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Paula Patton

Paula PattonPaula Patton, born on December 5th, 1975 in Los Angeles, California is an American film and television actress.

Patton made her first film in the 2005 comedy named Hitch and years later she starred in the fantasy film, Warcraft in 2016, based on the game series.

Patton has also been the female lead in Déjà Vu in 2006, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011 and 2 Guns in 2013 as well as appearing in the critically acclaimed film, Precious in 2009.

Patton was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Joyce, a school teacher, and Charles Patton, an attorney. Her mother is Caucasian and her father is African-American.

As a child of mixed race, Patton found it hard to fit in at times but gradually overcame her insecurities and even began to put on plays in her backyard for friends and family.

She graduated from Hamilton High School, and began college at the University of California at Berkeley - transferring to University of Southern California's Film School after her first year.

Shortly after completing her studies, she won a three-month assignment making documentaries for PBS.

Paula PattonPatton provided additional vocals for Usher on his 2004 album Confessions.

She provided the female vocal counterpart on the song "Can U Handle It?" which was co-written by Robin Thicke, whom she would later marry.

Patton has song-writing credits on multiple Robin Thicke albums under the name "Max" - her middle name is Maxine.

Patton made her film debut with a small part in the 2005 romantic comedy film Hitch, which starred Will Smith and Eva Mendes. That was followed with a small part in the drama London.

In 2006, she appeared alongside OutKast members Andre Benjamin and Big Boi in the musical film Idlewild written and directed by Bryan Barber.

Patton's big break came in 2006 when she landed the lead role of Claire Kuchever in the science fiction thriller Déjà Vu opposite Denzel Washington.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, but was a box office hit, grossing over $180 million worldwide.

That same year she also appeared in her then-husband Robin Thicke's Lost Without You video.

Paula PattonIn 2008, Patton played television reporter Kate Madison in the comedy-drama Swing Vote with Kevin Costner and Amy Carson, the wife of Ben (Kiefer Sutherland) in the supernatural horror film Mirrors.

In Lee Daniels' critically acclaimed drama film Precious, she played Ms. Blu Rain - a teacher at the alternative high school in Harlem, New York, who teaches and mentors disadvantaged students, including the main character, Claireece Precious Jones, played by Gabourey Sidibe.

Precious was a performance for which she received an NAACP Image Award nomination the following year.

She later co-starred as Queen Latifah's character's godsister in the romantic comedy Just Wright in 2010.

In late 2010, it was announced that Patton would succeed Sharon Stone as the new full-time assistant district attorney on the NBC legal drama series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

However, Patton landed the lead female role in action film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and her role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was reduced to a single episode. She was then replaced by Melissa Sagemiller.

Mission: Impossible was released on December 16, 2011 and was a critical and commercial success, grossing almost $700 million worldwide.

Paula PattonAlso in 2011, Patton played the leading role in the comedy film Jumping the Broom - a film that grossed over $37 million from a $6 million production budget.

In 2013, Patton co-starred with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the action comedy film 2 Guns, and starred in the leading role in the romantic comedy film Baggage Claim - a film that received negative reviews from critics.

On working with Denzel Washington Patton stated:

"You can't have butterflies at the moment when you work with him. At that moment you have to be just another person or you'll be eaten alive."

"It's when you walk away from working with Denzel that you go [silent scream] 'I just worked with Denzel Washington' !!"

"You're in your hotel room later and every movie on that weekend is a movie he has been in. But, I can say that working with Denzel is like an actor going to graduate school, for me, it was like that."

"I learned so much from him. He's a genius. He taught me that you prepare and prepare and don’t rehearse. You go in and see what organically happens. He would always surprise me."

On February 24th, 2015, it was announced that Patton was cast as lead character in the ABC crime drama pilot Runner, but it was not picked up as a series.

Paula PattonIn 2016, Patton starred in the romantic comedy The Perfect Match, alongside Terrence Jenkins, as well as appearing opposite Adam Sandler in direct-to-Netflix comedy film The Do-Over. She also starred as Garona Halforcen in the Warcraft film adaptation, released that June.

In January 2017, Patton was cast in the lead role of the ABC drama series Somewhere Between, which premiered on July 24th. She plays Laura Price, a mother who travels back in time to prevent her daughter's death.

In 1991, at the age of 16, Patton met recording artist Robin Thicke, who was then 14, at an under-21 hip-hop club called Balistyx on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, where Thicke asked her to dance.

According to Thicke, he sang Stevie Wonder's Jungle Fever to her as they danced.

The couple began dating in 1993 and married on June 11th, 2005. Patton gave birth to their son, Julian Fuego, on April 7th, 2010.

