This fall Jay Hernandez is starring on the new ABC drama Six Degrees airing on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Six Degrees follows the lives of six New Yorkers who are all connected. Created by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias), ABC has big hopes for the show. Hernandez will play good-guy Carlos on the show also starring Bridget Moynihan and Erika Christensen.
Jay Hernandez, is actually Javier Hernandez Jr. and was born February 20, 1978 in Montebello, California to parents Isis and Javier Sr. He has two older brothers and one younger sister. Hernandez is a third generation Mexican-American.
Acting wasn’t always Hernandez’s aspiration. He was discovered while riding in an elevator with his parents who were doing errands in Los Angeles. In the elevator with them was a talent manager (who had previously worked with former teen idols New Kids On the Block) who gave Hernandez his card and said he had a great look. At first Hernandez wasn’t interested, but later on with some urging by his mother, he gave the manager a call.
In 2001, Jay Hernandez was poised to become the next “it” boy. Coming off a starring role opposite Kirsten Dunst in Crazy/Beautiful, he was seen as a fresh young actor. In Crazy/Beautiful Hernandez played the character of Carlos Nunez, a poor yet driven boy with aspirations of becoming a Naval pilot who falls for an unstable girl (Dunst) from an affluent family. The two were nominated for Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards in 2002. The movie was a favorite among the teen girl crowd and should have catapulted Hernandez’s career.
What followed however, were parts in somewhat forgettable films such as Joy Ride, a film about a trio of young people getting terrorized by a vengeful trucker, Torque, a film about a biker gang, and Ladder 49, a film about firefighters.
In between those films, Jay Hernandez popped up in some successful sports movies. He co-starred with Dennis Quaid in 2002’s The Rookie about a high school baseball coach turned Major League ball player where he played one of the team’s players. Before the movie Jay had never even played baseball.
He trained before the film began shooting with a former Los Angeles Dodgers player and with sports coordinators who had worked on Remember the Titans and Varsity Blues. He also strapped some pads on to play a Texas high school football player in the big screen adaptation of Buzz Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights.
Before Hernandez was ever seen on the big screen he appeared as a regular on the NBC Saturday morning television show Hang Time about a high school basketball team. Hernandez played Antonio Lopez. While on the show Hernandez dated his co-star Daniella Deutscher who played the lone girl on a team filled with boys. Hang Time was in the same lineup as City Guys and One World, other shows about high school kids that NBC aired.
Hernandez is now heading back to the place he got his start with his turn in Six Degrees. You can catch it on ABC on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m.