American actress April L. Hernandez, sometimes also credited as April Lee Hernandez and April Hernandez, is probably most known as Eva on Richard LaGravenese's drama, “Freedom Writers” (2007), which starred Hilary Swank. She also had a recurring role as Nurse Inez on “ER” (2005-2007). Hernandez, who began her performing career as a stand up comedian, first made impression with appearance in the 2003 “Visa's Super Bowl“ commercial.
The native of New Yorker will play Reina in the feature film remake “The Big Wes” (2009) and Beth in Showtime's film, “Nurse Jackie” (2009). She also has a role in the upcoming telepic “Blue Blood.”
Hernandez is a big fan of fellow Hispanic actress Jennifer Lopez. She founded a production company called “Teapuesto Entertainment,” with actor Caspar Martinez.
Childhood and Family:
April Lee Hernandez was born on January 31, 1980, in The Bronx, New York. She was a great athlete, and took up softball at the Aquinas High School. With the ambition of becoming a nutritionist, she studied Nutrition at Hunter College in New York, but dropped out to try her hand in comedy.
April is of Puerto Rican origin and has identified herself as a “tough Latina.”
While in high school, April L. Hernandez became deeply in love in comedy after seeing John Leguizamo in a one-man show, “Mambo Mouth,” and later left college to pursue a career in comedy. She performed stand-up at New York Comedy Club and Stand-Up New York before coming to the attention of wide public as the Yo Girl in a 2003 “Visa's Super Bowl “commercial, along side NBA player Yao Ming and Yankee legend Yogi Berra.
Lured by her success on the commercial, Hernandez subsequently changed her attention to acting, and in September 2003, appeared as Reina in the short film “Big Wes,” which was written by Damian Bailey, who also starred in the movie as Trevor Dane/Big Wes. She followed it up with a guest role as Shayna Rosario in an episode of the NBC popular drama series “Law & Order” called “Can I Get a Witness?” (2004) and a part in the direct-to-video “Rap War One” (also 2004). Still in that same year, she portrayed a bicycle messenger at the successful commercial in Coca-Cola Filmmaker's Contest.
Hernandez played two different characters in two episodes of the Fox drama series “Jonny Zero” (2005), which was canceled three months after its debut due to depressing ratings. She then appeared as Cindy in the Steven Bochco-created drama “Blind Justice” episode “Seoul Man” (also 2005) and portrayed Nurse Inez in seven episodes of the NBC long-running medical series “ER” (2005-2006). She also was featured as waitress in diner in an episode of the ABC short-lived TV series “6 Degrees,” starring Jay Hernandez, named “A New Light” (2006) before making an auspicious big screen debut in “Freedom Writers” (2007), a biopic directed and scripted by Richard LaGravenese. She played Eva Benite, based on a real-life high school student named Maria Reyes, opposite Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell, Patrick Dempsey as Scott Casey, Scott Glenn as Steve Gruwell and Imelda Staunton as Margaret Campbell.
Also in 2007, Hernandez made a memorable guest appearance as Vikki in an episode of “30 Rock” and served as co-host in the popular ABC talk-show “The View.” The following year, she could be seen starring as Mara in the 11-minute drama “Broken” (2008), which was directed and written by Tamara LaSeon Bass.
Recently, Hernandez completed filming the made-for-TV film “Blue Blood” for 20th Century Fox Television. She stars in the crime/drama along side John Ortiz, Larenz Tate, Logan Marshall-Green and Frank Grillo. She will play Beth in the Showtime telepic “Nurse Jackie” (2009), opposite Peter Facinelli, Edie Falco, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Jekesai Gurira and Alexandra Daddario. On the big screen front, Hernandez is set to reprise her role as Reina in “The Big Wes” (2009), the remake of the 2003 short “Big Wes.” The comedy is directed and written by and stars Damian Bailey.