Fernandez played a key role in the second season of DALLAS: Roy Vickers, the sleazy drug henchman who was set-up by Drew Ramos (Kuna Becker) for drug possession and arrested. In the season finale, Harris Ryland (Mitch Pileggi) had him executed to keep him from sharing secrets about his drug operation but not before he tipped off Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) about Cliff's involvement.
In DEVIOUS MAIDS, Fernandez brings comic relief as Pablo Diaz, the loudmouthed husband of Judy Reyes' Zoila Del Barrio. The husband and wife team navigate raising their daughter together in Marc Cherry’s newest twist-filled drama, which follows Latina maids with ambition and dreams as they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.
In THE BRIDGE, Fernandez stars as FBI Agent Richard Heller, as he investigates a serial killer menacing Mexico and The Unites States along the Texas-Mexico border. The investigation is complicated by the rampant corruption and general apathy among the Mexican authorities and the violence of the powerful borderland drug cartels.
ABC drama KILLER WOMEN is set to premiere mid-season and is produced by MODERN FAMILY's Sofia Vergara. The series follows Fernandez as Texas Ranger commander, Lt. Luis Zea, the leader and confidant of Molly Parker (Tricia Hefler), a recently divorced woman, former beauty queen and a daughter of a sheriff, who rises to the top ranks of one of the most elite and male-dominant law enforcement establishments around, the Texas Rangers. Fernandez's character sticks by her side, despite the notorious boys-only club of The Texas Ranger force.
When not in front of the cameras, Fernandez directs a theater company in Los Angeles and is an accomplished screenwriter. In addition, he is noted for his acclaimed voice over work, in video games, especially: as the lead in Final Fantasy X, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, Quantum of Solace, Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.
We Love Soaps recently spoke with Fernandez about his career and busy year on TV. Read our exclusive interview below:
WE LOVE SOAPS: I'm always fascinated by people's journey to stardom. Did you always want to be an actor.
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I think so. I started acting in high school when I was about sixteen years old, but for two or three years before that, I already knew I wanted to do it. I just didn't really have the guts to give it a try for a few years. Even as a little, little kid I would have fantasies about being an astronaut or a scuba diver. I then realized I was actually having a fantasy about being in a movie where I played an astronaut.
I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark and I wanted to be an archaeologist - and later on I realized I didn't want to be an archaeologist, I wanted to be in a movie like Indiana Jones. [Laughs]
WE LOVE SOAPS: How did you end up in Los Angeles?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I fell in love with acting in high school, and spent a couple of years studying it in college in Miami, where I grew up. I studied theater in London for a summer, then I moved out to San Francisco and went to the American Conservatory Theater, which is a fairly prestigious theater training program. My plan was to just work in the theater my whole life.
My wife (at the time) got into school down in southern California, so I started to audition for movies and TV. It's easy to look back now and say I came down here and started working but it was quite a while, a good ten years where I wandered around the wilderness trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You have so many credits on your resume but I want to talk about some of your more recent roles that our readers have enjoyed. You did a great job playing Roy Vickers in DALLAS and showing his inner conflict. I wish the character of Cliff Barnes had that same type of internal conflict going on, because he tended to come off as more of a one-note villain. What was the DALLAS experience like for you?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: DALLAS was pretty amazing. I've done a lot of stuff, but that was the first time I had a nice long run on a show. It was nice to be there for a while and get to play a character for that long of an arc. Early on we had the big scene where we were to blow up the rig and Pamela's babies get killed, and it was originally done in a much more cold-blooded way when we first shot it. Then they came back and re-shot it and added the fact that Roy was very conflicted about it. I really appreciated that because it added a whole other dimension to my character that made it a lot more interesting to play.
WE LOVE SOAPS: I think that's the scene where I really noticed you and said to myself, "He's really good."
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I was happy they did that, and it really paid off at the end - when Pamela came to visit him in prison and we had that great scene there. Everybody on that show was really terrific.
DALLAS actually shoots in Dallas, and I was shooting another show in Austin, Texas, at the same time. I was flying back and forth and was really touched that everybody in DALLAS worked their schedules around and allowed me to do that. Everyone was sweet, professional and fun to be around.
It was the season Larry Hagman passed away and to be on the set you could tell how much everybody loved him. They still keep him as #1 on the call sheet every day.
But I know for a fact I won't be back. [Laughs]
WE LOVE SOAPS: You never know! Although that was a gruesome death, at least for me since I have a low tolerance for blood or anything gory. It was just a quick hit to the neck but he was on the phone talking about his grandbaby so I though that was just horrible. [Laughs]
ALEX FERNANDEZ: The timing of it made it pretty ugly.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You're on multiple shows this summer. We've been seeing you in DEVIOUS MAIDS working with Judy Reyes. What was it like on that set?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I had not worked with Judy Reyes, before but I was very pleased when I met her, because I've always been a big fan of SCRUBS, and she was always so funny on that.
I was really happy when I got cast to play her husband, but you never know how well you're going to get along with anybody until you first meet them. So I was very pleased when we met and had this instant comic chemistry together. That's a show where I was happy to get this part to play as the husband, and to find they were writing all this funny material for me. I enjoy playing comedy, but I don't often get to play it, so the DEVIOUS MAIDS role really gave me the opportunity to show that side.
