At the age of 22 Natalie Martinez landed her first role on the small screen in the short-lived series Fashion House. Fast-forward nine years later and the actress has a slew of films and credits to her name.
She began modeling at the age of 15 and was handpicked to be Jennifer Lopez’s brand ambassador in 2002. Martinez then went on to star in Justin Timberlake’s music video for “Señorita,” as well as in videos for Sean Paul and Pitbull and Marc Anthony.
In 2008 she worked alongside Jason Statham and Tyrese in the action flick Death Race. In 2011 she starred in Magic City Memoirs, a story based on the life of director Aaron J. Salgado that tells the tale of three friends in Miami whose lives are put in danger after they indulge in reckless behavior days before their graduation. The drama was produced by Andy Garcia and Salgado and received the Pursuit of Perfection Award during the Miami Film Festival.
Her hard work paid off and in 2012 she co-starred with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña in the drama End of Watch
. That same year she guest starred in CSI: New York.
“The most important moment in my career thus far has been End of Watch,” Martinez told Variety Latino. “That to me was a real learning experience. We shot in such different ways, had such freedom on set and all the actors got along really well. We spent a lot of time together to create chemistry and I think it really showed. It’s one of the films that I really learned how to put myself in and be in the moment.”
In 2014 she joined the cast of the ABC series Secrets & Lies starring Ryan Phillippe. The drama tells the story of a man who discovers the body of a young boy and becomes the prime suspect of his death. Natalie plays the role of Jess Murphy, the heartbroken mother of the boy.
She recently starred opposite Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds in the futuristic film Self/Less. Up next we’ll see Martinez on the big screen in Home Invasion, Warrior and Message From The King where she will share scenes with Luke Evans and Chadwick Boseman.
Now as part of our 10 Latinos To Watch, Martinez is set to take on whatever Hollywood brings her way. “I am so grateful to Variety Latino for including me in this list of such talented performers,” expressed the actress.
*Article originally published on Variety Latino 9.16.15