Most people know Mj Rodriguez best as the fierce gang leader, Tiana, in Marvel’s Luke Cage series on Netflix. But long before she became a part of the Marvel Universe, Mj got her start in musical theater, making it her passion since she was just 6 years old. Now she’s starring in two TV series and two movies, one of which she also produced! In this guest blog for us, Mj tells us about her childhood in South Bronx as well as her journey to becoming an actress and producer today! From the Small Screen to the Silver Screen: Mj Rodriguez’s Remarkable Journey


Mj Rodriguez, who is best known for her work on the small screen, has made a name for herself in Hollywood. After graduating from New York University Tisch School of Arts, she got her start in theatre before going on to star in several critically acclaimed television shows. In addition to being an actress, Mj Rodriguez also enjoys making music. Her debut EP So Many Colors will be released later this year and we can’t wait!

Her Role In LOOT

Sofia Salinas is a bilingual, Afro-Latina who runs her own personal security and detective agency. She is strong, loving and fiercely protective of her two children. She feels as though she has been called by God to protect and serve, as she puts it. She can also be tough when needed, not afraid of taking matters into her own hands when it comes to protecting those she loves. And while she may have had some questionable partners in the past, we know she’s on the right side this time with Captain Atilio Valdez (played by Pedro Pascal). In short, we love her because even if there’s no hope for herself or anyone else on earth — at least there’s still hope for us all through her.

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What We Know

Sofia Salinas is Michaela Jaé Rodriguez’s breakout character on Loot. In her first television role, she portrays a tough-talking, quick-witted detective with a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue. Sofia has an unbreakable moral compass which only becomes more evident as the series progresses. The show follows Sofia and her partner, Detective Angela Valdez (played by Veronica Falcon), as they try to solve crimes in Santa Ana, California.

Her History

Growing up in a low-income family, and coming from a background in theater arts, Mj was able to explore her love for storytelling through the use of performance. She is also known for her Musical Theater.

From the Small Screen to the Silver Screen: Mj Rodriguez's Remarkable Journey
From the Small Screen to the Silver Screen: Mj Rodriguez’s Remarkable Journey

Career Beginnings

Rodriguez began acting when she was a child, joining an after-school drama program at age 9. She went on to attend The Juilliard School and trained in both classical and contemporary theater. After graduating from Juilliard, she booked her first professional role in the off-Broadway show, The Lion King.

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Mj is one of the most talented actors in Hollywood right now. She starred on Nurse Jackie as a nurse named Epiphany Proudfoot, Carrie Diaries as Carrie Bradshaw, Dear Pauline as Sarah Walker and new web series My Life as Mia Montoya. With her breakthrough performance in 2013’s Fruitvale Station, she became an established actress with Academy Award-nominated performance. More recently, she appeared on the Netflix show Luke Cage (2016) playing Simone Dyson/Simone Missick.

Loot (TV Series)

Dead End: Paranormal Park (TV Series)

A Black Lady Sketch Show (TV Series)

tick, tick… BOOM!

Something to Say

Hot White Heist (Podcast Series)

Pose (TV Series)

Mila Jam: bruised (Short) (as MJ Rodriguez)

The Whitlock Academy (TV Series)

Nurse Jackie (TV Series)

TV Shows/Web Series

Michaela Jaé Rodriguez is a Mexican-American actress, best known for her role in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Her breakout role in Dear Pauline won her praise from critics and awards from the audience. She was also part of an independent film called (Blank) My Life which was released on YouTube in 2016 and received critical acclaim.

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In 2018, she will be seen starring alongside Mahershala Ali in a new show on Netflix titled Luke Cage.

Her Endorsements

She has been involved in theater since a young age and has also acted in movies such as The Purge (2013) and Dear Pauline (2014), which was filmed in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. She is also a co-founder of the online series

Awards Won/Nominations

Mj has enjoyed a successful career on both television and film. She has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for her work in Dear Pauline. In addition, she has also been nominated for a Black Reel Award for her work in Luke Cage. Her most recent nomination was for an Imagen Award for best supporting actress in La Flor.

Other Facts About Her

She was born in Colombia and raised in Harlem, New York. Her mother is from Puerto Rico and her father is Colombian. She attended a performing arts school where she took dance classes and studied theater. She has been honored with many awards including an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Nina on Nurse Jackie (2011) and a Juilliard Alumni Medal of Excellence. Mj is also an advocate for LGBT rights, women empowerment and immigration reform.

By Showz Update Team

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