Armed with the requisite good looks and plenty of screen charisma, Jay Hernandez had his career kickstarted by one of those serendipitous only-in-Hollywood experiences. 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, he made his TV series debut as Antonio Lopez, a high school basketball player, in the Saturday morning teen sitcom "Hang Time" (NBC 1998-2000) and stayed with the show for two seasons. Hernandez moved to MTV with the short-term role of pizza delivery guy Eddie on the popular late-night serial "Undressed" (MTV 1999-2002) 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" (2004). He next appeared in the melodramatic "Ladder 49" (2004), 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" (2004), a true-life story about the Permian High School Panthers' 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" (2005), a brutal horror flick about two American college buddies (Hernandez and Derek Richardson) lured to an out-of-the-way Slovakian hostel. Hernandez starred in "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power" (2006), a prequel to the 1993 film starring Al Pacino, depicting merciless kingpin Carlito Brigante's rise to power after being lured into a deadly circle of greed and retribution. Hernandez next appeared in "World Trade Center" (2006), Oliver Stone's sober and heart-wrenching look at the September 11th terrorist attacks. Hernandez returned to regular television series work with "Six Degrees" (ABC 2006-07), a one-hour drama about the intertwining lives of six New Yorkers who are all strangers to one another. Back in the feature world, Hernandez signed on for a small role in "Stop-Loss" (2006), 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: Part II" (2007) and took on supporting roles in the dramas "American Son" (2008) and "Lakeview Terrace" (2008). A co-starring role in found-footage thriller "Quarantine" (2008) was followed by steady supporting work in films ranging from Miley Cyrus-starring teen drama "LOL" (2012) to family-friendly animal drama "Max" (2015). Hernandez raised his profile significantly with key roles in raunchy comedy "Bad Moms" (2016) and DC Comics supervillain-ensemble blockbuster "Suicide Squad" (2016), in which he costarred as El Diablo.
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