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Why Gerry Guerrero From Blue Bloods Looks So Familiar

"Blue Bloods" primarily focuses on the cops and civil servants making up the Reagan family, but the ensemble nature of the show and the New York City setting provide endless opportunities for great guest stars and a diverse set of characters from all walks of life. One of the best smaller characters to appear on the show is that of Gerry Guerrero, an activist and lawyer introduced in Season 6, Episode 6 ("Rush to Judgement"). 

Guerrero makes a fiery appearance leading a crowd of protesters that clash with police in the opening moments. After he witnesses Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) knock down a bicyclist that is about to hit a woman holding a child (something no one else seems to see), Guerrero makes it his mission to take on the Reagan family. He even compares them to multiple mob families. Later accused of a horrendous crime he did not commit, Guerrero has to rely on the Reagans to prove the claim false, which it is. 

It leads to a moment of understanding between Guerrero and Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), but the lawyer appears again in Season 7, Episode 16 ("Hard Bargain"), still ready to jump on any hint of police brutality. Guerrero is one of the more complex characters introduced in the show, and no one should be surprised if the actor looks familiar. Steven Bauer may not be a face you can always put a name to right away, but he has a long history of disappearing into roles in some fairly major projects. 

Steven Bauer's big break was in Scarface

The role Bauer is likely best known for to most audiences is one of his first and best as Manny Ribera, the best friend and second hand to Tony Montana (Al Pacino). He follows Montana on his rise to power as a drug kingpin, but the two become adversarial as Ribera begins seeing Montana's sister and Montana starts losing his mind with power. Bauer provides some of the movie's biggest laughs and his onscreen charisma is clear from the start. 

"Scarface" didn't make the biggest splash in theaters when first released in 1983, but it has become a major hit over the years with a loyal cult following, especially in the rap community. Pacino even said years later rappers helped the film have a revival of sorts and claimed those he talked to understood the movie deeply (via MTV). Bauer didn't have as flashy a role as Pacino did, but he's arguably just as well remembered from the film. He even reprised his role for the 2006 video game sequel, "Scarface: The World Is Yours." 

The film, directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, is based on a 1930 novel by Armitage Trail and serves as a remake of a 1932 movie by the same name. Of the three tellings of this tale, it's not hard to see that the 1983 film has stood the test of time more than its peers.

He was part of Steven Soderbergh's massive Traffic ensemble

Bauer found plenty of work after "Scarface," including guest starring on shows like "Walker, Texas Ranger" and "The Outer Limits," but his next massively seen hit was Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" in 2000. The movie is one of the best and most expansive dramatic works taking on the U.S. "war on drugs." Also included in the cast are Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, and numerous others. The business and effects of hard drugs are seen from every rung of the ladder in this movie, from the low-level addict to cops on both sides of the border to Washington D.C. figures facing political roadblocks trying to take it all on. 

Bauer stars as Carlos Ayala, a Mexican drug lord. His role is not as big as, say, Del Toro or Douglas, but he proves with this character that he doesn't need the theatrics of "Scarface" to stand out. Bauer brings a quiet power to the role of just one of many in "Traffic" watching their glass houses be destroyed before them. The movie was one of Soderbergh's biggest blockbusters and it won four Oscars. Bauers wasn't up for his performance at the Academy Awards, but he did win, along with the rest of the main cast, for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (via IMDb).

He is Don Eladio in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul

Bauer has only been in a handful of episodes in Vince Gilligan's New Mexico-set universe of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul," but he's impossible to miss. Bauer manages with limited screentime to hang over certain characters like a shadow of doom the rest of the series. Eladio Vuente is the Cartel leader who employs many of the characters we see in both shows, including Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and the Salamancas, led by Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis). 

Bauer appears in the eighth and tenth episodes of Season 4 of "Breaking Bad" ("Hermanos," "Salud") and then later in the fourth episode of Season 3 and fifth episode of Season 20 for spinoff "Better Call Saul" ("Sabrosito," "Something Unforgivable"). Bauer performs most of his dialogue in Spanish, and he brings theatrics and comedic relief similar to "Scarface." The difference here is Eladio is almost a fun "what if" scenario for "Scarface" fans. Eladio is theatrical and loose like Ribera, but still a frightening figure who can make his displeasure known with just the wrong turn of his eyes. The character feels like a sharper Ribera, one who moved up in the drug trade without being under the thumb of the increasingly erratic and overprotective Montana. 

Bauer appeared in most of Ray Donovan

Bauer's longest running role on television came with Showtime's "Ray Donovan," which recently wrapped up its run after seven seasons and a movie serving as a series finale. 

Bauer plays Avi, a loyal worker in Ray Donovan's (Liev Schreiber) crew and an ex-member of the Israel Defense Forces. It's a fun, but layered role and Bauer gets much more time to stretch his acting muscles than in other TV projects. He's credited with 60 episodes of the series, starting with Season 1, Episode 7 ("New Birthday"). Avi does plenty on the show, helping Donovan cover up some his and others' more shameful actions and even committing murder himself at times. Avi is often the man Donovan relies on to do things that even he is not capable of. 

It was a huge role for Bauer and one he deserved after years of scraping away in Hollywood. Bauer recalled while speaking about "Ray Donovan" in 2016 that Warren Beatty told him early in his career that Bauer could be the next him. Bauer said circumstances and life struggles kept him from fulfilling that promise early on (per New York Post). With roles on shows like "Ray Donovan," "Breaking Bad," and even "Blue Bloods," however, he's certainly been making up for lost time and finally fulfilling that potential that was so clear to audiences as the young actor held his own against Pacino all the way back in 1983.