Gina Torres: biography
In 2019, the spin-off of the series Suits which tells the story of the successful lawyer, Jessica Pearson, will be released. American actress Gina Torres will play the leading role in the continuation of the legal saga. The actress is also known for the films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, as well as the television series Firefly and Xena: Warrior Princess.
Childhood and youth
Gina Torres was born in Manhattan on April 25, 1969, in a large family of Cuban immigrants. Richard Torres, the father of the future actress, worked in the printing-office of the Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa. Mother Rebecca kept the house and raised three daughters.
When Gina was small, the father got a position in The New York Daily News, and they moved first to Washington Heights and then to the Bronx. The Torres’s new house was located near Grand Boulevard, the area inhabited by Latin Americans. So, from an early age, they imbued the children with a multi-layered ethnic culture and hot music.
The girls inherited the love for the orchestra of Johnny Pacheco and Cuban singer Celia Cruz from their parents. When they grew up, the young ladies began listening to modern songs performed by ABBA, Led Zeppelin and other popular bands.
Gina was the most talented sister, and it is not surprising that she wanted to be famous like her idols. So, from childhood, she tried to achieve her goal by any means. The first step was Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where the mezzo-soprano was trained in opera, jazz and performed gospel compositions.
The natural talent and acquired knowledge helped the girl to pass exams at several New York colleges successfully, but Gina could not continue her studies due to lack of money.
Instead of the university, the future actress went to work in the administration of the Broadway theater and eventually began to play small roles in musical performances on the local stage.
Gina enjoyed the applause of the public but secretly wanted more. She attended auditions for TV series and movies and eventually got a bit part in the highly rated TV project Law & Order.
Gina Torres began her acting career in 1992 with bit parts in crime dramas and soap operas. The first significant work was the appearance in 17 episodes of Agnes Nixon’s drama series One Life to Live.
The producers loved the swarthy actress with exotic looks who weighed only 132.28 lbs. (60 kg) with a height of 5.83 ft. (178 cm). They began to offer her roles on television. By 1996, Torres had played in 7 TV series, including such favorite projects as Dark Angel, starring Eric Roberts, and NYPD Blue which was broadcast on ABC.
Later, Torres made her debut in a full-length movie, having played a cameo role in Michael Goldenberg's romantic film Bed of Roses and Jon Robin Baitz’s film adaptation of the play The Substance of Fire.
In 1997, the actress returned to television and got roles in 2 New Zealand TV series based on mythological stories. At first, Gina appeared as the ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra, in Xena: Warrior Princess. Then, she portrayed the pirate leader, Nebula, in 8 episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and demonstrated a slim and trim figure, wearing a leather dress like a bathing suit.
These roles influenced the actress’s career and helped her become the title character of the American science fiction series Cleopatra 2525, launched as part of the Universal Action Pack. The plot tells the story of 3 beautiful ladies fighting with armed aircraft that occupied the Earth in the 26th century. Having played the leader of the group, Hel, Torres proved herself as a talented actress, although the script was not impressive.
Thanks to it, she won the ALMA Award in 2001 and was cast in the second and third parts of the best-seller The Matrix. The role of Dozer’s widow, who piloted the anti-gravity spacecraft Nebuchadnezzar, made Gina famous and allowed to appear on the screen more often.
In 2002, Torres became interested in the script of the sci-fi series Firefly and portrayed Zoe Washburne, an assistant to the captain of Serenity, Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion). When the project was closed, the actor duo continued to film together and appeared in the full-length continuation of the cosmic western, entitled Serenity.
Despite the offers from directors of full-length movies, since 2005, Gina has preferred to work on television. She got the leading roles in the drama series Standoff and Huge, then participated in several episodes of such projects as FlashForward, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and Transformers: Prime.
These works had been a kind of training before the project Suits, in which the actress played the role of the owner of the law firm, Jessica Pearson. Torres immediately got into the character of a "cool" lawyer, who wore stunning costumes and high heels. Keeping abreast of the situation, the overbearing boss controlled every step of the company's employees and sacrificed personnel for the successful outcome in any case.
In the first seasons, Jessica portrayed a strong woman, who was not fond of romance and could not express tender feelings. Gina liked it, but she wanted to show some love. The creators of the series met the actress’s need and in the sixth season allowed her character to improve a personal life, making the actress complete the shooting in the project.
Gina felt sad when she had to say goodbye to her favorite role and tried to take her mind off this event, including new characters in the TV series Star Wars Rebels, Final Space and others. But deep inside she hoped that Jessica’s story was not over. Gina was delighted when the creators of Suits offered Torres to play in the spin-off of the original project and on April 25, 2018, released a pilot episode of the series Pearson.
In her youth, Torres rarely fell in love. The actress met her true love, Laurence Fishburne, in the early 2000s on the set of the film The Matrix Reloaded.
In February 2001, the star couple became engaged, and on September 22, 2002, the lovers married at The Cloisters museum in New York City. Five years after the wedding, the actors had a daughter, Delilah, who became the darling of the family and the best friend of Fishburne’s children from his first marriage.
In the early 2010s, Torres and her husband portrayed a married couple on the television series Hannibal, and in 2017 they unexpectedly announced a divorce.
Therefore, on May 19, 2018, the actress was alone at the royal wedding of actress Meghan Markle, who starred with Gina in the series Suits.
During the divorce, the paparazzi published photos of Torres on the Internet together with an unknown man. When the couple officially broke up, foreign media reported that the actress began a relationship with an entrepreneur, Kevin Wright.
Gina Torres now
Gina Torres is looking forward to the premiere of the series Pearson and sometimes posts photos of her new style on Instagram.
She is currently filming in new episodes of the show and plans to complete the work on the first season by mid-2019.
- 1997 – Xena: Warrior Princess
- 1997-1999 – Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- 2000- 2001 – Cleopatra 2525
- 2002-2003 – Firefly
- 2003 – The Matrix Reloaded
- 2003 – The Matrix Revolutions
- 2004-2006 – Justice League Unlimited
- 2005 – Serenity
- 2006-2007 – Standoff
- 2008-2009 – Eli Stone
- 2010 – Huge
- 2013 – Castle
- 2001-2018 – Suits