Actor Jay Hernandez was discovered while riding an elevator in a high rise in his native Los Angeles. The young man was approached by talent manager Howard Tyner who suggested Hernandez had what it took to have a successful career in Hollywood.
In 1998, Hernandez made his TV series debut as Antonio Lopez, one of the high school basketball players, in the NBC Saturday morning teen sitcom "Hang Time," and stayed with the show for two seasons. Departing NBC, Hernandez moved to MTV with the short-term role of pizza delivery guy Eddie on the popular late-night serial "Undressed" before segueing to the big screen. Although he shot roles in two movies ("Living the Life" and "Joy Ride") in 2000, neither had been released before his first lead role hit the multiplexes.
In 2001, Hernandez co-starred with Kirsten Dunst in the teen romance "crazy/beautiful," portraying stalwart, straight-A high school student Carlos Nunez, whose plans to attend the US Naval Academy are threatened by his growing attraction to a self-destructive rich girl. He next appeared in Disney's surprise hit film of 2002, "The Rookie" as high school baseball team captain "Wack" Campos, and had a supporting role in the videogame-ish actioner "Torque." He next appeared in the melodramatic "Ladder 49," playing a firefighter who, along with other members of his crew, struggles to rescue a seasoned veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) trapped inside a burning building. Hernandez moved on to Peter Berg's acclaimed sports drama, "Friday Night Lights," a true-life telling about the Permian High School Panther's quest for a fifth-straight championship. Hernandez played a level-headed tight end with a one-way ticket to Harvard.
He next starred in Eli Roth's "Hostel," a brutal horror flick about two American college buddies (Hernandez and Derek Richardson) lured to an out-of-the-way hostel in a Slovakian town rumored to house desperate, but beautiful Eastern European women. Following their wrong heads, both Americans get trapped in a truly sinister situation that plunges them into the dark recesses of human nature. Hernandez starred in "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power," a prequel to the 1993 film starring Al Pacino, depicting the merciless kingpin Carlito Brigante's rise to power after being lured into a deadly circle of greed and retribution. The prequel first aired as a sneak peak on the USA Network, then was launched on video/DVD the next day.
Hernandez next appeared in "World Trade Center," Oliver Stone's sober and heart-wrenching look at the September 11th terrorist attacks starring Nicolas Cage as Port Authority sergeant John McLoughlin who, along with Officer Will Jimeno (Michael Pena), survived for 24 hours underneath the rubble after the towers collapsed. Hernandez played Dominick Pezzulo, a Port Authority officer who survived the first collapse, but not the second. Hernandez returned to regular television series work with "Six Degrees," a one-hour drama about the intertwining lives of six New Yorkers who are all strangers to one another. He played a defense attorney assigned to defend a woman (Erika Christensen) charged with public indecency with whom he develops a more personal relationship. Back in the feature world, Hernandez signed on for a small role in "Stop-Loss," a war drama about a soldier returning home to Texas from Iraq who is recalled, but refuses to return to battle. Meanwhile, Hernandez returned for the sequel "Hostel 2" (lensed 2006), which depicted three women who learn the grim truth behind the Slovakian hostel while studying abroad for the summer.
Hernandez recently had an arc on ABC's hit show "Nashville" as the conniving Dante Rivas. Next, he starred in the upcoming FOX series "Gang Related," about a gang member who is sent in to infiltrate the San Francisco Police Department and rises through its ranks but must balance his obligations to his crime family with an increasing sense of loyalty to his new "family." Most recently, he has been cast to play Chato Santana / El Diablo in 2016's "Suicide Squad."
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Jay Hernandez for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Jay Hernandez speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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