’s love interest, and she blew the team away with her obvious grasp of the material. Unfortunately, the film’s experimental nature (it was shot entirely in Spanish) meant that mainstream audiences never really bit, despite Ferrell’s presence.
Audiences may have missed her in the anemic Casa de mi Padre, but Genesis Rodriguez’s turn as a an FBI agent in next year’s actioner The Last Stand promises to be a different story altogether. That’s because the film –about a small-town sheriff who must take on a drug cartel — marks the official big screen return of Arnold Schwarzenegger. But that’s not all: Rodriguez will also star alongside Paul Walker in the post-Katrina drama Hours, before flexing her comedic chops one more time in Identity Thief opposite Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.