Today, Wilmer Valderrama is a bona fide television star. Most TV viewers know him as Agent Torres on NCIS. However, the 41-year-old actor had to take a long road to get where he is now. In fact, his life completely changed when he landed his first major role at the age of 18.
Between then and now, Wilmer Valderrama has held several roles. For instance, he got his big break as Fez, the foreign exchange student on That 70s Show in 1998. Then, he hosted the MTV insult show Yo Mama for a little over a year. Then, between 2006 and 2012, he was the voice of the popular children’s character Handy Manny. He held several short-running roles over the years after that. Then, joined NCIS as part of the main cast in 2016.
Wilmer Valderrama appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden back in 2016. While on the show, he talked about how his life completely changed at the age of eighteen. It all started with James Corden talking to the other guest on the show, Shawn Mendes about turning eighteen. During that exchange, Corden brought up that the legal drinking age in the UK was, in fact, eighteen. So, he wanted to know if Mendes took advantage of that while he was in London. Mendes said, “Actually, I did. I went out for a pint with my friend and it was awesome. I loved it, I felt so cool.”
How Wilmer Valderrama’s Live Changed
James Corden said, “Speaking of cool at eighteen. Check out Wilmer Valderrama at eighteen,” and held up a publicity shot of the actor in full That 70s Show wardrobe. Then, Corden asked Valderrama what he remembered from that time period.
Wilmer Valderrama said, “My life changed at eighteen years old with this show.” He went on to say that the changes came rapidly. For one, he had to go to New York City. He had never been there before. The reason he had to travel to the Big Apple was to be a part of the unveiling of the new lineup of shows. So, he would be there with his fellow That 70s Show cast members as well as the casts from the other new shows on the network. So, he knew he needed a nice suit. That was another change for him.
“So, I said, ‘I have to buy a really nice suit,’ so, naturally, I went to JC Penny.” Then he showed up and was in awe of the other actors. At the same time, he was in awe of their clothes. Wilmer Valderrama said he asked several actors what they were wearing. Some were wearing Dolce, others were sporting Valentino. The young fish-out-of-water asked, “Did you get that at JC Penny?” Not wanting to hurt the kid’s feelings, the other actors told him they had, in fact, bought their designer suits at the department store.
He has come a long way since then. However, there’s no word on where he buys his suits today.