Christian Barillas is an actor based in Los Angeles with credits in theater, film and television.
On TV, Christian is perhaps most recognizable as Ronaldo on Modern Family (2009), where he appears opposite Tony winner and Emmy nominee Nathan Lane. In 2013, he was cast as a series regular on CBS’s Jim Gaffigan pilot, a career turning point working under comedy star Gaffigan and co-creator Peter Tolan, a multiple Emmy winner. The pilot also starred Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and was shot on location in New York City. Other television highlights include The Handmaid’s Tale (2017) (Emmy for Best Drama), Grace and Frankie (2015), Chuck Lorre’s upcoming The Kominsky Method (2018) (with Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin) and a recurring role as a transgender informant on fx’s The Bridge (2013), which won a Peabody Award in 2014. Christian also appeared alongside Tony winner Sutton Foster in the pilot episode of Bunheads (2012), a series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino.
His professional career began with Center Theater Group’s “A Very Old Man With Enourmous Wings,” a short story by Gabriel García Márquez adapted for the stage by Nilo Cruz, who had just won a Pulitzer Prize. Christian then appeared in several productions in and around Los Angeles including Cornerstone Theater Company’s “As You Like It” (Pasadena Playhouse, directed by Bill Rauch), “Sonia Flew” (Laguna Playhouse) and “A Christmas Carol” (South Coast Repertory), where he performed as Young Scrooge for several years.
Christian helped develop Octavio Solis’ “Lydia” under the direction of frequent collaborator Juliette Carrillo. He was a member of the original cast at Denver Center and its subsequent production at Yale Repertory Theater. The critically-acclaimed productions garnered multiple awards along the way for its writer, the director and the actors.
Christian then spent a couple of years as a member of classical acting companies at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Utah Shakespeare Festival. In Oregon, he appeared as Bingley in “Pride & Prejudice” and Sebastian in “Twelfth Night” (directed by Tony winner Darko Tresnjak). A year later, during Utah’s 50th Anniversary Season, he played Romeo in “Romeo & Juliet,” a career highlight.
For the West Coast Premiere of “The Motherf**ker with the Hat,” Christian played Cousin Julio at South Coast Repertory for which he received an LA Drama Critics Circle nomination. Other theater credits in Los Angeles include “Macbeth” (with Antaeus Theatre Company), Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carré” (playing the Writer), as well as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Othello” (Theatricum Botanicum). Internationally, he participated in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with “The Contest.”
Along the way, Christian has also appeared in several independent films. Most notably, he worked with Oscar winning writer-director Martin McDonagh in Seven Psychopaths (2012) (BAFTA nomination Best British Film). He also appears in Blumhouse Production’s Best Night Ever (2013) as well as Bosco’s Guitar (2011), a memorable short film depicting a real-life story of heroism in central Africa.
Christian studied Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and earned an MFA in Acting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, where he was the recipient of the George Burns Fellowship in Comedy.
He was born in Guatemala City.