Mario came to the U.S. from his native Chile at age 6. While in high school, he volunteered on a long-shot Congressional campaign that ended up landing him a job as a Capitol Hill staffer at age 17. He then spent over a decade working in and around politics, and much of his writing springs from these formative experiences.
Mario was a finalist for the USC Libraries Scripter Award, The Humanitas Prize, and a Satellite Award nominee for his script (with Matthew Michael Carnahan) of Dark Waters, the acclaimed motion picture directed by Todd Haynes and starring Mark Ruffalo. The film, which also stars Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, Victor Garber and Mare Winningham, tells the story of Rob Bilott, a whistleblower who fought a decades-long legal battle to expose DuPont Chemical’s pollution of public water systems.
Mario’s first screenplay, Let Her Speak, was the #2 script on the 2017 Black List. The film is being produced by Todd Black (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, The Magnificent Seven) and Jonathan Shukat. Let Her Speak tells the story of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ historic filibuster of a bill aimed at shuttering the state’s reproductive health clinics.
Mario is adapting the New York Times Notable Book, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas – about the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down sodomy laws – for producers Todd Black and Jonathan Shukat.
Mario is also a playwright whose work has been produced to acclaim Off-Broadway and regionally. His plays include Tail! Spin! (New York Times “Critics’ Pick”; Off-Broadway Alliance Awards nominee, Best Unique Theatrical Experience; GLAAD Media Awards nominee, Outstanding New York Theater: Off-Off Broadway); Commander (Best Play, Baltimore Playwrights Festival; Runner Up, National Latino Playwriting Award); Santa for President (commissioned by National Public Radio and broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered); Henry (nominee, Outstanding Original Short Script, New York Innovative Theater Awards); and numerous short plays and musicals for The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, including Essential (starring Hugh Dancy), This Alone (starring Reid Birney), Might As Well Get Back Together (starring Derrick Baskin), Defining Elegy (starring Larry Owens), A Message from the C.O.O. of Hands Across America 22.214.171.124 (starring Juliana Canfield) and I Had A Plan (music and lyrics by Libby Winters, starring Syndee Winters).
Mario is currently at work on a limited series for HBO.