Zoe Saldana

zoe-saldana

Zoe Yadira Saldana is an American actress, dancer, and model of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. She is known for such best-selling films like Colombiana and Avatar. She is set to star in the upcoming film Star Trek Into Darkness and as Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic on the jazz singer.

Born in New Jersey, as a child Zoe moved to the Dominican Republic with her mother and sisters after her father’s passing. There she cultivated her love of dance and theater, taking ballet lessons and attending the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy, a renowned school of dance in the Dominican Republic. When her family moved back to the United States she joined FACES Theater Company, a theater group for young adults.

It was her work with the New York Youth Theater, however, that got her noticed as an actress and helped her to land her debut role. Zoe was right up her alley starring as Eva Rodriguez in the 2000 film Center Stage, about a group of teenage dancers dealing with the ups and downs of professional dancing. Around this time she began dating fellow actor Keith Britton, who she later became engaged to in 2010.

Zoe appeared in various roles before playing Anamaria in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: , the first in a series of top films starring such actors as Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.

zoe-saldana-center-stage

As Eva in Center Stage

Although Pirates of the Caribbean increased her popularity and fan base, Zoe didn’t like her experience working on the film, saying “If that’s what I have to…go through to do a Hollywood movie, I’d rather do something else.” For a brief period she considered shunning Hollywood for the theater or professional dancing.

Future roles would impress her more positively as she starred in the critically acclaimed science fiction film Avatar in 2009. An admitted science fiction geek, Zoe enjoyed working on Avatar even though it was her most challenging role yet, requiring her to learn another language and play a non-human character. Earlier that year Zoe starred in Star Trek, a remake of the classic earlier film, securing her role in its 2013 sequel Into Darkness.

Zoe makes no apologies about embracing sexuality and sexual roles, being quoted several times on her views. She once stated, “Basically, there’s not enough sex in movies, that’s it. I’m trying to say it, people. I miss sex in movies because sex is natural, guns are not.” As for her own sexuality, above all, she is confident, famously saying in a Latina magazine interview:

“Look at me. I’m skinny, I have a big nose, no tits and no ass, but in a room full of beautiful women, I would still leave with the most gorgeous guy.”

Considering her previous roles have been as powerful and empowering women, is Zoe the new go-to actress for action films featuring a strong female lead? Possibly, and it’s a job she’d embrace saying, “I really hope so. That would be an awesome thing where it’s like, ‘Oh, we just need a kick ass female, call Zoe Saldana.’ I would love that.”

When not working on films Zoe makes her home in Los Angeles with her dog Mugsy.

zoe-saldanazoe-saldana-glasses-lenscrafterszoe-saldanazoe-saldana

See also:

Lauren Conrad

lauren-conradLauren Conrad is an American fashion designer, author, and former reality TV star. Originally from Orange County, California, she rose to fame in the MTV reality television show Laguna Beach. Her popularity on Laguna Beach helped secure her own reality show The Hills. Unlike many reality television stars, Lauren kept the real in “reality” which endeared her to fans and fueled her success.

Lauren grew up the oldest of three children of a successful architect. As a middle and high school student she loved fashion and dreamed of working in fashion as a career. She never thought of TV, but Lauren’s life as a reality TV star began when she randomly met MTV producer Adam DiVello her senior year at Laguna Beach High School.

One day, she and best friend Lauren Bosworth were arguing over who set off her car alarm when DiVello approached. The producer asked if they’d like to audition for a reality television show MTV was planning at her school. They agreed and Lauren and her friends were picked to star in the new series.

Chosen for her likeable and sweet personality, these same qualities helped Lauren stand out among her co-stars. Laguna Beach became one of MTV’s highest-rated shows, with Lauren as one of its most loved characters. After her graduation, Laguna Beach producer and creator Adam DiVello decided to follow its star in her college and career ambitions. The Hills was born.

The Hills followed Lauren as she attended fashion design school and interned for Teen Vogue. The show also documented the lives of Lauren and her friends; their ups and downs and romantic heartbreaks. Lauren was herself, showing her true emotions and reactions. This made her relatable . DiVello proclaimed Lauren as the perfect star for the coming of age show: “[Lauren] is every girl.”

While Lauren was then used to the spotlight, she wasn’t ready for the betrayals and backstabbing that would come with life in the public eye. Her former best friend, Heidi Montag ditched her for a new love, Spencer Pratt. To add insult to injury Heidi and trouble-making Spencer spread a rumor of a sex tape involving Lauren and ex-boyfriend Jason Wahler. Lauren denied the rumors but her friendship with Heidi was irreparably broken.

lauren-conradIn 2009, Lauren left The Hills, the show that made her $125,000 per episode. After five seasons, she decided that it was time to move to the next phase in her life. She pursued her lifelong goal of fashion and began work on her first novel.

