On the big screen, Noel Gugliemi is usually seen portraying stereotypical gangsters — characters that are often associated with illicit activities.
But in real life, Noel G, as he is better known, is an approachable, decent human being who preaches the word of God wherever he goes.
Noel G, who plays the role of Hector in some of the blockbuster “Fast and Furious” movies (including the record-shattering “Furious 7″), visited Fontana on May 30 to be part of a fundraiser for the Kaiser High School music program at Rio Ranch Market.
In an interview with the Herald News, Noel G said he runs a church program to help inspire youth.
“Sometimes they just need somebody to believe in them so they can believe in themselves, and let them know that they can be winners and champions,” he said.
After growing up in low-income neighborhoods, Noel G understands the struggles kids face when they try to succeed. At one point, Noel G dropped out of school and began a life of on the other side of the law.
“I made a lot of wrong decisions when I was a kid, and because of the wrong decisions, I made my future harder. So I let them know that they need to make the right decisions now. I dropped out in my freshman year and it’s tough. If they drop out, they don’t get that diploma, they just make it harder on themselves,” said Noel G.
Noel G has appeared in many films, including “Training Day” with Denzel Washington, “Bruce Almighty” with Jim Carrey, “The Purge: Anarchy,” and this year in “Furious 7” with Vin Diesel. He attributes his success to God.
“A lot of people think that making a lot of money, fast cars and a TV crew is the answer, but that’s not the answer,” he said. “The world tells you that you have to work from the outside in, but God is about the inside out. So I always tell them to get their heart right first with God, and after they do that, they can be successful in whatever their vision is. If they are faithful to God, God will give them the desires of their heart.”
Noel G said he is working on a movie called “Low Riders” with Eva Longoria and produced by Universal Pictures. In addition, he will be working on a TV series produced by ABC and producing his own films. Soon, fans will see him in the movie “Ditch Party,” a thriller that addresses school shootings.
Noel G concluded by sending a message to the local community: “Put God first in your life and worry about the rest later. Instead of keeping it gangster, keep it Godster, that’s what’s up.”
The fundraiser was organized by Rio Ranch Markets in cooperation with local businesses and parents, including Johnny Rodriguez, a member of the bike club Los Zopilotes. The event included a car show and appearances by local artists such as Jesus Rodriguez, a semifinalist on the TV Show “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento.”
In addition, the fundraiser received support from former NBA player Corey Benjamin, a Fontana High School graduate who signed autographs and posed for pictures for a small donation. The Kaiser High School Jazz Band also entertained the audience.