Jay Hernandez (born February 20, 1978) is an American actor. Hernandez was born Javier Manuel Hernandez, Jr. in Montebello, California, the son of Isis (née Maldonado), a secretary and accountant, and Javier Hernandez, Sr., a mechanic. He has a younger sister, Amelia, and two older brothers, Michael and Gabriel. Hernandez is a fourth-generation Mexican American. He attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead, California, but transferred to Schurr High School in Montebello, California his senior year. While riding an elevator in a high rise in Los Angeles, Hernandez was approached by talent manager Howard Tyner who suggested Hernandez had what it took to have a successful career in Hollywood. He enrolled Hernandez into acting school and sent his pictures to casting agents.
Hernandez subsequently hit success with his role opposite Kirsten Dunst in Crazy/Beautiful. He has since appeared in several major Hollywood films, including playing the lead role in the 2005 horror film Hostel, which performed well at the box office, and World Trade Center, released the same year. Hernandez is set to appear in the action/crime film Takers, which has a release date of 2010. The film is currently in post-production.