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The Bear: Why Tina's Husband David Looks So Familiar

"The Bear" continues to impress audiences and critics, with Season 3 getting called "deliciously addictive" in Looper's review. The high point of the season is arguably Episode 6 — "Napkins." The focus of the story is on Tina (Liza Colón-Zayas), before she starts working at the titular restaurant. She gets fired from a previous job she held for a long time and goes on a grueling job search, an experience that many can undoubtedly relate to. While it's stressful for Tina, she at least has support from her husband, David, who is played by Liza Colón-Zayas' real-life husband, David Zayas. 

Colón-Zayas spoke with GQ about how her husband getting cast on "The Bear" came to be, and it was perfectly natural. "David had come to visit one time on set, and I guess they fell in love, and then that's how it happened," she stated. "He's another one that's easy. We met through acting at a theatre company. Since then, we've acted in so many projects together, so him playing my husband was just so easy. He just relaxes me. He helps me feel grounded, generous."

Their chemistry is certainly undeniable, helping make "Napkins" a highlight of Season 3. It also doesn't hurt that Zayas is an experienced actor in his own right, with over 100 credits to his name. Here are a few of his most notable roles where you may have seen him before he brought down the house on "The Bear." 

Oz (2000 - 2003)

David Zayas acted consistently throughout the 1990s, but it's safe to say most audiences likely first took notice of his abilities when he came onto "Oz" during Season 4 as Enrique Morales. Enrique is sent to Oswald State Correctional Facility for murdering another man, and he becomes an influential figure among the inmates during his tenure, even leading El Norte to new heights under his reign. It should go without saying that assuming such power and influence at Oz puts a target on anyone's back, and Enrique's time comes to a violent end on Season 6. 

Coming in somewhat later during the run of "Oz" put Zayas in a bit of a bind, seeing as he was a fan of the show before being cast. He revealed to ComingSoon.net, "I was in 'Oz' and that was my all time favorite show until I got cast in it! And then it was still a great show, but it was hard for me to watch and still look at from the point of view of a fan, but I still loved it." 

Getting a part on "Oz" may have changed Zayas' perception of the show, but it was all for the best. The role raised the actor's profile considerably, and more noteworthy parts soon followed. 

Dexter (2006 - 2013)

David Zayas leaped from one prestigious drama series to the next by landing the role of Detective Angel Batista on "Dexter," which he held throughout all eight original seasons and the revival series, "Dexter: New Blood." Angel works in law enforcement alongside Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), completely unaware of his associate's murderous proclivities. In fact, Angel's nickname for Dexter, "socio," means more than you might realize, as it translates to "partner" in Spanish but could also refer to Dexter's sociopathic tendencies. 

Going from playing a criminal to a cop may seem like a stretch, but Zayas was well-suited for the latter. Before he became an actor, he worked on behalf of the New York City Police Department. As such, he has many law enforcement-type roles throughout his filmography on shows like "Law & Order," and that's just fine by Zayas. He told Media Village, "As long as the part is interesting, which I've been lucky enough to have, it really doesn't matter what I play as long as it's interesting. So I could play 45 different cops and if they're all different and interesting, it's okay by me."

He gets away from those types of roles on "The Bear," where the character is more defined by his relationship with his wife. Otherwise, if Zayas is showing up in something, it's a safe bet it'll probably be for a cop or detective. 

Michael Clayton (2007)

Speaking of David Zayas playing detectives, that was precisely his role in the critically acclaimed film, "Michael Clayton." It was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, but Tilda Swinton won that year for best supporting actress, making her one of the few performers to win an Oscar with less than 20 minutes of screen time. The legal thriller follows the titular character, played by George Clooney, who discovers that one of the clients at his legal firm might be engaged in a cover-up. What follows is a treacherous game of deceit and machiavellian machinations, which leads to Zayas getting a big scene with Clooney.

Zayas had been in the entertainment game for a while before landing his "Michael Clayton" role, working with numerous actors along the way. But there was still something special about working with someone like Clooney, whom Zayas spoke about in an interview with HoboTrashcan. "The scenes that I did with Clooney, he's a great professional and wonderful to work with and a really down to earth guy," he said. "I really learned a lot about his simplicity and how he focuses and it was really great to work with him." Given Zayas' extensive resume, surely plenty of actors would be thrilled to work with him too at this point. 

Gotham (2014 - 2015)

When it comes to Batman villains, a lot of attention gets paid to those with super-powered abilities; however, the crime bosses who are ultimately just regular guys can be equally as terrifying. Sal Maroni is a long-standing fixture in the Dark Knight's mythos, and while various actors have portrayed him over the years, David Zayas got a shot at embodying the crime lord on the TV series, "Gotham."

Maroni shows up through "Gotham" Season 1, and he had no qualms over putting the likes of Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) in his place. While he exerts dominance throughout his tenure, he is ultimately killed in the Season 1 finale, bowing out of the show before the real fun of "Gotham" could begin. His role is a splendid deviation where Zayas plays someone on the wrong side of the law as opposed to being someone who enforces said law. And Zayas is in good company, as Clancy Brown will put his spin on Sal Maroni for the forthcoming "Penguin" series

Blue Bloods (2017 - 2021)

Apologies for the whiplash of going back and forth between criminal and law enforcement roles for David Zayas, but he can move so effortlessly between them that it's hard to believe it's the same guy sometimes. Staring with Season 8, Zayas joined the cast of "Blue Bloods" to play Martin Mendez, governor of New York. His last appearance on the procedural came on the Season 11 episode "Guardian Angels." 

Zayas has certainly come a long way as an actor, and there was a genuine possibility his acting career couldn't have happened at all had he not pushed back against what his family expected. Zayas spoke with Broadway.com to reflect on his career, even explaining, "I think I mentioned [acting] once when I was 13, and my father was like, 'What? Go take the fire test, the police test, the corrections test.' I did. I respected my father, and I know he was looking after me. But when I had the opportunity, I was finally able to say, 'I'm going to give this a shot and see how it goes.'" Everything worked out for the best in the end, as his experience as a police officer has undoubtedly helped inform many of his performances over the years, whether he's playing a cop or criminal. 

Plus, Zayas met his wife, Liza Colón-Zayas, through acting, so pursuing his passion benefitted his life in more ways than one. Their love for one another comes through spectacularly any time they share the screen on "The Bear."