Here's what this up-and-coming star plans to do next

By Allyssa Lee
Updated January 23, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

WHY HIM crazy/beautiful made him a teen dream.

WHY NOW He’s living out his own teen dream in the fast and furious Torque.

He never had aspirations to act. Jay Hernandez dreamt of being an Easy Rider. ”I used to watch this Japanese animation show about motorcycle riders,” says the California native, 25. ”Ever since, I’ve wanted to do it.” Seems he’s found the perfect vehicle: playing a badass biker in Torque. ”Everybody was like, ‘Dude, don’t do it. It’s too dangerous.’ But it was awesome.” (Speaking of danger, Hernandez will be fighting fires with John Travolta in October’s Ladder 49.) Currently, he’s filming The Nomad, an indie that took him to the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan and allowed him to explore Western Europe. ”There are museums at every corner,” reports the actor, an admirer of van Gogh, Dali, and Escher. ”I started painting a couple years ago.” Since he’s worked out that motorcycle fantasy, maybe he can focus on his strokes. Five years from now, he says, ”I want to continue painting. It’s just something I love.”