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Natalie Martinez, born July 12th, 1984 in Miami, Florida is an American actress and model. Martinez is known as the spokesmodel for JLO by Jennifer Lopez, and for her supporting role in the 2008 feature film Death Race.
She also starred in a music video titled "Rain Over Me" by Pitbull, also featuring Marc Anthony as well as several others listed below.
She has appeared in several music videos and telenovelas. In 2010–2011, Martinez starred in the American television crime drama Detroit 1-8-7 as Detective Ariana Sanchez. In 2012–2013, she starred in the American television crime drama CSI: NY as Detective Jamie Lovato.
Martinez most recently starred as Deputy Linda Esquivel in the American television drama Under the Dome.
It was thru her Cuban mother's encouragement that Natalie's career not only started, but actually skyrocketed. It was her mother who suggested in 2001 that she should enter the spokesmodel search for J.Lo's fashion line.
About five thousand girls auditioned from six different cities, which was narrowed to only six from each city.
Natalie was one of the six picked from Miami. Next Lopez handpicked one from each city, and Martinez was her selection from Miami and in April of 2002, she was crowned the new J.Lo girl.
She had done a little modeling before she became J.Lo's spokemodel. She was 15 when she first did a photoshoot for an ad and got a shot in a TV spot for clothing retailer TJ Maxx. She was also later featured in a Univision report about her family's barbershop business.
Martinez had little interest in being a model when her mother encouraged her to enter the J-Lo contest. She wanted to be a neonatal nurse and was applying to different schools.
"I volunteered in the maternity ward for two years when I was in high school in Miami. I love kids; I love being around babies." said Martinez.
Since she won Natalie has done magazine photoshoots, advertisements, and modeling gigs while attending Miami-Dade Community College.
In 2006, she was cast in the role of Michelle Miller for the three-month run of the American telenovela Fashion House. In 2007 she was once again cast in another short-lived MyNetworkTV telenovela called Saints & Sinners.
Even though most people have seen her on posters, billboards, and fashion and men's magazines, she has slowly evolved into a budding actress with projects on television and film since 2006. In 2007, Natalie moved to and has been living in Los Angeles, California focusing on her acting career.
Then in 2008 the breakout role for Natalie was when she starred alongside Jason Statham in the action film remake, Death Race - in which a futuristic penal system pits convicts against each other in deadly auto races, for a chance at freedom, that are part demolition derby, part gun battle. Martinez is a female con who serves as navigator for the convict/driver played by Statham.
It's the typical guy movie, with Martinez as the tough-talking beauty. Even though it was a movie full of high-speed crashes and automotive carnage, Martinez did no actual driving herself.
"I don't know how to drive a stick shift," she admitted. But she did ride in the fast-moving customized vehicles.
"When you're going 60mph and a Buick rams you, or your car does a 360 spin, you feel it," she says. "But the rest of it, well, it was too risky for the film and insurance companies for me to do the big stunts."
In 2009, she was cast as the female lead role, Maggie Morales, on the FOX Television comedy Sons of Tucson.
In 2010–2011, Martinez also starred in the television crime drama Detroit 1-8-7 as Detective Ariana Sanchez, which was cancelled after one season. In 2012–2013, she starred in the American television crime drama CSI: NY as Detective Jamie Lovato.
Martinez starred as Deputy (later Sheriff) Linda Esquivel in the CBS television drama Under the Dome, based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King from 2013-2014 until her character was killed in the Season 2 Premiere. She also appeared in the 2012 film End of Watch, and the 2013 film Broken City.
The onslaught of media coverage was almost overwhelming; every press outlet wanted this beautiful young Cuban gracing their pages. Natalie appeared in several international editions of Maxim, Stuff and Open Your Eyes. But her most widespread exposure continues to come via the billboards and magazine editorials featuring J.Lo apparel.
Martinez being a Cuban-American, views Lopez, a Puerto Rican born in New York, as a role model.
"She's a designer, a musical act, a dancer, an actress and as an actress, she's opened things up for the rest of us by not just playing hot Latinas, but playing all kinds of roles."
Martinez was still in high school when Lopez personally selected her from a field of almost 6,000 entrants to be the face of her design company. Martinez had no high expectations of winning even as the field narrowed and she kept making the cut.
"Me and my mom were trying to figure out who was going to win - and we didn't think it would be me," she said. "I was just trying to figure out what people were seeing in me."
And what does Martinez see when she looks in the mirror?
"I see a tomboy with scars and bruises everywhere - I just see me, Natalie."
Born in Miami, Florida of Cuban ancestry. She graduated from St. Brendan High School, a co-educational private Roman Catholic high school in Westchester, Florida in 2002.
"Cubanas are very strong women. So don't mess with us, don't take us for granted!" - Natalie Martinez
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