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Why Alfonso Nunez From The Lost Symbol Looks So Familiar

Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" is one of the great sensations of the literary world, and as befits a work of such immense success, the inevitable movie adaptation stars the one and only Tom Hanks as the heroic symbologist Robert Langdon. After two more movies in the role — "Angels and Demons" and "Inferno" — Hanks has now given way to a younger, more inexperienced Robert Langdon (Ashley Zukerman) in Peacock's prequel series, "The Lost Symbol."

While "The Lost Symbol" is based on Brown's book of the same name, the nature of the adaptation game is that there will be certain differences. While characters like Langdon's mentor Peter Solomon (Eddie Izzard), his daughter Katherine (Valorie Curry), and villain Mal'akh (Beau Knapp) are all present and accounted for, one of the show's central figures has no counterpart in the novel. Alfonzo Nuñez is a Capitol cop who ends up in the middle of the adventure, finding out about the show's increasingly strange Masonic mysteries as the viewers do. While the actor playing the role does a great job, you might also start wondering why he seems so familiar. Here's where you've seen him before. 

Rick Gonzalez is Timo Cruz in Coach Carter

Rick Gonzalez has been getting regular TV and film work since 1997, but can you truly say that you've broken through until you've starred in a movie with Samuel L. Jackson? For Gonzalez, this illustrious career moment came in 2005, when he played Timo Cruz in Thomas Carter's sports biopic "Coach Carter." The movie is based on the life of real-life Richmond High Scool basketball coach Ken Carter, who rose to notoriety after benching his team due to poor grades, and has confirmed that the movie is very close to reality (via Esquire). 

Gonzalez plays Timo Cruz, who's one of the team's most gifted players, but his rebellious nature and unfortunate familial connections to the drug trade put him at odds with Carter and his academic demands. Timo's constant struggle between wanting to stay with the team and pushing against Carter's philosophy is the emotional center of the movie, and he's responsible for some of the most touching scenes in the film. 

The actor fully understands the importance of his character in the film, and in a 2018 interview with CBS Chicago, he revealed that the audience certainly does, as well. "I've had countless people from different parts of life come up and tell me how profoundly Timo impacted them," Gonzalez revealed. "The characters we portrayed really connected with people. Timo had this huge arc where he was on the team, leaves the team, loses his cousin and comes back on the team before he realizes he has to find a way to get to college."

Rick Gonzalez is Ben in Reaper

From 2007 to 2009, Rick Gonzalez portrayed Ben Gonzalez in "Reaper," a show about a slacker called Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison). Thanks to a very unwise deal his parents made back in the day, Sam becomes a Reaper who works for the devil (Ray Wise) in order to hunt down particularly difficult condemned individuals with the help of some superpowers and a bunch of increasingly ludicrous magical tools. Gonzalez' character, Ben, is one of Sam's friends, who's in on the whole Reaper thing, and together with fellow human Sock (Tyler Labine) often assists Sam on his missions. 

Reaper only lasted for two seasons, but in a 2013 interview with KSiteTV, Gonzalez revealed that people still recognized him from that particular role. "Absolutely. Oh, man. All the time," the actor said, and noted that he felt the show had ended a bit prematurely. "It just shows how well we could have done, if things were in a different scenario. It makes me happy to see that people really enjoyed it, and still watch it, but it also kinda hurts a little. Like, 'aw, man. We could have done some amazing things.' That was just proof; seeing so many people coming up and just saying 'hey, man. I really liked that show.'" 

Rick Gonzalez is Rene Ramirez in Arrow

Among his other accolades, Rick Gonzalez is also a tenured member of the Arrowverse. From 2016 to 2020, he portrayed Rene "Wild Dog" Ramirez in The CW's "Arrow," and as any prominent member of the show tends to do, he also pops up in "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" and "The Flash" on occasion. Rene is a rising Star City vigilante of the "hockey mask and DIY costume" variety, and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) recruits him in Team Arrow despite his comparative inexperience. Together with his fellow recruits, he sets out for a new life as a superhero. 

As Gonzalez told Collider, he initially had no idea that he was cast to play an actual superhero in the show, and only found out the real nature of the role from the costume designer. "She said, 'Congrats, coming onto the show! We're going to fit you into this costume'," Gonzales said. "And I said, 'Wait one second, what do you mean, costume?' She said, 'Oh, you're playing Wild Dog!' I was like, 'What?! Send me a photo, please!' I Googled on my own and she emailed me a photo, and I was looking at the guy and thinking, 'This is going to be so much fun!' It was a complete shock to me, and I was just excited."