Her first novel L.A. Candy was released in the summer of 2009 and is loosely based on her life as a reality TV star. The novel made the New York Times Bestseller list and later became a series. Lauren has since signed another deal for a spin-off of the popular series.

Lauren’s first clothing line, LC by Lauren Conrad, debuted in 2009 in major department stores. The line mimics Lauren’s innovate, demure style. Her second line, Paper Crown is more high-end and will be released in late 2011.

Even though she was featured with many guys on her reality TV runs, Lauren claims she isn’t exactly the most socially fluent person. She says, “I’m a bad dater. I’m the most socially awkward person, like carrying on conversations and stuff.” Despite this she dated actor Kyle Howard (My Boys, Royal Pains) for three years before their break-up in 2011. On guys, Lauren uses her fashion knowledge to offer words of wisdom:

“Boys are like purses. You’re always gonna have that one boy that you’re always comfortable with and you know you’ll always kind of like. That’s your purse that you wear everywhere. Then you have that gorgeous bag that you want everyone to see you with but the gorgeous bag is usually an a**hole/costs a lot of money. Then you have those other purses that you really like but you really don’t want to be seen with.”

For the future, Lauren hopes to focus on her clothing lines, increasing their brands, continue her writing, and work on her beauty tips website The Beauty Department.

lauren-conrad  lauren-conrad  lauren-conrad  lauren-conrad

Brandy Norwood

brandy-norwood
Brandy Norwood, better known as simply Brandy, is an American singer and actress. She is one of the best-selling female artists of all-time and of the 1990s.

Brandy was born on a full moon in small town Mississippi, but grew up in Southern California with her parents and brother Ray-J. Brandy’s singing career began early — she was a back-up singer at 11 (for R&B group Immature), won a recording contract at 14, and released her first album, Brandy, at 15. Her acting career was similarly successful with Brandy securing her own sitcom Moesha; the most watched show in UPN history.

Brandy’s self-titled debut album released in 1994 has sold over 7 million copies worldwide and features the hit singles, “I Wanna Be Down” and “Brokenhearted”. Her raspy alto is widely praised, with former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante describing it as, “multi-dimensional… you have to hear her voice with your subconscious.”

But her much-awaited second album was put on hold while Brandy focused on acting. In addition to her role as Moesha, she played Cinderella in a television remake of the classic fairytale in 1997. Singer Whitney Houston, who helped produced the film, starred as her fairy godmother.

brandy-norwoodWhen Brandy finally released her follow-up album it was an even bigger success than her first. 1998’s Never Say Never features the well-known duet, “The Boy Is Mine” with singer Monica and songs “Have You Ever?” and “Almost Doesn’t Count”. The same year she appeared in the film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt, and worked as a CoverGirl.

After her sophomore album, she took another break from singing, returning in 2002 with Full Moon and a daughter, Sy’rai, from her relationship with producer Robert Smith. Her pregnancy was documented on the MTV reality TV show Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery. She later worked as a judge on the first season of reality talent show America’s Got Talent, but left the show after being involved in a fatal multi-car accident.

Her last two albums Afrodisiac and Human highlighted her journey from a young, inexperienced star to a multifaceted woman who has lived a life speckled with trials and triumphs. On the difference between her first albums and her later albums Brandy says,

“I just wanted to sing my heart out and connect with people. I wasn’t old enough or mature enough before to get into people’s hearts. Now I am.”

Brandy cites Whitney Houston as her number one musical inspiration — Whitney’s music video for, “How Will I Know” spurred Brandy to pursue a professional music career. She is planning on releasing a joint R&B album with her brother Ray-J.

Brandy is first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg and close friend of tennis player Serena Williams and fellow R&B singer Kelly Rowland.

She was NBA star Kobe Bryant’s high school prom date and former fiancée of NBA guard Quentin Richardson.

singer-brandy  brandy-singer  brandy-singer  brandy-norwood

See also:

Adam Rodriguez

adam-rodriguez

Adam Rodríguez (1975-) is an American actor. He has appeared in several TV shows, films, commercials, and music videos, but is best known as Detective Eric Delko on the police drama CSI: Miami.

Adam is of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent and was born in New York City. As a child he loved baseball and aspired to become a professional baseball player. He was forced to change plans, however, when he injured his spinal cord in high school.

