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Of all the classic characters he has played and all the iconic films in which he is a part, Luis Guzmán says he's recognized mostly for a role he never portrayed.
During a recent interview on The Rich Eisen Show, the actor, 66, explained that for decades, he has been confused for the late Rick Aviles, who played Willie Lopez in the film Ghost.
"To this day, you and I could be walking through an airport, a mall — today — and someone would go, 'Why did you kill Patrick Swayze? What was it like working with Whoopi [Goldberg]?' If I had a nickel since that began — I would probably own this studio, an island and a couple of private planes. I swear."
In the 1990 romantic fantasy film directed by Jerry Zucker, Swayze's Sam Wheat is killed by Aviles' Lopez. Sam's ghost sets out to save his girlfriend, played by Demi Moore. Aviles died in 1995 at the age of 42.
Guzmán, who currently stars in the Netflix series Wednesday, based on The Addams Family, told Eisen he was never offered the Ghost role. And, for a while, he did correct fans who approached him — but after one specific encounter, he gave up.
"I was in Detroit one time, changing planes, and a 90-year-old lady comes up to me: 'Oh, my god. I loved you in Ghost.' I felt so bad, and I explained, 'No, no. That was someone else.' And then she goes, 'So what might I have seen you in?' And I go, 'Did you ever see The Count of Monte Cristo?' And she says, 'I love that movie. That was such a great movie!' And I said, 'Well, I was Jacopo.' And then she goes, 'No, you wasn't in that!' "
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These days, Guzmán said he happily welcomes the kudos and Swayze chastising, noting, "From that moment on, I said, 'I'm always going to be the guy in Ghost.' "