I have my great grandmother's recipe for black beans, all the way from Cuba, and I know how to make those. I'm actually pretty good at it now. But my first time, the beans actually exploded in the pot, so I had black beans just dripping from the ceiling - which is actually a dream come true for most Cubans. It was a nightmare to clean.
I'm blessed to come from a family with five brothers. We're all physical and athletic and like to work out, like to be outside, like to throw the ball around. We spent our entire childhoods on some kind of corner or in a field. We still do a Turkey Bowl every Thanksgiving. It gets competitive, man. Bloody.
I'm certainly proud to be Cuban American, and it's a fantastic opportunity for anybody - regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. It does carry a measure or pride to know where you're from and to know what your roots are.
Choose wisely, then eat in moderation. When I know I'm going to Mom's for dinner, I throw an extra 20 minutes on the cardio machine so I can be ready to eat.
I am excited to be doing 'SVU' - I think there's a lot of inherent drama and a lot of inherent conflict in procedural shows. I have a lot of respect for police officers and the work that they do. There's a lot of nobility to depicting what these officers do on a day to day basis.
I had been on another procedural show, 'Cold Case,' for seven years, and I certainly respected the legacy of 'Law & Order,' even though I had only seen a handful of episodes. Being a dad meant the reality was that I probably knew more about Dora and Diego. But I saw the show with fresh eyes, and I wasn't coming in with a bunch of baggage.
I find the older I get, the lower in weight I go. It's harder to recover. Living in New York City, working a job that is unpredictable and at times stressful, you're lifting way more than your max because you need to push some weight around. You put an extra plate on for the release, and then you're sore the next week. Its stress release.
The main difference is, in 'Cold Case,' the victim sometimes had been dead for decades - you didn't have the advantage of being able to interview the victim. You had to piece together the circumstances surrounding the crime from witnesses and other evidence. 'SVU' is much more immediate in that you can talk to the victim.