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Génesis Rodríguez Pérez, born July 29th, 1987 in Miami, Florida is a Cuban-American actress known for her leading roles in Telemundo telenovelas such as Prisionera, Dame Chocolate and Doña Bárbara.
She also played Becky Ferrer on Days of Our Lives, and has starred in the films Man On A Ledge, Casa de Mi Padre, What To Expect When You're Expecting, and The Last Stand. She voiced Honey Lemon in the 2014 animated film Big Hero 6.
Her mother, Carolina Pérez, is a Cuban model, and her father, José Luis Rodríguez, is a Venezuelan actor and singer who is also known by the nickname "El Puma". She speaks both English and Spanish fluently. Rodríguez also has two half-sisters through her father who are also Telenovela actresses - Liliana Rodríguez and Lilibeth Rodríguez Morillo.
When she was 2½ years old, she entered the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami, Florida, taking summer classes at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institutes. She performed in school dramatic productions and when quite young decided to pursue a career in acting.
While she was a teenager, she studied acting, dance and vocal preparation, both at a local level as well as at a national level.
When Rodríguez's parents observed her determination in this pursuit, they enrolled her in more intense training programs. She went to New York City and entered summer classes at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institutes. She also enrolled in well-known acting instruction programs in California. Upon returning to Miami, she continued private instruction and landed a recurring role on the American daytime soap opera Days of our Lives from November 2005 through January 2006.
She was also a repeat special guest on the Bravo TV series Top Chef. In addition to American television, Rodriquez was cast in Spanish language roles and played dual leads as Rosita Amado and Violeta Hurtado in the primetime series Dame Chocolate, which aired on Telemundo.
In 2012, Rodríguez had a substantial role as the love interest of Will Ferrell in the comedy film, Casa de Mi Padre, a spoof in the style of the Mexican soap operas of the 1970s.
In 2004, when she was only16 years old, she was involved in an underage sex scandal with her Prisionera co-star Mauricio Islas, who was then 30 years old and still married to his wife of three years.
The case was settled out of court, allowing Islas to avoid jail time, with Rodriguez being awarded millions of dollars in a large payout from Telemundo.
In the last few years, in addition to Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman, she has appeared in movies with Will Ferrell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Forest Whitaker. When asked whether working with that level of talent had been a good learning experience for her as an actress she replied:
"Totally. Every actor I've worked with has been a learning experience for me and I feel like the number one quality that they all have, the big ones, is that they're all so humble, so sweet and kind people to work with. They really bring the best attitude, so for me it's just very easy. They made me feel welcome. So for an actor to be validated like that on the set, you kind of want to prove to them that there's no mistake you are there. It's like, I'm here and I'm going to give you my best.
After throwing the first pitch at a Dodgers game she was asked if she was a baseball fan - her response was inequivical:
I'm Cuban so baseball runs through my blood - and this is very special. I totally dedicated that pitch to my Grandpa. He was a baseball aficionado and every single game he would watch. It's just beautiful. Cubans are just passionate about it. Their whole life is about it. They get into such heated arguments over it. But, it was just a mortifying experience for me because all of my friends were like, 'You can't throw like a girl. At least throw it over the base.' - I was like, oh, Lord knows I'm going to screw this up. But I think I did pretty good after all.
Success followed and she won roles in Spanish language series such as Prisionera (2004), Dame Chocolate (2007) and Doña Bárbara (2008). She also appeared as Sarah in the hit show "Entourage" (2004).
As a little girl,Genesis Rodriguez would tell anyone who’d listen That she was going to be an actress some day.Â After all, This US-born beauty was no stranger to the limelight thanks to her father, legendary singer and an actor José Luis Rodríguez .
At the age of 17, she stepped out of his shadow, taped her first Spanish-language telenovela and set her sights on Hollywood. Ever since moving to Los Angeles four years ago, Genesis, now 26, has appeared in movies like Man on a Ledge, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Identity Thief and Last Stand.
“I’m so unbelievably happy and blessed, and just so thankful for the life I have right now,” says Genesis. "I am living my dream every day.”
