Vanessa gave birth to her first child, a son, on September 21, 2007.
Awards & Nominations:
- In 2004, Vanessa was nominated for an Image Award for Undefeated. The Category was Outstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series, or Dramatic Special.
Her height is 5' 6" or 1.68 m. She has (dark) brown hair and brown eyes.
Vanessa is once again working with John Leguizamo. As of March 2008 they are filming a movie called Humboldt Park.
Vanessa did not have to audition for her role as Arlene (aka Butterfly) in Death Proof. Quentin Tarantino wrote the part specifically for her.
Vanessa is a vegeterian and a member of PETA to support animal rights. Ironically, her character on The Sopranos is wearing a Fox Fur Coat.
Vanessa has joined the cast of drama pilot Drift for ABC's 2006/2007 season. She will play Georgia Fields.
Vanessa's character on CSI: New York, Aiden Burn, was once named Abigail Martin.
Vanessa originally auditioned for the role of Stella Bonasera on CSI: NY, which eventually went to Melina Kanakaredes.
Vanessa was the second actor cast in CSI: NY, the first was Gary Sinise.
Vanessa grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents own a hair solan there.
Vanessa's beauty idol is Angelina Jolie.
Vanessa's father died before she was 3.
Vanessa: (about if her family have scripts they want her to read or do) People have scripts. You know, I still live in my neighborhood. I live in Brooklyn and the same neighborhood, so I don't really get star treatment like that. I'm still Vanessa from the neighborhood. My parents own the shop and I'm there all the time, that I worked in when I was a teenager. I have a child from my childhood sweetheart. I've kind of stuck to my [roots]. I left, but I never really left.
Vanessa: (about what is her family's favorite thing to talk about) They ask me about other actors. What bothers me is when they say, "I read Us Weekly. Is that true? Do you believe she did that?" And I'm like, "I'm not that actor. You'll never see me in that. They don't want to know what I'm doing. I live a quiet life. I'm not dating anybody famous. They don't care about me. I have no idea if that stuff is true. Don't even ask. You shouldn't even be reading that." So they'll ask me stuff like that. And I'm like it's so not like that. I have no idea. "Is she really infertile?" You know, they say she's going for fertility and I'm like, "That's so f*cked up that they go there with women like that. That's such a personal [thing.]" Stuff like that they'll ask about actors. They love to know about that and also some people, even older, want to get into the business now. They say to me, and I'm all for a dream, they'll say, "My father never let me, or grandpa. Do you think I can now?" I just lead them in the right direction. I have no idea what's going to happen. You know how Hollywood can be, it's not nice at times.
Vanessa: I was a famous club kid in New York. We used to put parties together. This club called Life and they did an eight page story on us as if it was brain surgery. You would think what we did, why are we on the cover of this thing? Anyway, thank God for that. From there, it was that time. It was like '98, clubs were in, it was like that time and they were psyched for us. They always wanted the club kids to do a cameo in the movies, so that's how it happened. I was like, "Oh, yeah, an agent, sure, I'll go out." The first thing I went out for was The Sopranos and I got it, so that's how it happened. I hate to say it like that because I wait for calls now. I'm still waiting for calls, but my path was a little different when it came to the business.
Vanessa: (about if she can relate to the struggling actor character, waiting for the phone to ring) It was a different process for me. I was a club kid. I was on the cover of New York magazine and discovered like that. It was one of those stories that you're like, "Oh, I know the story, here she goes." The sleeping in the car, but it really was. This is unbelievable that this is even my life because I come from so far, not even close. I can't even believe it, so no.
Vanessa: (about if Latina's are upset with her, beacause she plays a lot of latina roles, but is Italian) No, I never really get slack for it because in the business, if you have dark hair and features like I do, you're considered ethnic. They're playing Italian. Jamie Lynn Sigler is not even Italian. She was on the most famous, she was in The Sopranos. So they're mixing everything. You know what? The work's far and few between, man. If it's good, no matter what the nationality is, I'll play Chinese if you want me to. If you want me to do it.
Vanessa: (about if she prefers TV over film ) Well, TV like 24, now that was like really fun. But CSI obviously, you know I quit the show. I couldn't, the procedural thing for me, at the time my head was not there. I love doing film. I love traveling. I love the two month or three month thing but I'm open now to TV. I'm at a different place in my life. With the child, absolutely, I have mouths to feed. It's true. Stability. I get anxiety these days. I'm like oh, my kid, I want to make sure he has a great life and private school's so expensive. Money was never an issue for me. I was just happy to be able to be creative and release some of this madness in my brain. Like wow, I finally found a place for myself. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was like maybe I'll work in the shop. I didn't know.
