Brazilian-born actor Rodrigo Santoro discovered his interest in performing, like a lot of actors, while he was still a teenager. He would sometimes travel from his suburban home to nearby Rio de Janeiro for auditions, though his efforts wouldn't pay off until he'd already moved to the city. He was in his first semester of college when he was cast in a Brazilian soap opera, which he worked on while still living in the dorms.
Santoro continued to work in his home country, soon transitioning to the big screen, where he gained more and more fame, as well as critical respect. Then, in 2003, Canadian producer Robert Allan Ackerman contacted Santoro after seeing him give such impressive performances in Brazilian cinema. Ackerman offered him a role in his TV movie The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, starring Helen Mirren, Anne Bancroft, and Brian Dennehy. Santoro jumped at the chance to work with such great actors and hopefully transition into North American film, and sure enough, after filming wrapped, he was offered a role in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Next, he played the office mate and potential love interest of Laura Linney in Love Actually, and by 2007, Santoro had a major role in one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, playing Xerxes, king of Persia, in the action-packed 300.
Santoro also joined the third season of the hit prime-time drama series Lost in 2006, but protective fans of the show didn't take well to the addition of a new character, so his tenure with the series was short.