They announced their separation on February 24th, 2014 after 21 years together and almost nine years of marriage.

Talking about their marriage, Thicke later admitted having "messed up" and lied during a radio interview. With the couple's union in peril, he released the 2014 confessional album Paula with the aim of trying to woo his spouse back.

Patton nonetheless decided to file for divorce in October 2014, with the marriage officially ending the following year.

On October 8th, 2014, Patton officially filed for divorce and joint custody of their son. The divorce was finalized on March 20th, 2015.

Paula PattonHer family lived across the street from the 20th Century Fox lot when she was growing up and she was a fan of films from her earliest years.

Paula claims that as a girl she would escape by "pretending to be someone else" so it was not a surprise that she acted in high school plays at Hamilton Magnet Arts High School.

Her favorite role was that of "Abigail" in "The Crucible". However, she went on to study film at the University of Southern California in a summer program, and won a 3-month assignment making documentaries for PBS.

In 1997, Patton graduated from USC with magna cum laude honors and landed a job with PBS as a production assistant.

"I had gone to USC and graduated and then worked as a production assistant and did assistant work. I probably should have known that I was kidding myself at the time about wanting to be an actress because I remember I had gotten a very coveted gig to be a production assistant on a motion picture and I was driving up to San Francisco to work on this movie and I had heard that the lead girl had dropped out. I thought 'Oh my God, maybe they'll see me and say 'oh, you're perfect for the role'. Instead they were like 'hey kid. Get us some coffee and be quick about it'. After that I worked on documentaries."

This led to her working as a production assistant for TV documentaries, and also for Howie Mandel's talk show.

She progressed to actually producing documentary segments for Medical Diaries airing on Discovery Health Channel.

Paula PattonPaula now professes that she liked what she was doing, but her dream remained the same as when she was small so she took acting lessons and shifted gears to become a performer.

She was almost immediately successful and, within three years, had played parts in major features, Hitch (2005) and Idlewild (2006) and the female lead in Deja Vu (2006) opposite Denzel Washington.

Featured on the cover of husband Robin Thicke's first album, "A Beautiful World". Singer Robin Thicke wrote his 2006 song "Lost Without U" for her.

Patton provided additional vocals for Usher Raymond's multi-platinum album, Confessions, on the song, Can U Handle It?.

On October 3rd, 2014 she filed for divorce from her husband of 9 years, Robin Thicke, following an 8-month-long separation.

To quote Paula Patton:

"Making African American films are hard in Hollywood. We need to rely on a support network and bring more cohesion to different filmmakers, actors, producers and others. It's a very difficult business. There aren't a lot of African Americans or people of color in high positions in Hollywood that we can green-light films."

"A movie is painting, it's photography, it's literature - because you have to have the screenplay - it's music. Put a different soundtrack to a comedy and it's a tragedy. A movie combines all those forms and forces you to pay attention for two hours while sitting with a group of people."

Paula Patton"The older I get, the more I accept and appreciate myself. Sometimes I do yoga, sometimes it's kickboxing, sometimes it's weight training, sometimes it's Pilates..."

"If you're an actress and even one person knows your name, you're lucky."

"If you have the capacity to love, you have the capacity to love anyone."

"I'm black because that's the way the world sees me."

"I try not to have too many opinions; I just marvel at the world we live in."

"I love cola and I think the age we're living in is starting to get scary."

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Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Hitch Mandy
2005 London Alex
2006 Idlewild Angel Davenport/Sally B. Shelly
2006 Déjà Vu Claire Kuchever
2008 Mirrors Amy Carson
2008 Swing Vote Kate Madison
2009 Precious Ms. Blu Rain
2010 Just Wright Morgan Alexander
2011 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Jane Carter
2011 Jumping the Broom Sabrina Watson
2012 Disconnect Cindy Hull
2013 2 Guns Deb
2013 Baggage Claim Montana Moore
2014 About Last Night Allison
2016 The Perfect Match Sherry Also producer
2016 The Do-Over Heather Fishman
2016 Warcraft Garona Halforcen
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Murder Book Det. Angela Kellogg Unsold TV pilot
2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit A.D.A. Mikka Von Episode: "Wet"
2012 Single Ladies Layla Twilight Episodes: "The Business of Friendship" and "Fast Love"
2015 Runner Lauren Marks Unsold TV pilot
2017–present Somewhere Between Laura Price Main role

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2007 Black Reel Award Best Breakthrough Performance Déjà Vu Nominated
2007 Best Supporting Actress Precious Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Award Best Cast Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award Best Acting Ensemble Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Ensemble Nominated
2012 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Kick Ass Award for Best Female Action Star Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Nominated
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Action Nominated
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Jumping the Broom Nominated

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