Naya Marie Rivera (born January 12, 1987) is an American actress and singer, known for playing Santana Lopez on Fox Broadcasting's musical comedy-drama television series Glee. Her first solo single "Sorry" was released on September 17, 2013, featuring her then-fiancé Big Sean.
- 2 Career
- 3 Media appearances
- 4 Public image
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Discography
- 8 Music videos
- 9 Stage work
- 10 Awards and nominations
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Rivera was born and raised in Valencia, California, and has lived in or around Los Angeles for most of her life. Rivera is of half Puerto Rican, a quarterAfrican American, and a quarter German descent. Her parents are Yolanda, a former model, and George Rivera. Her brother is NFL tight end Mychal Rivera, and her younger sister is runway model Nickayla Rivera. At 8 or 9 months old, Rivera began to be represented by the same talent agent as her mother, who had moved to Los Angeles to pursue modeling.
Rivera appeared in commercials for Kmart as a baby, but her first significant acting job was at age 4 when she appeared as Hillary Winston in The Royal Family sitcom in 1991. The show received positive reviews and high ratings initially, but it was cancelled soon after star Redd Foxx suffered a sudden heart attack on set. Rivera received a Young Artist Award nomination for her performance in the series.
Between 1992 and 2002, she had small roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Live Shot, Baywatch, Smart Guy, The Jersey, House Blend, Even Stevens and The Master of Disguise. In 2002 she also appeared in the music video for B2K's "Why I Love You". She was hired for a single episode guest appearance on The Bernie Mac Show in 2002, but she was brought back to work on a further ten episodes throughout all five seasons. She was later featured in episodes of 8 Simple Rules and CSI: Miami. In between auditions and roles, Rivera worked jobs as a telemarketer, a nanny and a greeter at an Abercrombie & Fitch store. In 2006 and 2007, Rivera took part in a production of Mark E. Swinton's play, U Don't Know Me: The Musical, both in Los Angeles and when the production was taken on national tour.
In 2009, Rivera was cast as Santana Lopez, a high school cheerleader, on Fox's musical comedy series, Glee, about a high school glee club. Rivera's character comes off as a cold-hearted and vicious cheerleader, who often shows her softer side to fellow cheerleader Brittany (played by Heather Morris). Rivera auditioned for the opportunity "to sing, dance and act all in the same show," and because she was a fan of co-creator Ryan Murphy's previous work on Nip/Tuck.
Rivera drew on her own high school experience of unpopularity to prepare for the role, as well as watching films such as Mean Girls to "really get in the zone and feel like a bitchy Sophomore". She has described Santana as "your typical high school cheerleader, for the most part," explaining: "She's really mean and loves boys. She's really witty so I love playing her." She has characterized Santana as "a bit of a bad girl" who is "really snarky and always has these really witty one-liners she throws out there." Rivera enjoys the fact Santana is competitive and headstrong as she herself shares those traits, but dislikes Santana's mean streak. She finds the show's pacing challenging, especially the dancing, and commented in June 2009 that her most memorable moment on Glee was performing the Cheerios' glee club audition piece, "I Say a Little Prayer". Santana played a more prominent part in the last nine episodes of Glee's first season. Rivera commented: "Santana's been wreaking havoc with people's boyfriends and people's babies and teachers—she's the high school terror, and she's going to continue to be the villain."Rivera at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010
After having her screen time and musical involvement increased in the second half of the first season, Rivera was promoted to official series regular status as of the beginning of the second season. She was given her first solo in the fifth episode of season two, "The Rocky Horror Glee Show", and performed several others as the season progressed. During the second season, Rivera's role in the show was radically changed when it was revealed that her character was a lesbian. Rivera portrayed Santana struggling to come to terms with her sexuality, with her love for her best friend, and with her inability to come out of the closet. She received favorable reviews for her performance.
In July 2011, Rivera was nominated for two ALMA awards, in the categories of "Favorite Female Music Artist" and "Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Comedy". Rivera received a great amount of critical praise for both her acting and her singing performances in the latter part of Season Two and the beginning of Season Three. As 2011 ended, she or her character were on many "Best Of" lists, including HitFix's 25 Breakout Stars of 2011, TV Guide's Best Performances of 2011, MTV's Best TV Characters of 2011, as well as others.
In the second half of the series' third season, Rivera's critical acclaim and featured role continued. She was given the opportunity to do a duet withRicky Martin, and worked with Gloria Estefan, who was cast as Santana's mother.
As the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards approached, Rivera was listed by many critics and media outlets as deserving of a nomination.[who?] The Hollywood Reporterincluded her in their "Emmy 2012: Supporting Players" photo shoot, and Rivera was also honored by E!, Hitfix, TV Guide, and others. She was also chosen by the TV Academy to take part in a promotional video for the upcoming awards ceremony. Regarding her awards season buzz, Rivera commented to The Hollywood Reporter, "For people to even think that I'd be considered or a good candidate for a supporting actress nomination is mind-blowing to me."
Rivera's debut single "Sorry," featuring her fiancé at the time, Big Sean, was released as a digital download on September 17, 2013. On May 1, 2014, it was reported that Rivera was dropped from Columbia, due to her debut single under performing. Rivera's representative released a statement to news outlets stating that any claims were falsified, and that legal action would be potentially taken to ensure Rivera's creditability; at the time of publishing, Columbia Records could not be reached for comment.
