Nothin' But A G Thang

MF: All right, first things first: What's with the name?

FG: The truth is, when I first joined the Screen Actors Guild, there were already a lot of guys named Frank Gonzales. The union asked me if I had another name. All my friends already call me Gonzo, G, whatever. So I went with Franky G. People think with that name, I'm a rapper. But, nah. I only wrap gifts, man.

MF: Smith was your second TV series, but acting wasn't your original career ambition, right?

FG: No way, man. My heart was playing football. I liked knocking heads. I loved the physical contact and the crowds. But after I got a concussion and a couple of bad knee injuries, I had to look for other things. I still play ball with my friends, but I get so caught up, I bang them up sometimes. They complain, "We're playing two-hand touch, not tackle!"

MF: Tell us about your bodybuilding days.

FG: Oh, my God, I must have entered about 10 amateur bodybuilding contests. Mr. Metropolis. Mr. Queens. I was a national qualifier. My peak bench press was a 380, and I had squatted for a triple 515. All natural, no steroids. People thought I was on the sauce. But I don't play that. Tricks are for kids, ya know?

MF: On TV and in films like Saw II and The Italian Job, you tend to play the tough guy. Is that the real you?

FG: People see me that way, but I'm really a cool guy. I'm sensitive. I have a sense of humor. This is how I am-take it or leave it. I come out with different personalities. Just don't step on the wrong side of me, that's all I'm sayin', you know? [Laughs]

MF: How do you stay grounded in Hollywood?

FG: I don't live here [in L.A.], that's how I stay levelheaded. I go back home to New York. I have a great fiancée, I have a wonderful family, great friends. And if I try to act like I'm some kind of big shot, they set me straight, because it's hard going up, but it's easy coming back down.

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