Melonie Diaz is Vanity Fair's August Vanities Girl

AGE: 29.

PROVENANCE: Manhattan.

CITY GIRL: Diaz grew up in the East Village projects. “By nature of being in the city and being in that area, you grow up a bit quicker than other places.”

PATH TO VICTORY: A graduate of the Professional Performing Arts high school, Diaz first gained cinematic notice in 2002’s Raising Victor Vargas, while she was enrolled in N.Y.U.’s undergraduate film program. “People will stop me on the street. That was 10 years ago, and the way people react to that movie is really special.”

ON TRACK: Having just booked an upcoming guest spot on HBO’s Girls, Diaz has been making waves on the festival circuit in the award-winning Fruitvale Station, a raw biopic based on the last day in the life of transit-police-shooting victim Oscar Grant, set for theatrical release this month. “I’m playing a real-life person, so there’s a lot of pressure to do things right. It was hard.”

TAKE TWO: Diaz’s acting success hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm for getting behind the camera one day, citing Kathryn Bigelow as an inspiration. She still intends to go back to N.Y.U. to complete her degree. “I think it’s important to finish what you start.”


Awww, this is super cute.  Love her shout out to Bigelow. <3