The last one that I'm on had a couple of funny moments, with his daughter, but when I got the script for the next one I'm on... it was so inappropriately funny, the things I do and say. I'm looking forward to the fans of that show seeing that scene.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Marc Cherry does a good job of juggling so many different characters.
ALEX FERNANDEZ: He really knows how to write that show. It's got a lot of reference back to DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, mixing in murder, sex, personal relationships, and making some things heavy and dramatic and other things funny. He's got that down and it works perfectly for DEVIOUS MAIDS. They've taken the time to create well-rounded characters that you can spend a lot of time caring about or just want to hang out with.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You're also playing an FBI agent on THE BRIDGE, which is doing well for FX.
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I think it was the #1 premiere FX has ever had.
ALEX FERNANDEZ: It's one of those shows where once an episode airs everybody is talking about it the next day. It's very atmospheric and couldn't be more different from DEVIOUS MAIDS in the way it's put together. Elwood Reid and Meredith Stiehm, the executive producers, have put together an exciting and suspenseful detective-serial killer drama that kind of feels like No Country For Old Men or Seven and things like that.
There are terrific performances from some really good actors like Ted Levine and Matthew Lillard. People know how funny Matthew is, but they may be surprised to see how good he is on this show. And, of course, the two leads, Demian [Bichir] and Diane [Kruger].
I was just happy to be on the show, because I had been on DALLAS for most of the year and shooting DEVIOUS MAIDS and then I got the pilot of the show KILLER WOMEN, which got picked up to series by ABC. All that stuff was going on at the same time, so when I came back home I was happy to have another job to go right into.
The fact that it was such a terrific show, and had a lot of hype surrounding it, was just icing on the cake. I like to work! [Laughs] I like to have a job.
WE LOVE SOAPS: KILLER WOMEN is the Sofia Vergara show.
ALEX FERNANDEZ: She executive produced that. It's a show about the Texas Rangers. I play Lt. Luis Zea, the head of the Texas Rangers in San Antonio. It follows the life of Molly Parker, the only female in the Texas Rangers. It's based on the Argentinian series MUJERES ASESINAS, but it's really its own story now. It's sort of this quirky procedural where every week we investigate a murder or crime with the Texas Rangers, which is just a fascinating law organization.
And then there are the stories of Molly navigating the fact that she's a woman in a very masculine world. I think people are really going to like it. Tricia Helfer, who plays Molly Parker and was on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, is really terrific on this show. I think she's playing a character everybody is going to love.
I feel really lucky because all these shows I've done recently are things I can talk about with a lot of pride. I feel like they are very fun and entertaining television shows.
WE LOVE SOAPS: This is the show you shot in Austin?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: Yes. One day I was shooting KILLER WOMEN and we wrapped about 1:30 in the morning. Then a car picked me up a couple of hours later, took me to the airport and I flew to DALLAS. By 7 a.m. I was on the DALLAS set chasing Drew Ramos down the street. [Laughs]
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I've been really lucky to play all sorts of different characters. The three characters in these shows that I shot at the same time--DALLAS, DEVIOUS MAIDS and KILLER WOMEN--were all completely different, and I was very happy about that.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Do you have a favorite role you've ever played?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: One that always pops into my head is a show I enjoyed being on, called COMMANDER IN CHIEF, with Geena Davis and Harry Lennix. I played her National Security Advisor.
But I think the role I did that I was most proud of, in my guest-starring roles, was WITHOUT A TRACE, where I played the brother of Rodrigo Moscono. They wrote me a terrific guest-starring role, two of them actually, and to this day I don't know if I've received a character that fully realized, and well-written. There was so much going on that this many years later I feel lucky I got the part. It kind of changed things for me. I went from being a guy who worked once in a while and still had to have a day job to getting a lot more calls and not having to get a day job ever since.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Any chance we might see you doing theater in a show here in New York at some point?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I actually directed a play in 2011 that we took to New York to the E59E59 theater called "Julia." I was there for a month with the play. I would absolutely love to be able to go and do some theater there. I frequently go back to New York and the #1 reason to be there is to see as many plays as possible. I still do a lot of theater now but to do something on Broadway would be the realization of a pretty amazing dream.
WE LOVE SOAPS: If you could go back to the beginning of your professional career and give yourself one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self?
ALEX FERNANDEZ: I think I'd probably tell myself to understand that these things take time... and the perseverance one has to put in, the reason they call it perseverance is because it can take a long time and you have to be patient. Those ten years I talked about before, if I had known then what I know now - that it was a necessary journey one must take - I probably would have been a lot less frustrated and a lot happier.
But having said that, I don't know if that's even true. Everybody has to take this trip their own way, and that was just mine. I'm very pleased I took the route that I did, and got the training I did. The career, really starting for me at a slightly older age, was probably the best thing for me, because it gave me a lot of opportunity to practice my craft - and be good at it before anyone knew who I was.
I could be really bad, on a lot of shows, and no one would know.
Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. Aside from co-hosting WE LOVE SOAPS TV, he has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas, SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES and ROCKLAND COUNTY. He has also made acting appearances in indie web series IMAGINARY BITCHES and EMPIRE. He has consulted on numerous indie soaps, worked as a producer on the first two seasons of Emmy-nominated THE BAY, and is executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals. He appeared in FRANCOPRHENIA in 2012 and the documentary SOAP LIFE, out on DVD in 2013.