Growing up in Washington Heights, the son of Cuban-born parents, Guillermo Díaz didn't know he wanted to be an actor until he was 17. During a high school talent show, he lip-synched to a medley of Beastie Boys songs as rapper Mike D. The performing bug bit and never went away. He started submitting himself for jobs and getting a respectable number of them.
Feeling like he might need a steadier career to fall back on, Díaz enrolled in business school at Baruch College where he took all the acting classes that they had (which was around four) and did all their productions. Then, at 19, Díaz got his first paying role: the Wolf in The Three Little Pigs at the Little Courtyard Playhouse, a children's theater. Soon after that, he saw an ad for a new up-and-coming theater company called the LAB (Philip Seymour Hoffman's off-Broadway theater company). He auditioned and was accepted into the company as one of the original 13 members. Today, that ensemble is known as the LAByrinth Theater Company.
Díaz looks back on the time at LAB as his real acting training. They did their first production, Rough House, and an agent came to the show and saw him. That was when he was first signed to an agency. Díaz also credits John Leguizamo with helping him grow as an actor: Leguizamo was doing workshops and readings of scripts that he had written, and Díaz got to do a number of improvises and readings with him, and that was one of the things that really helped him out, especially with comedy.
Like many actors, Díaz loves the rehearsal process in all mediums, and unlike many actors, Díaz also loves to audition. Aspiring actors often approach the very approachable Díaz. When young people say to me, 'I want to be in movies,' or 'I want to act,' I always tell them... I did a ton of extra work, as well, and all these student films that I found... young actors... they think it's just going to happen miraculously without doing any work. You have got to pay your dues. You have to start from the bottom and just work, even if it is extra work or student films. Just keep using your instrument. If you want it bad enough, it will happen.
After he booked his first film, film and TV roles kept coming, and he's been working steadily ever since. Though currently part of two TV shows, film is his first love because With film, you get your script and you know exactly the arc of your character but I'm very grateful to be working... and working on successful shows.
A mainstay of the independent cinema scene throughout the 1990s, Guillermo Díaz spent the decade amassing a sizable resume with such films. In 1994, Guillermo landed his first speaking role as Spike in Fresh. From there he began working on Party Girl as Leo and his next role was the leading drag queen (La Miranda) in Nigel Finch's critically acclaimed Stonewall, a drama based upon the historical 1969 Stonewall riot that launched the modern gay rights movement. 1996 found Díaz acting in Girls' Town and after wrapping it, Guillermo got to work with seasoned veteran actor Walter Matthau in I'm Not Rappaport. His recent film credits include The Terminal, Down the P.C.H., No Destination, Evilution, and Cop Out.
In 2006, he joined the cast of a popular series of improvisation-based commercials for Sierra Mist titled Mist Takes. A Spanish version of the advertisements began airing and the bilingual Díaz also starred in those with other Latino comedians.
During those years Díaz also landed a slew of TV roles on ER, The Sopranos, Law & Order, Chappelle's Show, The Closer, Cane, Third Watch and Criminal Minds. These days, Díaz is best known as drug dealer/trafficker Guillermo on Weeds and Nurse Angel Garcia on the medical drama Mercy.
- Spring Broke (2010) - Teddy
- Exquisite Corpse (2009) - Henry
- Mercy - 19 episodes (2009-present) TV episodes - Nurse Angel Garcia
- Cop Out (2010) - Poh Boy
- Poor Paul - The Body's Not Even Cold, There's a Fire Down Below and Now and Then and Stuff (2009) TV episodes - Aaron
- Weeds - 22 episodes (2007-present) TV episodes - Guillermo
- Across the Hall (2009) - Cook
- The Butcher (2009) - Owen Geiger
- Royal Pains - Strategic Planning (2009) TV episode - Benny
- No Exit (2009) - Michael
- Criminal Minds - Brothers in Arms (2008) TV episode - Playboy
- Evilution (2008) - Killah-B
- The Candy Shop (2008) - Halo
- Cane - Time Away, The Perfect Son and Open and Shut (2007) TV episodes - Petey
- The Closer - Four to Eight (2007) TV episode - Spider
- No Destination (2007) - A.J
- Seeking Solace (2006) - Guy
- Down the P.C.H. (2006) - Doc
- Chappelle's Show - 5 episodes (2003-2006) TV episodes - Scarface
- The Utopian (2006) - Carlos Alvarez
- Harvest (2006) - Eugene Pitkin
- The Virgin of Juarez (2006) - Felix
- 13 Graves (2006) - Manny Rodriguez
- Sangre/Blood (2005) - Ricky
- My Suicidal Sweetheart (2005) - Hector
- Shooting Vegetarians (2005) - Neil
- Husk (2005) - Chris
- Dirty Love (2005) - Tom Houdini
- The Terminal (2004) - Bobby Alima
- Tony N' Tina's Wedding (2004) - Raphael
- The Shield - Blood and Water (2004) TV episode - Garza
- Without a Trace - Life Rules (2004) TV episode - Carlos Gonzalez
- Wasabi Tuna (2003) - Romeo
- Undefeated (2003) - Mommy
- Undermind (2003) - Ray
- A mi amor mi dulce (2003) - Chocolate de la Oca Montez
- DoUlike2watch.com (2003)
- Sexy (2002) (voice) - Voice 3
- West of Here (2002) - Thomas
- Third Watch - The Long Guns (2002) TV episode - Rafael 'Rafe' Connors
- Fidel (2002) - Universo Sánchez
- Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (2002) (VG) (voice) - Domingo Sánchez
- A Log Story (2002) - Niko Gorgina
- Chelsea Walls (2001) - Kid
- Boys Life 3 (2000) - Victor (segment Just One Time)
- Touched by an Angel - The Invitation (2000) TV episode - Rick Higuerra
- Law & Order - Kids (1994) - Juan Domingo and Marathon (1999) TV episodes - Bobby Sabo
- Just One Time (1999) - Victor
- In Too Deep (1999) - Miguel Batista
- Pop Tarts (1999) - Adrian
- 200 Cigarettes (1999) - Dave
- The Sopranos - Meadowlands (1999) TV episode - Salesperson
- The Effects of Magic (1998) - Winston
- Just One Time (1998) - Victor
- Half Baked (1998) - Scarface
- Gold Coast (1997) - Barry
- I Think I Do (1997) - Eric
- Nowhere (1997) - Cowboy
- I'm Not Rappaport (1996) - J.C.
- High School High (1996) - Paco de la Vega al Camino Cordoba Jose Cuervo Sanchez Rodriguez Jr.
- Girls Town (1996) - Dylan
- Freeway (1996) - Flacco
- Party of Five - Analogies (1995) TV episode - Ari
- ER - Days Like This (1995) TV episode - Jorge
- Stonewall (1995) - La Miranda
- Party Girl (1995) - Leo
- Fresh (1994) - Spike
- For an up-to-date Filmography: imdb.com/Guillermo Díaz
- Díaz has been out his entire career, and the actor has never second-guessed his decision; he recounts in an interview a conversation with his first managers that After I did Stonewall, I was doing all this gay press. My managers wanted to put a halt on me being out... I remember them saying, 'We need to build up your body count'. I was like, 'You guys would rather I kill more people on film than tell people I'm gay?' Needless to say, I'm not with them anymore.