Jose is of Costa Rican descent. He grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana, and attended Terre Haute South Vigo High School where he was a tennis standout for all 4 years. He attended Indiana University, and graduated in 2002 with a double major in Finance and Marketing.
He then decided to pursue an acting career in New York City after taking some drama classes at IU. In late 2003, he and his family moved to California. After doing Broadway plays in New York, he landed guest roles on popular television series during the early 2000s, before he started getting supporting and large roles.