June 20, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

5 YEARS AGO ”I was bouncing at Gold Fingers, a gentlemen’s club on Queens Boulevard [in New York]. There wasn’t much static — a lot of the guys behaved. If there were any conflicts, we’d just tell them, ‘Take it easy, calm down, or you’ll be escorted out.”’

NOW ”I’m reading scripts and meeting directors. I don’t like to be stereotyped just because I’m a Latino actor…. I can play gangster roles, I can play a detective, I can do comedy, I could play the lead. I’m looking for good roles, not just a drug dealer.”

5 YEARS FROM NOW ”I like to go home to New York and be with my girlfriend and my family and forget about Hollywood. I admire people like Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Katharine Hepburn — the actors who keep away from the limelight.”




AGE 40 HOMETOWN Queens, N.Y. CURRENT Plays a mechanic in The Italian Job; stars in the Sundance prizewinner Manito NEXT Wonderland, due in September EXPERIENCE Confidence THE ‘g’ stands for… Gonzalez, his surname

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