Vanessa: I'm Italian but I play so many. I've played Texan in Man of the House. Shadowboxer, I was American. There was a point where I was constantly, I had to say no because I had to switch it up a little bit. It was like come on, how many times am I? I'm not even Latin.
Vanessa: (about if she ever have problems with ethnic typecasting) The funny thing is I'm not even Latin. I was constantly getting Latin roles and I was like, I even was nominated for an award and I was like, "Let them know at the NAACP, the first white woman. Let them know I'm totally grateful but I'm not Latin. I can't do that. I play Latin." It was The Undefeated and then 24.
Vanessa: (about what prompted her to go vegetarian) My makeup artist, Kara, is a strict vegan... I was very intrigued by her whole lifestyle. There was something so pure and clean about her, and I wanted to possess that same energy, so without hesitation, I became a vegetarian. At first, it was for health reasons, my own selfish reasons, and that made it hard for me to fully embrace this new way of living... Kara [gave me] this documentary called Earthlings. That film has changed my life forever,... I could never live with myself knowing about the horrific treatment that innocent animals endure and then [eat meat]. It all became so clear to me... [Going vegetarian] was my pleasure.
Vanessa: (about what will make her happy) I want to stay in New York, so if I could do theater and a movie a year, I'd be a happy camper.
Vanessa: (about her message to her fans about having compassion and getting active to help animals ) Just to check it out. I'm not saying to change your lives overnight, but just to be aware and educate yourselves. Don't close your eyes to [animal suffering] just because your fur coat cost $20,000 or because you love your mom's stew, it's so much bigger than food or material things. It's about love, compassion, and karma... it will come back to all who try to turn their heads [away from] what is going on. At least look [at how animals are abused], then you can decide what is most important to you.
Vanessa: There is not a day that goes by that I am not thinking about all the suffering and sadness and pain that animals are forced to endure. My heart is broken, my eyes and heart are wide open and forever changed... The least I can do... is to feel. I owe it to the animals and to myself to be insightful and educated as to what is really going on around the world, and if it has anything to do with slaughter, then I want nothing to do with it.
Vanessa: (about what she would say to people who wear fur and don't care that animals are the victims of this fashion "trend") I'd tell them that they are supporters of murder and torture. Some trend, huh? There's nothing sexy about wearing dead carcasses on your back.
Vanessa: (about if she ever witnessed any animal abuse, either firsthand or on video, that she felt compelled to stop) Many years ago, my friend showed me a dogfighting tape... I couldn't stomach what I was seeing, but I also didn't have the courage to tell them to shut it off ... At the time, I didn't realize the severity of it and what a big business it was, I just knew in my heart it was wrong... I was just a kid, [but] if it was now, who knows what kind of trouble my mouth would get me in.
Vanessa: (about what issue involving animals is dearest to her heart) All of them. [Cruelty to animals] makes me ill. At the end of the day, all of these issues are connected. It all boils down to greed, the people doing the dirty work down to the people who support it. I feel sorry for these people who are so small-minded and who need things like fur to make them feel like a million bucks when all they need is love for self and respect for life... that is priceless and in turn makes you rich in mind, heart, and soul.
Vanessa: (about what her favorite vegetarian dish is) Chickpeas and spaghetti together. My mom makes it the best.
Vanessa: Now people are starting to think outside the box with me. I've played Latino parts, but I'm Italian.
Vanessa: I don't see myself as famous.
Vanessa: I admire Cate Blanchett, because she does so many different roles.
Vanessa: I'm still the girl who when people are looking at me, I'm thinking, 'What are they looking at?'
Vanessa: I do all kind of accents and I haven't had a coach yet.
Vanessa: (about working with Gary Sinise on the show CSI NY) That's what inspires me - working with people like that. He's amazing.
Vanessa: I'm so interested in seeing what my upcoming movies are going to be like. I love doing all of them. I've played a bunch of different roles-Latin, Italian, all-American, Southern-and been doing a bunch of different accents so far.
Vanessa: Directors look at me and think, Brooklyn, rough and tough. But I can also hang out with Helen Mirren.
Vanessa: (about her childhood) I stooped. I'd sit outside the building with my cousins, listen to the radio, talk shit on the phone. I stooped, you know?
Vanessa: People [make-up artists] always go over the top with my lips.
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