Jacob Vargas gave a memorable performance as a Tijuana cop in Steven Soderbergh's highly acclaimed thriller Traffic last year, for which he received a Screen Actors Guild Award.
His first break came after he was discovered break-dancing in a local schoolyard and was cast as a street dancer on the popular television series Different strokes. He first registered strongly with movie audiences with his performance as the son of a deaf woman in Gas Food Lodging. Director Allison Anders cast him again in her controversial film about female gangs, Mi Vida Loca. Vargas next played opposite Jennifer Lopez in Gregory Nava's My Family/ Mi Familia, receiving the NCLR (National Council of La Raza) Bravo Award for Emerging Artist of the Year". He worked opposite Jennifer Lopez again in Selena.
Vargas has had memorable cameo roles in such films as Get Short, Crimson Tide and Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion. He later appeared in Stephen Frears' The Hi-Lo Country, and the box office hit Next Friday for director Steve Carr. Carr later used Vargas' comedic talent as Pepito the Lizard in Dr. Doolittle 2. Vargas also developed, produced and starred in Road Dogz, an independent film about three childhood friends in troubled times, directed by Alfredo Ramos. Va rgas also co-produced and starred in Latinologues, a collection of Latino-themed comedic monologues.