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Elsa Pataky Biography

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Birth Name: Elsa Pataky
Born: 07/18/1976
Birth Place: Madrid, ES

Born July 18, 1976 in Madrid, Spain to a Spanish father and a Romanian mother, Pataky was raised in Madrid. Her father, José Francisco, worked as a chemist and her mother, Cristina Pataky, was a publicist. Pataky attended the Universidad de San Pablo in Madrid were she majored in journalism. Enrolling in acting classes on her own time, Pataky began to study the craft, pursuing her longtime dream of becoming an actress. Honing her talents, Pataky studied with both Ángel Gutiérrez and Paco Pino before joining the theatre company Teatro Cámara de Ángel Guitiérrez in Madrid. When cast in the Spanish television series "Al Salir de Clase" (1997-99), Pataky put aside her studies in order to pursue a full-time acting career. In 1998 she joined the cast of the series "Tio Willy" (1998-99) in a recurring role. Upon the success of "Clase," Pataky was offered a number of film roles; she made her feature film debut in the popular Spanish thriller "El Art de Morir" (2000), as well as starring in the films "Menos es más" (2000), "Tatawo" (2000), and "Noche de reyes" (2001).

Fluent in Spanish, French, English and Romanian, Pataky began to broaden her international appeal by taking on roles outside of the Spanish market. In her first English-language series, Pataky portrayed Vera Hidalgo on the syndicated adventure series "Queens of Swords" (2000-01) during its only season. She went on to appear in the horror films "Beyond re-Animator" (2003) and "Romasanta" (2004) opposite Julian Sands. Branching out into the French market, Pataky co-starred in the French comedy "Iznogoud" (2005), which proved to be a success at the box office. That same year, Pataky received rave reviews for her performance as Alejandra 'Ninette' in the Spanish comedy "Ninette" (2005). Helmed by award-winning director José Luis Garci, the film earned seven Goya Award nominations and earned Pataky a Fotogramas de Plata nomination for Best Actress.

Though Pataky was one of the biggest names in Spanish cinema, she remained relatively unknown in the U.S. Gaining a modicum of notoriety in 2006 for dating Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, Pataky officially (and unknowingly, at the time) crossed over into the mainstream American market by accepting a supporting role opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the much-hyped action flick "Snakes on a Plane" (2006). Though New Line Cinema refused to hold any test screenings of "Snakes," (a likely indicator that the film would receive poor reviews) internet buzz surrounding the film boosted people's interest to the point of pre-release mania. Taking advantage of her connection to such a high profile project, as well being a tabloid fixture for her relationship with Brody, in 2006, Pataky branched out into fashion, launching her own line of clothing under the label PTKY.

Pataky continued a dual career for the next several years, splitting her time between Spanish films and British and American crime dramas and action films such as the drug-trafficking film "Mr. Nice" (2010) and the London underworld thriller "All Things To All Men" (2013). Pataky's American profile was raised considerably when she joined the cast of the "Fast and the Furious" series, co-starring as the mysterious Elena Neves in both "Fast Five" (2011) and "Fast & Furious 6" (2013). She also became a familiar figure in Hollywood gossip pages beginning in 2010, when she met and married Chris Hemsworth, the Australian-born star of "Thor" (2011) and "The Avengers" (2012). The couple's first child, India Rose, was born in 2012; Pataky gave birth to twin sons in March 2012.