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Michelle saw an advertisement for an open casting call and attended her first audition for the independent film Girlfight
. She beat out over 350 other applicants and won the leading role playing Diana Guzman.
Her critically acclaimed performance helped Michelle obtain roles in other successful films including The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil, Blue Crush, S.W.A.T
and the television show, Lost
She has lent her voice to several videogames such as Halo 2, Driv3r
and True Crime: Streets of LA
. She also provided her voice in the film A Cat's Tale
and voiced Liz Ricarro in Cartoon Network's IGPX (Immortal Grand Prix).
Rodriguez has faced numerous legal disputes. In November 2003, she went to court to face eight misdemeanor charges based for a hit and run and DUI. In June 2004, she was placed on probation for three years and had to complete a three-month alcohol program. During the filming of Lost in 2005, she was pulled over by Honolulu police several times, and was said to have been driving 83 mph in a 55mph zone. On December 1, 2005, she was arrested for driving under the influence. In September 2007, she allegedly violated probation by not completing her required community service and not following an alcohol education program. She was sentenced to 180 days in jail on October 10, 2007 but was released only 18 days later on January 9, 2008 because of overcrowding.
Michelle co-founded a production company called Cheshire Kat Productions, which is currently producing Trópico de Sangre (Tropic of Blood)
, which she will be starring in. Other upcoming films include Fast & Furious
, the forth installment of the film franchise and James Cameron's Avatar