Meet The Fockers
Once dubbed by Paper Magazine as the “Next Al Pacino,” New York-born film and TV actor Ray Santiago is popular for portraying Jorge Villalobos in the highly successful comedy movie “Meet The Fockers” (2004), starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller. He also played Tiny Guzman in “Girlfight” (2000), his feature film debut, and Bobby D in “Dirty Deeds” (2005), and appeared with Justin Long in “The Sasquatch Gang” and “Accepted” (both 2006). Other film credits include “Piñero” (2001), “The TV Set” (2006), “American Son” (2008), “ Endless Bummer” (2008) and “Ready or Not” (2009). Santiago has guested in such television series as “The Jury,” “Crossing Jordan,” “My Name Is Earl” and “Dexter.”
Santiago is a vegetarian. He speaks two languages, English and Spanish. He mentions James Woods as a big influence.
Childhood and Family:
Nicknamed Iago, Ray Santiago was born on June 9, 1984, in The Bronx, New York. He graduated from Fiorello La Guardia School of Music & Art & Performing Arts in 2002. Other popular alums of LaGuardia H.S. include Jennifer Aniston, Marlon Wayans and Omar Epps.
Growing up in New York, Iago lived outside the US in Paris, France when he was 13years old. As of July 2006, he resides in Los Angeles, CA.
16-year-old Ray Santiago made first foray to the cinematic industry by playing Tiny Guzman in the Sundance Film Festival award-winning boxing film “Girlfight,” directed and written by Karyn Kusama and starring Michelle Rodriguez. He next appeared in Leon Ichaso's highly acclaimed biopic, “Piñero” (2001), about the troubled life of Puerto Rican author Miguel Piñero (played by Benjamin Bratt), and after completing high school, he had a supporting part in “Bringing Rain” (2003), from a first timer Noah Buschel, and a starring role in Benno Schoberth's “Shelter” (2003), which won the Special Jury Award at the 2004 Cinequest San Jose Film Festival and the Jury Award for Best Directing and Best Feeture at the 2004 Temecula Valley International Film Festival. He also made his TV acting debut in a 2004 episode of “The Jury.”
Santiago, however, did not get his major break until he won the role of Jorge Villalobos, a 15-year-old son of Isabel (played by Alanna Ubach), a sexy former housekeeper and babysitter of the Fockers, on the black comedy film “Meet The Fockers” (2004), a sequel to the 2000 blockbuster “Meet the Parents.” Starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, and Teri Polo, in addition to Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Blythe Danner, and Owen Wilson,the Jay Roach-directed grossed a total of over $516 million worldwide, and becomes the highest grossing live action comedy in history. In the following year, the gifted actor resurfaced with a solid supporting turn as Bobby D in director David Kendall's teen comedy, “Dirty Deeds,” opposite Milo Ventimiglia, Lacey Chabert and Zoe Saldana.
2006 found Santiago in high demand with a number of film and TV projects under his belt. He worked with Amber Heard in Michael McCready's “Price to Pay” (2006), starred in “Dead Man's Morphine” (2006), a short film written and helmed by Nelson Kim, supported Justin Long, Jeremy Sumpter in Tim Skousen's “The Sasquatch Gang” and had a featured role as audience member #1in the Judd Apatow-produced “The TV Set.” He also appeared in the Steve Pink-helmed “Accepted,” which starred Long and Jonah Hill. Although the comedy was launched to generally negative reviews, it had an impressive box office sale, with a total worldwide gross of more than $38 million. On the small screen, Santiago appeared as Omar 'Lil O' Rodriguez and Ramon on episodes of “Crossing Jordan” and “Windfall,” respectively, and played Catalina's brother in two episodes of the NBC sitcom “My Name Is Earl.”
In contrary, Santiago only did a single project in the next year. He appeared as Manny in a 2007 episode of CBS's “Cane” named “HurriCane. He returned to film with a small role as Miguelito in 2008's drama, “American Son,” directed by Neil Abramson and starring Nick Cannon. It was followed by a bigger supporting role as Lardo in the surfing movie “ Endless Bummer” (2008) and a recurring role as Javier in the Michael C. Hall vehicle “Dexter” (2008), based on characters invented by Jeff Lindsay for his series of novels of the same name.
The 25-year-old actor recently played Nacho in “Ready or Not” (2009), a comedy film from director Sean Doyle. Costars in the film include Christian Oliver, Seamus Dever, Evan Helmuth, Jonathan Murphy and Alex Rocco.