Hernandez: Hollywood’s Go-To Special Effects Guru

He may not be a household name, but you’ve most likely seen Tulio Hernandez’s work on the big screen.

The 50-year-old Venezuelan-born special effects guru has been part of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including  Avatar, Spider-Man 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Night at the Museum.

Tulio Hernandez

Hernandez came to the United States in 1978 from his native Maracaibo with plans to attend college and ultimately graduated with a degree in tourism and hospitality. But it was a fateful encounter with a friend that launched his special effects career.

“In 1988, a friend wanted to open a vegetarian restaurant,” he recounts. “He asked me to help him, but this friend was also making a movie and seeing them work I felt as if someone had hit me on the head and I said: this is what I want to do.”

Eleven years later, he realized he’d most definitely made the right decision.

“But what marked my path was the film Komodo, in 1999, when I saw my name on the credits and felt I had made the right decisions in my life,” Hernandez said in an interview with Efe.

Hernandez, whose other projects include Skyline, Knight and Day and Fast & Furious, says credits his Latino background for his exceptional work.

“My vision of reality is quite particular. I always see it with visual effects, I look at the environment and think how to put it on the computer,” Hernandez said, “Being Venezuelan, the Latin touch is in everything I do.”

Star Trek 2: del Toro Out, Ramirez In?

Edgar Ramirez received critical acclaim for his playing the infamous terrorist and murderer Carlos the Jackal in the TV miniseries Carlos… And, now he could be playing an out of this world baddie.

With Benicio del Toro no longer interested in starring as the villain in the sequel to the Star Trek reboot  and production set to begin soon, J.J. Abrams is working ‘round the clock to cast the important role. And, he’s reportedly set his sights on Ramirez.

Edgar Ramirez Star Trek

The 34-year-old Venezuelan actor is reportedly in talks to play the villain in Star Trek 2. Although Abrams hasn’t confirmed the role, several sources report the villain character in the film will be Khan. Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban played Khan in the classic Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.

Ramirez reportedly tested for the role via Skype this week.

But he isn’t the only Latino that Abrams is considering.

Jordi Mollà Star Trek

Jordi Mollà is reportedly in the running as well. The 43-year-old Spanish actor has starred in Colombiana, Knight and Day and Bad Boys 2.

Production on the new Star Trek movie is expected to begin on January 15, with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin expected to return to the cast.

The movie is scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on May 17, 2013.