“The best part appearing in 'Jersey Girl' was meeting my idol Jennifer Lopez.” Raquel Castro
Raquel Castro is perhaps best known for playing Gertie Trinke in Kevin Smith's “Jersey Girl” (2004), where she took home a Young Artist Award for her performance. More recently, she shared a Black Reel nomination for her role in Antoine Fuqua's “Brooklyn's Finest” (2009). Castro has also acted in the films “Little Fugitive” (2006), “The Ministers” (2009) and “America” (2009, TV) as well as in the television shows “Third Watch” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
In addition to acting, Castro sings and dances and recorded several children's songs. She was once a member of the Michelle Ferraros Dance U.S.A. team.
Childhood and Family:
Raquel Castro was born on November 17, 1994, in New York, to a Puerto Rican father, Albee Castro, and Kathy, an American mother of Italian American and Jewish origin. Her father is a singer/songwriter and her mother is an actress/songwriter. She has two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother. Raquel was named after her mother's favorite actress, Raquel Welch. She graduated from New Lane Memorial elementary school.
Raquel Castro showed an interest in performing at a very young age. Her mother sent her pictures to Persona Management and she was signed to them. She had already shot a children's safety video by age four.
Castro made her television acting debut at age 8 when she was cast as Moira Kenney in an episode of NBC's “Third Watch” called “The Greater Good” (2002). Two years later, she appeared on the big screen with the Kevin Smith dramatic comedy “Jersey Girl,” where she played Gertie Trinke, the daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Although the film received poor reviews and was a bomb at the box office, Castro received a 2005 Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Younger for her performance.
Castro next portrayed Emma Boyd in the “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode “Alien” (2005) before costarring with her younger brother, David, in the film “Little Fugitive” (2006), a remake of the 1953 Raymond Abrashkin film. The same year, she also appeared in a commercial for Pillsbury Doughboy and in Ludacris' music video “Runaway Love,” with Mary J. Blige.
In 2007, Castro was cast as Carmen in the short film “Tracks of Color,” which was directed and co-written by Federico Castelluccio. Her brother also appeared in the film as Luis Martinez. She then portrayed Nereida in Franc. Reyes' “The Ministers” (2009), which starred John Leguizamo, Florencia Lozano and Harvey Keitel, and costarred with Rosie O'Donnell, Ruby Dee and Philip Johnson in the Lifetime TV film “America” (2009), which was based on E.R. Frank's young adult novel of the same name. In “Brooklyn's Finest,” a crime film starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes that was directed by Antoine Fuqua, she played Katherine. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 2009, and was released in North America on March 5, 2010. She jointly received a 2011 Black Reel nomination for Best Ensemble for her work in the film.
Young Artist: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Age Ten or Younger, “Jersey Girl,” 2005