Why Has 'Tangerine' Star Been MIA During Awards Season?

Insiders say transgender actress Kitana Kiki Rodriguez has been dealing with "personal problems" and likely won't attend Saturday's Spirit Awards, where she is a best actress nominee.
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez

A version of this story first appeared in the March 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Two of this year's Spirit Awards actress nominees hail from the transgender dramedy Tangerine — Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. But insiders don't expect Rodriguez, who has been noticeably absent from awards season, to show for the Feb. 27 ceremony.

Taylor, who is expected, has appeared at events with writer-director Sean Baker (a Spirit nominee for directing) alongside supporters like Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and Oscar winner Melissa Leo. Insiders say Rodriguez has been dealing with unspecified "personal problems." A supportive Taylor says of her co-star, "She's very low-key and doesn't like the spotlight." A rep for the film declined comment.

Rodriguez is in impressive company in her category, too. Also nominated for lead actress are Cate Blanchett for Carol, Brie Larson for Room, Rooney Mara for Carol and Bel Powley for The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

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