Miami Living Magazine

Michelle Rodriguez

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PEOPLE Miami's First Cool Chick Gabrielle Union shows her love for the Magic City Words by Martin Haro Perhaps you remember her best as the cheerleader who told Kirsten Dunst she had better bring it in the 2000 sleeper hit Bring It On. It's more than likely that you saw her in Bad Boys II, and we will bet you recognize her as Dwyane Wade's gf. The point is you know Gabrielle Union. And you best believe Gabrielle Union knows Miami. We found first hand when we made it a point to run into her earlier this summer, at the Grey Goose Cherry Noir launch party at FDR at the Delano Hotel. Union was hosting the party, which drew out Travie McCoy and Neon Hitch as well. We just wanted to know what it was about Miami and Miami living – ha…see what we did there? – that Union loves so much. Some of it is rather obvious (girlfriend loves the weather, and the Heat, of course), but the rest…. Ah, well, you better read on for that – and to find out how you can see Union next (can you believe that at 39, Hollywood still hasn't like, turned this talented looker into a major star?) They don't get classier or more level-headed and clear than Union, those celebs, which is why she's easily the Magic City's first girlfriend – and the girl everyone should wish were their girlfriend. Miami Living: Alright, level with us. What is it about Miami that you love so, so much? Gabrielle Union: Well, besides the weather – I mean, it's hot. [Indeed, it was – we met on a beyond-balmy June evening.] But there's something about the humidity that I absolutely love. It kinda makes you slow down, and appreciate things a little bit more. I get in that L.A. rat-race mentality, and even when I'm accomplishing something I'm not really enjoying it. In Miami I'm able to slow down and enjoy things. And I love the diversity here. It's a real…soup. There's a lot of different ingredients here. It's a beautiful gumbo. You can go down Lincoln Road and get so many more flavors, hear so many more languages, see so many more different people than anywhere else. ML: What is going on with you, professionally speaking? GU: I actually just wrapped my own show. BET gave me my own show…it's called Being Mary Jane. ML: Take it you play Mary Jane? GU: I play Mary Jane. We just wrapped in MIAMI LIVING 69 Atlanta. I did Think Like a Man, which is still making money. It's becoming one of the most, if not the most successful urban film. And I have Half the Sky, a four-part PBS series based on this book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn [premiering in October; check your local listing] about the oppression of women and girls around the world. He followed that up with this documentary and got six different actresses to go to six different parts of the world and see what it's like there for women and girls. I went to Vietnam to learn about the education disparities between girls and boys. ML: Is education something that you're passionate about? GU: Very much. My girl friend and me we started a nonprofit called A Step for Success. We adopted an impoverished school in the L.A. area and we hold different fundraisers to help supplement their slashed budgets with our parties. [Laughs] I mean, we put on a classy

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