Although he was an excellent student, Adam had little desire to pursue an education after high school. He ended up at community college, where he explored various interests with no real plan. He took on odd jobs to pay for his schooling and housing — a bellman, construction worker, and finally a stockbroker, which he hoped to pursue as a career. But before he was to become licensed as a stockbroker, he decided to try acting, which he’d always had a liking for.

Adam took up acting classes and played in a couple of productions, with mild success. His lucky break came when his father was watching the 1996 Emmy Awards and recognized an old friend receiving an award. That friend was the producer of the hit series NYPD Blue. Adam’s father contacted his friend to congratulate him and their friendship began anew. One thing led to another and Adam ended up with a small role on NYPD Blue.

adam-rodriguez

As Eric Delko on CSI: Miami

From his role on NYPD Blue, Adam moved to the short-lived series Brooklyn South. The show appeared for one season, after which he took on roles in the WB series’ Felicity and Roswell. When Roswell ended in 2002 he landed his most notable role — Eric Delko on the spin-off of Crime Scene Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI): Miami. Adam, who was on CSI: Miami since it began, planned to leave the show in 2010. He decided against it when fans rallied for his return.

Adam has starred in a number of films. Most recently he played opposite Taraji P. Henson in 2009’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself, the U.S. in 2011.

He is friends with singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who he met through mutual acquaintances. Jennifer personally asked him to appear in her 1999 music video for “If You Had My Love.” He later appeared in music videos by 50 Cent and Melanie Fiona.

He is single, but says he is “broody” and thinks about having children more than anything else. One of his only requirements is that a woman love music as much as he does — he loves all genres.

Adam lives in New York, Los Angeles, and a home he bought in Puerto Rico.

adam-rodriguez  adam-rodriguez  adam-rodriguez  adam-rodriguez

Sasha Obama

sasha-obama

Natasha Obama (2001-), better known by the nickname of Sasha, is the younger daughter of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama, the first black First Lady. She has been in the public eye for most of her life.

She was born in Chicago, while her mother worked at the University of Chicago and her father served on the Illinois Senate. Her birth, while a blessing, took an extra toll on her parents who were trying to balance their careers with taking of their first child, Malia. Sasha was a lively baby who kept her parents up at night — when they were both there. Her father traveled often, which left her mother to care for her most of the day.

When she was only three months old, she contracted meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. She almost died. The experience brought her parents even closer together and they took time off from their jobs to care for their child.

sasha-obamaAs a child in Chicago, Sasha attended University of Chicago Lab School, a private day school affiliated with her mother’s place of work. She left the school after her father was elected to be president in 2008 and the family moved into the White House. She attends Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. with her older sister, Malia. After school, Sasha participates in tap and gymnastics.

Living in the White House isn’t all luxury for Sasha. As per her mother Michelle’s rules, Sasha must clean her own room and clear her own dishes, despite having staff available to take care of these tasks. Michelle says she wants her children to take responsibility.

When she’s done with her chores, Sasha has fun playing with her dog, Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog. Their father promised the dog to Sasha and her sister, and they received it when they moved to the White House. Bo was given to the family by late Senator Ted Kennedy.

Sasha is the youngest of the Obama family but has the largest personality — she has been described as “The First Family Ham” for her outgoing and funny nature. She keeps her father smiling by always wanting to have fun, even when others think it’s the wrong time for play.

In the summer of 2010, she met the royal family of Spain with her mother on a sight-seeing trip to the European country.

Her father expects her to become a babysitter when she is a teenager to learn how to manage money. To start her off, Sasha receives an allowance of a dollar a week.

sasha-obama-hat barack-obama-kisses-sasha sasha-obama

Patrick Wilson

patrick-wilson

Patrick Wilson (1973-) is an American actor and occasional singer. He is the character of Chris Mattson in the movie Lakeview Terrace, where he starred alongside Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. He is recognized as an actor who pushes social boundaries with captivating and believable roles.

Patrick was born in Virginia, but grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, a large city in the Tampa Bay Area. His mother was a voice teacher with her own choir. Patrick’s early experiences with the choir and education in performing arts led to him aspire to become a professional performer.

Patrick took vocal lessons at Carnegie Mellon University, where he won awards for music and theatre and graduated with a degree in Drama. After college he stayed in the Pittsburg area and worked in opera. He eventually gained wide stage recognition in 1999 with an off-Broadway production of Bright Lights, Big City. In Bright Lights, Big City, he played an aspiring writer who falls off the tracks in New York City with drugs and partying.

