Fernandez was born in Ukiah, California. His father is of half Portuguese and half Russian-Jewish descent, whereas his mother has British ancestry. He has a younger sister and a brother. His stepfather is a contractor. Before becoming an actor, Fernandez began working as a dishwasher, and an American Apparel catalog model hand-picked by the company's CEO, Dov Charney, for his then-fledgling company. Later arriving in Los Angeles, he asked Charney for a job and was hired as a stock boy; Fernandez has described working in the stock room as "awful" and the "worst job ever. " His first acting gig was a commercial for First 5 California that was directed by Vadim Perelman.
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