One of Hollywood’s newest-and-Latina Rapidly rising stars, Genesis feels honored to Represent her Cuban-American community in mainstream entertainment.
I always saw myself as an American the same as everybody else, but just recently I realized that I’m not , but that’s a good thing.“ she says.
Having grown up with a famous father, Rodriquez has always had a large shadow over her. As the daughter of José Luis Rodríguez, she has had to deal with the usual expectations of being a star’s daughter:
"I definitely have to say getting all that attention obviously felt good. I didn't know what it was for. I didn't know why I deserved it. Everyone loved us. Everyone loved me because of my father. That was good enough reason for me.
I guess growing up there was a flip side to the coin. It had its advantages but at the same time, I would get jealous as a girl gets with sharing her father. He would have to divide his time being a dad, being a husband, and being El Puma. I had to share him with the public, something I understood better growing up."
"I was raised in Miami, but I didn't think I was going to get into the entertainment business. The reality is I was scared of it so I took drama classes. There were a lot more obstacles in my way because I have that pressure of - what would they say? and would I be good enough? or do I fill my father's shoes?"
I had all those expectations without me going out there like a regular person. I fell into it in Miami. When I go over there now it's projected as an entertainment party and it really isn't. For me it was the total opposite. I disappear in Miami. I go to the beach and nobody ever finds out I'm ever there. It's a vacation for me really.
I thought I was going to be an attorney. I had good grades. I was an honor student and was really focused. I could have done anything I wanted. I felt that nothing else would make me happier. Acting was like my little secret.
It wasn’t until I got serious about it that things changed. I started out at age 12 and by age 14 I said that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. My father said, I'm not going to send you out there until you get ready and study.
"I did my first audition with an alias. It was my mother's name. Nobody knew who I was. The funny thing is I did my first casting and landed my first job. It's kind of like if you have it, you can make it. I realized later that it's not that easy.
You have to take a lot of rejections and grow. I went out there and the first person who saw me said yes to me and offered me the lead role. I realized how much of a dream it was five years later."
One common factor between US and Spanish soap operas is the time you put into it. The difference is that Days of our Lives has been running for a number of years. It was like a family and it's so unified. When it comes to Spanish soap operas, you have to be a family the moment you arrive. It's a much more stressful environment.
I was in ˜Dame Chocolate and it was the biggest goal for me because I was the lead female. I had to prove to everyone I could be that - sustain a soap opera on my shoulders, and bring in the numbers. Now I think every job prepares me for my next one.
I don't care what people say or think. I just give it my all. There were often questions about how young I was or my lack of experience. Right now I could do anything. I don't care about any criticism other than my own or probably that of my family.
To pursue a singing career is probably is the scariest thing I can think of. I respect it too much. I love my father's voice. I cannot continue on his legacy. It would be way too much to do.
The thing about my generation is that I am bilingual and bi-cultural. I have two cultures, the Latin and the mainstream general market culture. I watch soap operas with my grandmother, but I dream of Hollywood. However, I always felt that the Latin people are my priority.
To each their own, I owe it to my father and I owe it to my youth. If I could represent the mainstream market I would be equally happy.
I think our country and the industry is evolving. I think our people are going to make some noise this year. When you turn on the TV and watch a medical show we don't see Latin faces as doctors. It's just unrealistic. We are everywhere and should be represented everywhere.
I think social media helps entertainers. On Twitter it allows the fans to get to know you more. But sometimes people are way too open and it may hurt them. I try to take it easy because I don't want to lose the mystery.
I want to be as successful as I can and do things that challenge me as an actress. I want to entertain people. I also want to be a role model, period. I don't want to be a genre. I don't want to be a race. I want people to identify with me and speak for them. I hope whatever I conquer is for the good. That's what I hope to do.
This daughter of a Venezuelan singer and a Cuban model began training for the screen when she was just 2 years old and has more character experience at 25 years old than veteran actors twice her age. As far as success in both her acting career and personal life goes it seems to be pretty well a sure bet that she's succeeded.
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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats...
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