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Why Fernando From Fuller House Looks So Familiar

Juan Pablo Di Pace is more than a familiar face to Spanish language television viewers, but English-speaking Netflix audiences might need a minute to recall where they've seen the Argentinian actor. 

He's played Fernando Guerrero, Kimmy Gibbler's once and future husband, in Fuller House throughout the run of the nostalgia-fueled hit as it's mined childhood goodwill to the tune of five whole seasons. That's far from his first appearance in English language media, however. Over the last decade, he's shown up in remakes, miniseries, and major movie events — when he wasn't busy playing on shows like Física o Química and El don de Alba. 

Playing Fernando allows the actor to flex some previously untested comedic muscles. In an interview with Digital Journal, he shared that he finds playing Gibler's partner opened up a whole other style of acting for him. "He is just really fun to play. It has been a lovely journey," Di Pace said. "Before this, I was really used to doing dramatic roles."

Fans of the continuing adventures of the Tanners have likely seen Di Pace before. From a religious drama to a splashy musical to a reboot of an '80s classic, here's where you might have seen Fuller House's Fernando.

Juan Pablo Di Pace hit the big screen in 'Mamma Mia!'

While Di Pace's role as Petros in Mamma Mia! was small, he definitely stood out. As the partner of the lone gay character in the ABBA-based musical — the person who convinces potential father Harry to come to terms with his own sexuality — he was pretty hard to miss. 

Fans were left to fill in the details of his relationship with Colin Firth's Harry, as it was largely expressed via longing looks and dance sequences. It's never revealed if Harry is, in fact, bride-to-be Sophie's father, but he expresses his feelings for Petros near the movie's end in a triumphant rendition of "Take a Chance on Me."

Though he didn't return in Mamma Mia 2, he tweeted some fond memories of the first and was excited for the sequel ahead of that movie's release in 2018.

The arc of his and Firth's characters is interesting, as Di Pace had not fully accepted the fact that he himself was gay. Though he had come out to family and friends, he kept his sexuality a secret for fear that it could harm his acting career. It wasn't until a later role as Jesus Christ that Di Pace reckoned with this.

"Of all the people in the world that could play this part, they gave it to me," he said during a TEDx talk in 2019. "So, there I am, hanging on the cross, in Morocco, and I look up at the sky, and I think, 'You could still strike me down with lightning. Are you sure you want me to play your son? Me?'"

Di Pace has made his mark on the small screen, too

Di Pace took on a major spotlight with the role of Jesus Christ in A.D. The Bible Continues. This miniseries follows the apostles in the days after the crucifixion and resurrection. Naturally, this means that Di Pace only appears during the episodes about Christ's eventual ascension. Di Pace said at the time that he found the role to be both inspiring and frightening.

"It's very intimidating," he told NBC News, before discussing his Argentinian roots and connection to the role. "My name Juan Pablo comes from Pope John Paul II, so there's a weird thing going on here. It's really humbling and amazing."

In a much more earthly appearance, Di Pace appeared in the single-season reboot of Dallas. He starred as Nicolás Treviño for 15 episodes of the primetime soap, luxuriating in the idea that he finally got to play a villain. "The secrets keep coming. As the episodes go through, you think one thing and then later on you realize — hold on a minute — he's about something completely different!" he said of Trevino in an interview with Latina. "So, it's a very cool role to play, because basically I'm asked to play an actor. You know, someone who switches from one situation to the next — from one conversation with a person to another conversation with another person. He sees, in every opportunity, something to get."

Fuller House is obviously in a much warmer universe, and it's unquestionably Di Pace's biggest English-language role. That show came to an end this year with its fifth season and Netflix has no plans to return to the Tanner family as of right now. Of course, Di Pace knows a thing or two about returning to a series that was thought to be dead, so expect him to be around if Netflix ever does come calling.