In 2011, Rivera hosted the San Francisco GLAAD Media Awards. In November 2011, Rivera and Amber Riley performed at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams Event for the Dream Foundation. In December 2011, Rivera was revealed as the newest celebrity spokesperson for ProActiv. On March 24, 2012, she co-hosted the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York with co-star Cory Monteith. Along with John Stamos, both hosts auctioned off kisses to the crowd, raising $15,000. This tradition started with Rivera when she hosted the 22nd Annual Media Awards in San Francisco.
In October 2012, Rivera was featured in the third episode of MTV's new show, This Is How I Made It. In the episode, Rivera recounted her childhood career as an actress and a model, as well as the lean times that came between the age of 16 and 21, leading up to her big break of being cast on Glee. In December 2012, Rivera attended the annual Trevor Live event, where she performed her take on the song "Silent Night."
Rivera has starred in a recent M&M's commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, as the girl that "Red" is referring to (and who is essentially trying to eat him) with a cover of Meat Loaf's I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).
In April 2012, Rivera was featured on the cover of Latina magazine. The following month she was also featured in the inaugural issue of Cosmo for Latinas, and was selected by People en Español for their 50 Most Beautiful list. In May 2012, Rivera made FHM's 100 Sexiest Women List, coming in at number 39. She made the Maxim Hot 100 list for the third year in a row, moving up sixteen spots to number 27. On the 2012 AfterEllen 'Hot 100 list' she was again ranked #1. She posed nude for the May 2013 issue of Allure magazine.
Rivera took up songwriting at the age of 15, declaring in one interview, "...my passion for music is one of my greatest loves." In 2008, Rivera completed an 8-week screenwriting workshop at the New York Film Academy. She has stated that if she could not act or sing she would work as a writer.
Concerning her religious views, Rivera noted in an interview with Latina magazine that she was raised a devout Christian but is very private about it, noting the conflict that can result from revealing such information. "It's hard and sort of sad that you do feel the need to tread lightly when you say, 'Yes, I do go to church and I do read the Bible,' because once you do that, people will be like, 'Why are her boobs out? Why is her midriff showing? Why is she playing a lesbian?' I don't want to deal with that stuff, so I've never really discussed it. It's very personal."
|2002||The Master of Disguise||Captain America Kid||Deleted Scene|
|2009||Frankenhood||Hottie||Credited erroneously as Naya Maria Rivera|
|2011||Glee: The 3D Concert Movie||Santana Lopez||3D Concert Film|
|2013||The Naughty List||Sparkle||Animated Christmas Movie|
|2014||At the Devil's Door||Vera Moreno||Film debut|
|1991–92||The Royal Family||Hillary Winston||Regular role|
|1992–93||Family Matters||Gwendolyn||Episodes: "Just One Date", "Heart Strings", "Mama's Wedding"|
|1993||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Cindy||Episode: "Bundle of Joy"|
|1993||The Sinbad Show||Party Guest||Episode: "It's My Party, I'll Cry If I Want To"|
|1995||Live Shot||Ann||Episode: "Another Day, Another Story"|
|Episodes: "Baby, It's You and You and You", "Never Too Young"|
|1999||The Jersey||Girl #2||Episode: "Be True to You"|
|2002||House Blend||Chloe||Television pilot|
|2002||Even Stevens||Charlene||Episode: "Short Story"|
|2002–06||The Bernie Mac Show||Donna||Recurring role (Seasons 2–5): 11 episodes|
|2003||Soul Food||Lauryn||Episodes: "Truth's Consequences", "Nobody's Child"|
|2004||8 Simple Rules||Nice Girl||Episode: "Halloween"|
|2008||Girlfriends||Young Lady||Episode: "Stand and Deliver"|
|2008||CSI: Miami||Rachel Calvado||Episode: "Power Trip"|
|2009–present||Glee||Santana Lopez||Season 1: Recurring Role
Season 2–present: Main Cast
|2010||When I Was 17||Herself||Episode 28, with Carmelo Anthony and Taye Diggs|
|2012||The Glee Project||Herself (Guest Star)||Season 2, Episode 4: "Sexuality"|
|2012||This Is How I Made It||Herself||Episode 3, with Chris Brown|
|2013||Fashion Police||Herself||Guest Star|
|2013||Styled to Rock||Herself||Guest Star|
|2014||The Real Housewives of Atlanta||Herself||Season 6, Episode 26: "Secrets Revealed"|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Sales||Album|
|2013||"Sorry" (feat. Big Sean)||—||37||73||81||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|2002||B2K||"Why I Love You" "1:47" |
|2012||2Cellos||"Supermassive Black Hole"|
|2006–07||U Don't Know Me||Keila|
|1992||Young Artist Awards||Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten||Nominated|
|2010||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Won|
|TV Land Awards||Future Classics (with: Glee Cast)||Won|
|Imagen Awards||Best Supporting Actress—Television||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Group||Nominated|
|Lesbian/Bi People's Choice Awards||Favorite Music Duo or Group (with: Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Gay People's Choice Awards||Favorite Music Duo or Group (with: Glee Cast)||Won|
|2011||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Grammy Award||Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (Don't Stop Believin)||Nominated|
|Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Glee: The Music, Volume 1)||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Group (with: Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Comedy||Nominated|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite Female Music Artist||Won|
|2012||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media (with: Glee Cast)Glee: The Music, Volume 4||Nominated|
|My TV Awards||Ridiculously Good-Looking Female||Won|
|My TV Awards||Supporting Actress in a Comedy||Won|
|NewNowNext Awards||Cause You're Hot||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Best Female Music Artist||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite TV Actress – Comedy||Won|
|2013||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Giffoni Film Festival||Giffoni Award||Won|
|2014||People's Choice Awards||Favorite TV Gal Pals (with Lea Michele)||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Female Scene Stealer||Pending|