A Chicago native (from the Bucktown neighborhood adjacent to Humboldt Park), Rodriguez began acting as a teenager. By age 14, he starred in the pilot production of the city's Whirlwind Performance Company, a theater group composed of youth at risk. Because of his outstanding work with the company, he received a two-year scholarship to the summer arts program at the Chicago Center for the Gifted. Majoring in drama at Chicago's Lincoln Park High School (which specializes in the performing arts), he became heavily involved in Chicago's early hip-hop scene as a backup dancer and choreographer, and also starred in more than 20 theater productions in his hometown.
Following his six-season run on the acclaimed HBO series, Six Feet Under, Rodriguez returned to series television as Giovanni, love interest of America Ferrera's title character in an extended guest arc on ABC's hit series Ugly Betty. While working on Ugly Betty, Rodriguez simultaneously starred in the feature film Bottle Shock, chronicling the birth of the Napa wine industry, which premiered to great reviews at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
The actor was also seen in the critically acclaimed indie drama Bobby, for writer and director Emilio Estevez. The story is a fictionalized account of 22 people whose lives intersect in the 16 hours leading up to and including the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy at Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel. Rodriguez gave a powerful and moving performance as Jose Rojas, a hard-working busboy at the hotel who is at Kennedy's side when the fatal shot is fired. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it received a seven-minute standing ovation, and earned excellent reviews at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Upon its release in late 2006, the film was honored with Best Ensemble Cast at the Hollywood Film Festival, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Drama and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Adding to his independent film credits, Rodriguez starred opposite Christian Bale and Eva Longoria Parker in Harsh Times, for filmmaker David Ayer. He also starred opposite Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeffery Wright in Lady in the Water for director M. Night Shyamalan. His other film credits include Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon, with Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell; Dreamer, opposite Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell, Steve Gaghan's Havoc, with Anne Hathaway; Alfonso Arau's A Walk in the Clouds, with Keanu Reeves; Dead Presidents, directed by the Hughes brothers; Payback, with Mel Gibson; and the HBO telefilm For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, opposite Andy Garcia.
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Freddy Rodriguez Facts
|Birthday||January 17, 1975 (47)|
|Birthplace||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Grindhouse: Planet Terror|
|Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!|
|Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story|
|A Walk in the Clouds|