Chances are that by the time you saw model-turned-actress Devon Aoki step behind the wheel in 2 Fast 2 Furious you were already asking yourself, “where have I seen that face before?” With an impressive modeling background that has included campaigns for such world-famous designers as Chanel and Versace — not to mention appearances on the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Interview — the answer to that question could be one of many. A seemingly ubiquitous presence in the world of modeling in the millennial changeover, Aoki has since gone on to craft an impressive career onscreen as well thanks to roles in such high-profile Hollywood features as the aforementioned Fast and the Furious sequel, the high-school secret agent comedy D.E.B.S., and director Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City.
Devon Aoki was born in New York City to Benihana restaurant founder Rocky Aoki and Anglo-Bavarian jewelry designer Pamela Hilburger; the Aoki family subsequently settled briefly on the West Coast before returning back East when young Devon was 13 years old. It was shortly after their return to New York that Aoki was spotted by a photographer while attending a Rancid concert, and following a move to London shortly thereafter, Aoki’s modeling career skyrocketed. A hot property on both the magazine scene and the runway circuit, Aoki soon began considering other means by which to expand her career. Already comfortable in front of the camera and a big fan of the movies, Aoki convinced filmmakers to give her a shot at the big screen, and despite the fact that she didn’t have a driver’s license and had never driven a car, the striking young model was soon cast in director John Singleton’s 2 Fast 2 Furious. A role as a brainy schoolgirl who joins an elite national-defense group in D.E.B.S. was quick to follow in 2004, and the following year Aoki used the very sword that Uma Thurman wielded in the Kill Bill saga to air out Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro in the brutally violent and visually vibrant comic book film Sin City.