EXCLUSIVE: Rick Gonzalez Talks USA Network's 'Rush' & Fatherhood

Rick Gonzalez at the CW Upfronts
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We'll always remember Rick Gonzalez as Timo in Coach Carter. But a lot has changed since then.

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican actor is a daddy (aww!) and he's starring in USA Network's new original series, Rush. The network's latest drama examines the world of renegade physician Dr. William P. Rush (played by Tom Ellis), and Gonzalez co-stars as Manny Maquis, a well-connected dealer who considers Rush a friend as well as a client.

We chatted with the New York-born star to get the scoop on his character and his best role yet: Fatherhood. Check it all out in our exclusive interview below:

First of all, congratulations on becoming a father! How does it feel?

Thank you! It’s amazing. Very tiring, just no sleep, but other than that it’s a lot of fun. She’s actually slowly getting close to walking. We’re at the stage of just holding her hand and kind of running her around [the] whole entire place.

So cute! Now, besides being a daddy, you have another role starring in a new show called Rush. Tell us about your character Manny.

Manny is a very outgoing guy who runs a very successful delivery business. He is not your typical drug dealer type, but he is successful at it. He runs a delivery business and he basically gets Rush whatever type of narcotics he wants or needs at the moment. At any time of the day he is there to give Rush whatever types of drugs he wants. When you watch the show you kind of see that it is more than just a client relationship. It kind of feels like they have a lot of history and they’re kind of friends. So the relationship isn’t so cut and dry or black and white in terms of a client and a business transaction.

Okay. And how has the role sort of challenged you?

You know right now we’re about to start episode four. I think gradually I’m starting to learn about the character and who Manny is. I think the initial challenge with Manny was finding out what makes him tick in terms of why he wants to be a part of this type of business, and just finding the right tone for him. Right away working with Jonathan Levine, who created the show, he definitely [said he] wanted a fun outgoing guy who is pretty smart enough to navigate different types of clientele. In the pilot you’ll see that Manny is able to tap into a world of danger in terms of him making money in that world, and at the same time having a client like Rush. That will kind of show you the juxtaposition of the different worlds that Manny navigates in terms of making money, and at the same time does it with a smile on his face, understanding how to read people, how to move in those worlds and things of that nature. So I think in the beginning it was finding out the tone of how this person can move in those worlds and who he is to the core.

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