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The actor was eager to join the exclusive Peacock series and is grateful to NBC for creating an Afro-Latino character for Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

Rick Gonzalez has been acting for many years and has had various roles in both film and TV. One of his most recent projects was playing the crime-fighting vigilante “wild dog” in the CW series Arrow, which increased his popularity among viewers. But it is his most recent role as Capital police officer Alfonso Nunez in the Peacock original series, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, based on Dan Brown’s books, that gives him the most joy.

In an exclusive interview with Muse TV, Rick Gonzalez spoke about his decision to join the cast as being a “no brainer” and that it was his character that helped seal the deal. “My character obviously isn’t in the books, so I thought that was actually intriguing to be part of such a big property and just be a brand new component to it,” said the actor.

Gonzalez plays Alfonso Nunez in the Peacock original series, The Lost Symbol. The show is based on the third book in the Angels and Demons franchise written by Dan Brown. It follows Robert Langdon (Ashley Zukerman), who must solve a series of deadly puzzles to save his kidnapped mentor and thwart a chilling global conspiracy.

Along the way, Nuñez, a capital police officer, gets caught up in helping Langdon piece together clues while avoiding getting killed by Mal’akh, a conspiracy theorist who is more dangerous than he appears. Although Nuñez is not a student of symbology, he is a man who wants to do good and help out when he can. He is also a character that was not in the original works but was written into the show.

“To me, that was a great challenge and exciting to play,” he says. “Also, because, they decided to create an Afro-Latino character in this world, and create someone that was contemporary who is going to be the audience perspective going through this journey. I had to jump at that. I think that’s something we don’t see enough of on television, and I tip my hat off to the showrunners and creators for, just on their own, wanting to create this character.”

Dan Brown gained a following of readers after the success of the film adaptations of his books Angles & Demons and The Devinci Code, both directed by Ron Howard. In 2016, Columbia Pictures brought Howard back to direct the next installment Inferno, and tapped lead actor Tom Hanks to reprise his role. Although this was the third and final film installment about Robert Langdon’s adventures, Inferno is, in fact, the fourth book in the series.

“We decided to take that and create it as the prequel to the adventure, and basically all the other books and stories that he’s [Brown] created,” said Gonzalez. 

While adapting a book to TV series is not an impossible task, it is also not a simple one when you take into account what the written word conveys to readers. In an interview with IGN for the upcoming film Inferno, director Ron Howard spoke about The Lost Symbol and the reason for not turning it into a film.

“We have skipped The Lost Symbol because we read the book, loved it, but didn’t know how to make something that would really feel fresh and exciting on a cinematic level,” he told editor Jim Vejvoda. “Maybe somebody else will be able to at some point. Maybe we will. Maybe we will get an idea. But Tom and I aren’t under contract to do the movies. It’s a project-by-project decision that we make along with the studio.”

That someone else ended up being Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie. They also served as executive producers along with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, who were involved with the film adaptations, and author Dan Brown.

You can see Rick Gonzalez now on Peacock and stream all current episodes of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, before the season finale every Thursday. NBC will also air the pilot of the Peacock original series on Monday, Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.