Published on December 19th, 2010 | by thevyne1
Woman to Watch: Rutina Wesley
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently divides her time between New York and Los Angeles
Occupation: Classically trained Actress, co-starring in the hit HBO series “True Blood.”
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana. Graduated from the four-year actor-training program at The Juilliard School Drama Division in New York.
Family Affair: It’s no wonder Rutina chose to pursue a career in the arts considering she was born in Las Vegas and was raised by two parents who themselves led a life in the arts. Rutina’s father, Ivery Wheeler, is a professional tap dancer and her mother, Cassandra Wesley, performed on the Vegas strip as a showgirl.
Growing Up: Rutina attended high school at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts. She studied dance at Simba Studios and the West Las Vegas Arts Center.
Career: Currently, Rutina is co-starring in the hit HBO series “True Blood” from critically acclaimed producer Alan Ball. The series is based on the popular novels “Southern Vampire,” about vampires living amongst humans. Rutina plays the role of Tara, best friend to Anna Paquin’s Sookie Stackhouse. Rutina made her film debut by starring as the lead in the Paramount Vantage/MTV Films, “How She Move,” from British director Ian Rashid. Additional credits include an appearance in an episode of the show “Numb3rs” and “The Cleveland Show”.
Recognition: Nominated for a 2010 Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series (True Blood) and nominated in 2009 for a Scream award for Best Supporting Actress (True Blood).
Fun Facts: Rutina attended Juliard with her “True Blood” co-star Nelsan Ellis. She is married to fellow actor Jacob Fischel.