Ryan Guzman on meeting people: 'I don't give them a handshake - I give them a hug!'

By Ava Baccari

Ryan Guzman spent his 28th birthday in the most Toronto way possible: watching a Blue Jays game and hanging out afterward with right fielder José Bautista at the Rogers Centre. “I’m a Yankees fan – but [more than that] I’m a baseball fan,” says Ryan, who’s in town to film his new series Heroes Reborn. We sat down with the Texas-born actor, who famously walked the red carpet at the Golden Globes with his The Boy Next Door co-star Jennifer Lopez, to chat about his latest role and famous friends.

Photo: © Getty Images

You play Carlos Gutierrez, an army veteran back from Afghanistan. How did you prepare for it?
I wanted to do this role right because one of my cousins is in the armed forces – he’s in Afghanistan right now. So I picked his brain right before. And as far as the Latin culture and community, I got that down! [ Laughs]

Did you feel pressure joining this show, considering that the original series, Heroes, is beloved by fans?
There’s always pressure, but I love pressure. I’m a competitor at heart. I’ve been an athlete most of my life, whether it be baseball, fighting, whatever. Bring it on.

Ryan joins the crime-fighters on Heroes Reborn (Thursdays, Global).

You have lots of fans on social media. How do you choose what you share?
I’ve never been a huge social media guy. I will tell you an interesting note, though. I didn’t have Instagram until Jennifer Lopez. She started my Instagram account. She and her team kind of controlled my account for months. I would just feed them pictures – I didn’t even have my password! Now it’s all me.

Did Jennifer give you any advice while you worked together on The Boy Next Door?
She actually helped me out quite a bit because I was going through a very rough period. I lost my grandmother at the same time as I was doing press for The Boy Next Door. She kind of pulled me off to the side and said, “You’re handling this great, and if you ever need to talk [I’m here].”

How are you handling your new fame?
It’s interesting, that’s for sure. But you know, I feel very, very, very blessed. So many things could have happened to guide me down the wrong path. The whole fame aspect, thinking that you’re bigger than someone else, I’ve never believed in [that]. That’s why anybody I meet, I don’t give them the handshake – I give them the hug.

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