Clare’s “You Know, That Guy”: Luis Guzman [Retro Feature]

Some actors stake their claim in the movie industry by doing ritzy-big time-huge pay day projects to get their names splashed all over everything. They become a product, a commodity for Hollywood bigwigs to manipulate in order to make oodles of dough. In exchange, the actors themselves become “stars” whose celebrity outshines their talent in exchange for diva studio deals and infinite ego massaging power and fame. We Mutants don’t hold anything against this kind of actor/celebrity entity. They just bore us. Here at the MRFH, we prefer to respect and admire those actors who will, with or without huge parts or huge pay checks, consciously and

consistently hand in interesting, diverse and compelling performances. Occasionally these actors hit the big time (Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn) but most often, they build solid careers in anonymity and feed their families making bunches of movies a year without ever doing whirl-wind press junkets or writing articles about themselves for Premiere magazine. This page is our attempt to celebrate those film actors who don’t have above the title marquee status but who deserve your attention and have paid their dues to earn your respect. You may not know their names but chances are good that you’ll recognize their faces because they’re you know, those guys!


Luis Guzman

Total on-screen appearances (per the IMDb): 63 (50 movies, 13 TV series)

You’ve most likely seen him in:

  • Traffic
  • HBO’s Oz

Official Web Site: none

Luis Guzman has been working steadily in television and film since the late 1970’s. Generally cast as a bad guy his face is unmistakable and his acting presence has become unforgettable. As of late he’s been a favorite of director Steven Soderbergh who’s cast him in three of his last five projects (Out of Sight, The Limey and Traffic). He’s also been in both PT Anderson ensemble flicks Boogie Nights and Magnolia. What this means is that directors who work with him, tend to make sure they work with him again. This speaks to Guzman’s professionalism and talent more than anything. He may just now be getting some much earned recognition, but he’s a Hollywood veteran who’s worked with some of the best actors, directors and crews in the business.

Happily, in recent years he’s been given the opportunity to play a wider range of characters in bigger and bigger roles. He’s got a gold mine of comedic talent that has only recently been discovered or used to any extent and his abilities as a strong supporting dramatic player are unsurpassed. He’s clearly an actor’s actor taking films that generally have large casts and a variety of story lines. More noteworthy than any of his abundant potential though is the fact that he’s been working his ass off for decades, earning a living and sticking to it for what can only be explained as a deep love of his work. For this, he has earned our respect and admiration.

If you want more of Luis Guzman rent:

  • Carlito’s Way
  • The Limey
  • Boogie Nights
  • Oz
  • NYPD Blue
  • Law and Order

4 comments

  1. The Limey is FANTASTIC. Terrence Stamp is great, Luiz is ever present in his pot-bellied glory, and Peter Fonda is a creepy sugar daddy.

    Great post.

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