Génesis Rodríguez: Latinas Are the New Mainstream

This Yahoo! original series will introduce you to success stories, to the public figures who have crossed cultures and languages to leave a mark in the Latin and US markets. In this episode, get to know Génesis Rodríguez, the daughter of Venezuelan pop singer "El Puma"- an up and coming actress who is determined to prove Latinas are the new mainstream.

Génesis Rodríguez "I don't want to be 'la hija de El Puma' every single day," says an independent Génesis Rodríguez of her desire to create a unique identity as an actress outside of her famous parents. Born in Miami and raised in Venezuela and the US, Rodríguez is the daughter of legendary Venezuelan singer and actor José Luis Rodríguez "El Puma", and of Cuban model Carolina Pérez. And while she works hard at creating her own persona, there's no doubt Rodríguez holds her father in high esteem: "As I get older, I really admire what my father has done in his career and how people really love him," says the Latina who confesses to being jealous of her dad's ladies man image as a child.

Watch our intimate interview with Génesis:

A passion for the arts
A mandatory drama class made her fall in love with acting. "I remember the feeling of what it was to be someone else…and that put the little bug in me," says the actress who affirms that from then on she followed the arts as a means to escape the shadow of her family. A first audition at age 16 landed her a six-year telenovela contract with Telemundo where she had starring roles in soap operas like Prisionera, Dame Chocolate and Doña Bárbara.

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Playing an "Ashley"
Looking to solidify a film career in the English-speaking market, Rodríguez moved to Hollywood where she began to get offers, but mostly playing Latinas. "…What about some Ashleys? What about some Beths?," asked the actress when she was repeatedly offered auditions for stereotypical Hispanic characters. "I'm American! I was born in Miami! We're all immigrants here, but I happen to be an American-a Latina." And, she's gotten her wish: Rodríguez plays FBI Agent Ellen Richards in the upcoming film "The Last Stand", alongside box office heavyweight, Arnold Schwarzenegger. "I can be mainstream, and I can still be Latina." "The Last Stand" can be seen in theaters this Friday, January 18.

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