Patrick continued his career on the stage with The Full Monty and Oklahoma!, the former of which was called “one of the best performances of 2000”. He made his debut on the small screen as a gay, Mormon Republican attorney in the mini-series Angels in America. With this role he received wide acclaim and established himself as a serious on-screen actor.

patrick-wilson-lakeview-terrace

As Chris Mattson in Lakeview Terrace

Patrick kept audiences absorbed with his role in Lakeview Terrace in 2008. He played Chris Mattson, husband of Lisa (Kerry Washington). The interracial couple was terrorized by a racist cop played by Samuel L. Jackson. Audiences across America shouted at Chris, “Watch your back!” in the thriller where the two actors faced off in a final scene. Lakeview Terrace debuted at number one in its opening week.

On which partner is subjected to the most opposition in an interracial marriage of the kind portrayed in Lakeview Terrace, he says:

Probably more towards me,  just from the male perspective I would imagine…We’ve experienced this before – looks from black men. Whether it’s looks, whether it’s comments, a white man and a black woman is much different than a black man and a white woman so I think it’s very easy to target me.

Patrick gained weight and grew a beard for his roles in the films Watchmen and The A-Team, respectively. He is always willing to do what it takes and more to make his roles spectacular, but due to his good looks, he often finds himself landing roles with nude or semi-nude scenes. For his New Year’s Resolution, he wants:

To be in a movie or a play which doesn’t require me to take off my clothes. Unless, of course, I don’t get another job… In which case I’ll be half-naked and whole-heartedly depressed for the rest of my career.

Off-screen and off-stage, Patrick lives with his wife, actress Dagmara Domińczyk, who he met while studying at Carnegie Mellon. They have two sons. Patrick’s upper arm tattoo –KPW– stand for the initials of his oldest son, Kalin Patrick Wilson.

patrick-wilson patrick-wilson patrick-wilson-kerry-washington patrick-wilson

See also:

Arlenis Sosa

arlenis-sosaArlenis Sosa (1989-) is a Dominican editorial and runway model. She is best known for appearing in Vogue Italia‘s “all black” July 2008 issue and as spokesmodel for Lancôme cosmetics.

Born Arlenis Sosa Peña in Montecristi, Dominican Republic,  Arlenis was discovered by designer Luis Menieur while walking down the street with her parents. Menieur recommended that 5 foot 11 inches (1.8 meters) young Arlenis become a model. After finishing high school, she took his advice and moved to New York to venture into the fashion world.

Her first week in New York she met Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. Wintour helped launched her career: she arranged for Arlenis to attend the famous Met Costume Institute Gala with designer Oscar de la Renta’s son. In March of 2008 Arlenis walked into Marilyn Modeling Ageny, home of models Naomi Campbell and Adriana Lima, and was signed on the spot.

A couple of weeks after her signing, Arlenis booked editorial deals with Vogue and Vogue Italia. She appeared in both Vogue July 2008 issues, including the first all-black issue of Italian Vogue. In the ground-breaking Italian edition, Arlenis shot with legendary models Tyra Banks, Iman, and Liya Kebede. The issue became Vogue Italia’s best-selling issue in history, running out of print twice.

arlenis-sosaSpeaking of her experience as a young black model, Arlenis comments,  “Models need to stick together, especially black models, whom people are always accusing of being too competitive… The important thing is that black models are doing it big now.” Arlenis is an example of this — she is the godmother to black British model Jourdan Dunn’s son and very close friend of fellow Dominican model Sessilee Lopez.

She debuted on the runway in Banana Republic’s fall/winter 2008 show. Since then she has worked the runway for designers Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors, among others. She also walked in Victoria Secret’s annual fashion show in November of 2008.

Arlenis was featured as a top ten up-and-coming model by Models.com in September of 2008. That same month she became the coveted face of Lancôme, first appearing in advertisements for the cosmetics line in spring 2010.

She is known as sweet, down-to-earth, and wise. She uses her quickly-found fortune for good causes: “I always wanted to have money—not just to have it but to help others”. In 2010 she did so, launching The Arlenis Sosa Foundation, which helps children suffering from diabetes in the Dominican Republic.

arlenis-sosa arlenis-sosa arlenis-sosa arlenis-sosa

See also:

Daniel Henney

daniel-henney

Daniel Henney (1979-) is an American model turned actor of Korean and British descent. He is best known as Agent Zero in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Dr. David Lee on the TV series, Three Rivers.

