Beginning his career in 2001, it took about a decade of hard work before Theo Rossi’s works began to gain critical acclaim, but when he finally achieved his big break, it proved to be worth the wait. Rossi’s first widely acclaimed role came as Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz on the FX crime drama series Sons of Anarchy which also starred Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, and Katey Sagal in major roles. He has now added producer to his repertoire and releases movies under his production company, Dos Dudes Pictures. A family man, Theo Rossi runs the company alongside his wife.
Being a person of colour, Rossi frequently utilizes his online platforms to speak against racial injustice. The issue of diversity and equal racial representation in Hollywood is one that is dear to his heart. It goes without saying that his ethnic ambiguity, as is often the case, might have contributed to his slow progress in the movie industry, but through it all, Rossi climbed his way to the top.
Analyzing The Actor’s Multi-Racial Background
Upon first glance at Theo Rossi, one is bound to be bewildered about his roots. The quickest guess would be that he is definitely a Latino but Rossi’s roots spread far wide. His birth on the 4th of June 1975 in Staten Island, New York City, New York makes him an American national, but his ethnic background is very diverse.
Rossi has been quoted saying that he probably has seven different ethnicities inside of him. However, he has been able to identify five, they include; Italian, Spanish, Syrian, Lebanese, and North African. He once revealed that his great-grandmother is from North Africa. Rossi’s only known family member is his mother, Mary Jane Tomasino who raised him singlehandedly. His father reportedly left the family when Theo was just 9 years old.
The issue of inclusion and diversity has been a major talking point in Hollywood and the effect has limited many actors of colour. Though some changes have been noticed in recent years, it came at the agitation of coloured people in the industry like during the 2016 #OscarsSoWhite activism when some coloured actors boycotted the Oscars. The changes thereafter have come thanks to people like Rossi who are very vocal about their multi-ethnic background. The actor proudly describes himself as a mix of many things.
Rigorous Years of Playing Minor Roles
Theo Rossi’s passion for storytelling was what drove him to a career in Hollywood. He attended the Monsignor Farrell High School as well as the State University of New York at Albany otherwise known as SUNY Albany. To hone his artistic abilities, Rossi briefly attended the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York.
He got his Hollywood start in 2001, concurrently chasing roles in the small and big screen. His debut TV role came in two episodes of Fox’s Boston Public while his first movie role came in The Myersons. In the next 6 years that followed, Rossi landed small parts in various TV shows from Malcolm in the Middle to NYPD Blue, Veronica Mars, Without A Trace, Lost, Las Vegas, Grey’s Anatomy, among many others.
His increased activity in the small screen saw him land small parts in a couple of notable big-screen works including Cloverfield and The Informers, availing him the opportunity to feature alongside Hollywood’s top stars.
The Big Break with Sons of Anarchy and Other Popular Works
…And then came 2008, the year that would bring Theo Rossi his first major gig. He landed the role of Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz in Sons of Anarchy which premiered on September 3, 2008. Rossi’s role was a recurring one but after the first season was upgraded to one of the major roles. The role which required Rossi to frequently ride a bike must have come naturally to him as he grew up with a love for dirt bikes.
SOA attracted over 4.9 million viewers in its debut season, making it the highest-rated show at the time for FX. The series enjoyed exponential success reaching as much as 7 million viewers in its 6th season. The curtains came down on the show in December 2014 after 7 successful seasons.
Theo Rossi capitalized on his success with SOA to shoot for the stars. He produced and starred in the 2016 film, Bad Hurt (produced by his company Dos Dudes) which won the Sunscreen Film Festival West Award for Best Narrative Feature. The same year, he shared the screen with Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall in the erotic psychological thriller movie, When the Bough Breaks.
Theo Rossi’s next small-screen role came as Hernan “Shades” Alvarez the fictional Marvel supervillain in Luke Cage which was created for Netflix. Due to creative differences between Netflix and the show’s writers, Netflix axed the show in 2018 after 2 seasons. Rossi in 2018 got his first award nomination as an actor thanks to his role as Francisco “Ghost” Alvarez in the 2017 drama Lowriders; the nomination was for an Imagen Award for Best Actor – Feature Film.
Since his big break, Theo Rossi has become more frequent in big-screen gigs, some of his recent outings include Vault, American Skin, Rattlesnake, Army of the Dead, and Ghosts of War. Additionally, Rossi’s production company Dos Dudes, based in New York has also been thriving.
Rossi Has Long Built A Family With Wife, Meghan
While not much may be known in the public space about the family that Rossi hails from, it is no secret that the SOA alum has begun building his own family with his wife Meghan McDermott. The couple got married on the 17th of November 2014 after reportedly dating for a year.
The couple most likely got to know each other through the Boot Campaign which Rossi supports in a big way; as an ambassador of the campaign, Rossi works with various organizations to help raise money to support wounded soldiers and those returning with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Meghan Rossi (nee McDermott) who is a native of Texas worked as a director for the campaign up until 2015. Currently, she works with the two wellness and healthy lifestyle organizations which she co-founded with her husband. She also works as a production assistant at her husband’s Dos Dudes Pictures.
Apart from his production company, Rossi has also co-founded two other companies with his wife. They are GoGetLife.com which is an online community that promotes healthy living. It was founded in 2014. The second is a premium bottled water company Ounce Water established in 2016. The company encourages people to meet the target of minimum daily water consumption through the signature size of their water bottles.
When Theo Rossi and his wife made their red carpet debut at the Vanity Fair Party held during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, they revealed big news – Meghan was heavily pregnant and expecting their first baby. The couple became first-time parents when on the 8th of June, 2015, Meghan gave birth to their son named Kane Alexander Rossi. The couple became parents for the second time with the birth of their second son named Arlo Benjamin Rossi on the 3rd of August 2017.
Rossi frequently posts photos of his kids online but makes a deliberate effort to conceal their faces to a degree, like the one above featuring them in sunglasses.