Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Fernando Alves From The Undoing Looks So Familiar

HBO's six-part miniseries The Undoing is as star-studded as they come. The high society psychological thriller is the latest show from writer-producer David E. Kelley, who also created Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal, Big Little Liesand a whole bunch of other successful shows. 

The Undoing stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Fraser, a successful therapist and upcoming author who is married to a successful oncologist (Hugh Grant) and has a son, Henry (Noah Jupe), who is being groomed for great things in life. Unfortunately, her seemingly perfect life is thrown into disarray when a mysterious woman enters her life — and turns up dead. 

With acting talent like Kidman and Grant leading the pack, and Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland providing support as Grace's father Franklin, you'd think it would be easy for other actors to get lost in the mix. Fortunately, The Undoing is an immaculately cast show, and its smaller names have little trouble holding their own with the A-listers. One of the more eye-catching characters is Fernando Alves, the husband of the murdered Elena Alves (Matilda De Angelis). Despite the fact that we only see him briefly during the first episode, it's immediately obvious that Fernando knows more than he lets on — and seeing as Sylvia (Lily Rabe) reveals that the Alves were going through a rough patch in their marriage. It's probably fair to say that his role will be prominent in the upcoming episodes. 

It's only natural that this high-profile production isn't the first rodeo for the actor so artfully playing Fernando, but where exactly have you seen him before? Let's take a look at why Fernando Alves from The Undoing looks so familiar.

Ismael Cruz Córdova was Mando on Sesame Street

If Ismael Cruz Córdova gives you strange flashbacks about puppets and singalong tunes, don't worry. You're probably just remembering the Puerto Rican actor's tenure as Mando on Sesame Street. 

Córdova became the newest neighbor on the titular street in 2013, and played Mando until 2015. Sure, he had already received attention from his role as Jimmy Patrick on CBS' The Good Wife, but hey — one can only truly say they've made it once they've spent some time hanging around with Elmo and Rosita. After all, there are few parts that are harder to win than ones on Sesame Street. In an interview with NPR's Tell Me More, Córdova revealed that hordes of people were after the role. 

"It was like American Idol but for Sesame Street," the actor said. "The amount of people that were there!" 

Córdova also noted that Sesame Street required some very particular acting sensibilities, because the actor has to be able to face everyone and everything with a totally open mind. "We were able to interact with the puppets," he elaborated on the casting process. "You know, they were seeing who would surrender to that and just enjoy it, and live in it, and just be able to interact with these puppets as equals, as well. That's the other thing: We embrace children as equals."  

Ismael Cruz Córdova was Qin on The Mandalorian

Speaking of Mandos, one show you might have seen Ismael Cruz Córdova on is none other than The Mandalorian, Disney and Lucasfilm's first foray into the exciting world of Disney+ Star Wars live-action shows.

On the sixth episode of The Mandalorian season 1, "Chapter 6: The Prisoner," Córdova dons heavy make-up and prosthetics to play the Twi'lek Qin, brother of Din Djarin's (Pedro Pascal) old associate Xi'an (Natalia Tena). Djarin joins Xi'an's team of mercenaries in order to free Qin from a New Republic transport vessel, but unfortunately, everyone involved turns out to be fairly traitorous — even and especially Qin himself. 

Things inevitably go south, and Djarin ultimately repays the rowdy crowd with a hidden tracking beacon that leads a bomb-happy New Republic fleet straight to Qin's location. It's worth noting that we don't actually see Qin perish, which means there's always a possibility that Córdova might return to the Star Wars universe at some point down the line.   

Ismael Cruz Córdova was Hector Campos on Ray Donovan

After Sesame Street, Córdova's arguably biggest role came in 2016, when he joined season 4 of Showtime's Ray Donovan as pro boxer Hector Campos. Hector and the show's titular fixer Ray (Liev Schreiber) bond over past trauma and current dark secrets, but it turns out Hector's bag of darkness is considerably larger than you'd expect from the seemingly pious character.  

After this, more movie and TV parts started flying Córdova's way. One of his more prominent roles between Ray Donovan and 2019's The Mandalorian was on Berlin Station, as SOG operative Rafael Torres. It certainly looks like we're going to hear a lot more about Córdova in the future, as well. Apart from his prominent role on The Undoing, he has been working on a number of upcoming projects. The actor is set to star as Henry in Shoja Azari's Simple Little Lives, and will also appear in Wyatt Rockefeller's Sci-Fi movie Settlers, opposite Sofia Boutella and Jonny Lee Miller. 

Oh, and there's also the pretty huge matter of Amazon Studios' upcoming The Lord of the Rings series, on which he's been cast in a currently undisclosed roleWith projects like that heading his way, it could very well be that Córdova is a megastar in the making.