Daniel is a Michigan native, growing up in the small town of Carson City, which he describes as “a very naïve place of 1,100 people where all the kids ever thought about was hunting and fishing.” Thanks to his height of 6 foot 2 inches (1.83 meters), he was a basketball star in high school and dreamed of playing professionally. Despite being of mixed heritage, with a Korean-American mother and white American father, he says he always just thought of himself as a white guy. But kids in his neighborhood thought differently — he was teased about his heritage and got into fights with other children often. But he says the tough times grew his strength and character.

daniel-henneyDaniel’s success in basketball gained him several scholarships to attend college. He settled at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a student, he was scouted by an agent and changed career course to pursue modeling. He traveled the world as a model, and began acting classes in New York where he starred in a few plays, including an off-broadway production of the classic Death of a Salesman.

Daniel found his greatest success in Korea, starring in commercials and advertisements, then landing a role the short-lived South Korean drama, My Name is Kim Sam Soon. The part — as well as his looks– gained him popularity in Korea, and Daniel went on to star in other Korean television shows and movies.

Daniel gained a wider audience in the U.S. starring as Agent Zero in the fourth part of the X-Men Series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He later starred on the former medical drama Three Rivers as Dr. David Lee, a heartthrob surgery resident who finds himself involved with many women.

Back in South Korea, Daniel works as part of the cast on the action-drama TV show, The Fugitive: Plan B. He plays Kai, a powerful businessman who uses his wealth and connections to save the woman he loves. Korean entertainer Bi-Rain also stars in the series.

Daniel makes his home in two places: Seoul, South Korea, his mother’s home country, and Los Angeles, California.

daniel-henney daniel-henney daniel-henney

Bat for Lashes

bat-for-lashesNatasha Khan (1979-), better known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is an English songstress and multi- instrumentalist of Pakistani and English descent. Her music is a magical blend combining fantasy, historical fiction, and spirituality.

Growing up in a suburban area outside of London, Natasha took frequent trips to her father’s home country of Pakistan. Her diverse background introduced her to a wide range of cultural influences. Her father inspired her love of the otherworldly. She says of him, “When I was growing up, my Dad used to use storytelling all the time… it was very archetypal, full of symbolism and the metaphors that go through the generations with fairytales”.

When her parents divorced she turned to music. She learned to play the piano, adding the bass guitar, auto-harp, and harpsichord to her instrumental set. She cites Björk, Steve Reich and Kate Bush as her main inspirations.

As a university student, she studied music and visual arts. There she assembled multi-media work focused on performance, sound installations, and animations. But she didn’t go on to work in music or visuals, instead she initially worked as a nursery school teacher. During her time as a teacher, she began to work on what would become her first album Fur and Gold.

Fur and Gold was released in 2006 with the single “The Wizard”, and reissued in 2007. The album was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, a music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom.

Her second album, Two Suns, is a metaphorical journey of her quest to find her “knight in shining armor” and “meeting a lot of strange characters along the way”. The album was released in 2009 with its first single “Daniel” becoming a major hit in the UK.

She rereleased Two Suns in the fall of 2009 with a cover version of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody”. The cover was a great success with critics and non-critics alike, with some claiming it better than the original version.

She contributed “Sleep Alone” in 2010 to the Enough Project, a campaign against genocide.

Natasha spends her time traveling all over the world, and in between lives by the sea in England.

bat-for-lashes-two-suns bat-for-lashes

See also:

Adam Levine

Adam Levine is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is the lead singer of Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5.

Adam was born to Jewish parents in Los Angeles, California. He showed a strong love of music at a young age, learning to play the guitar and  performing on stage at twelve years old. As a teenager at the Brentwood School, a private day school in LA, he was awkward: he says of his teen years, “I was gross, My hair was long and really ratty…[I wore] huge, oversize flannels that didn’t fit [and I had] a goatee.”

He met future band mates Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, and Ryan Dusick at a performing arts camp while he was in junior high school. They formed the band Kara’s Flowers and released one album in 1997 — The Fourth World. They later reformed in 2001 as Maroon 5.

Maroon 5’s debut album Songs About Jane was based on lyrics written about his break-up with a former girlfriend. The second single from the album, “This Love”, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance in 2005. Their second album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long was released in 2007 to similar success. Their latest release Hands All Over is described as “a killer hybrid of rock, pop, funk and R&B.”

Adam has had much success as a solo artist, working with artists such as Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Slash (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver). He has stated that he plans to leave Maroon 5 in the near future.

Adam is ambidextrous — he writes with his left hand, but uses his right hand for almost everything else. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder characterized by hyperactivity and difficulty with attention.

He says he “loves women” and plans on getting married, despite high divorce rates and his own parents divorce when he was seven. He has been romantically linked to several celebrities, but his current girlfriend of nearly a year is Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna.

Adam lives in Hollywood Hills with his close friend, Korean-American writer and producer Gene Hong.

adam-levine adam-levine-maroon5