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Esai Morales


Morales appeared as Gabriel, the main antagonist character in the 2023 spy action film Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One opposite Tom Cruise, a role which he will reprise in the untitled eighth Mission: Impossible film in 2025.

Esai Morales an American actor, activist and performing artist who launched his feature film career as Paco Moreno in Bad Boys opposite Sean Penn. He has since appeared in several classic movies including La Bamba and Fast Food Nation. He is currently starring in HBO’s The Brink and the television adaptation of Robert Rodriguez television series From Dust till Dawn. He can also in a reoccurring role on Criminal Minds (CBS) as Bureau Unit Chief Matt Cruz. Some of his most memorable theater performances include; Oscar Wilde's Salome with Al Pacino on Broadway; Joe Papp's production of The Tempest with Raul Julia for New York's Shakespeare in the Park Festival; Tamer Of Horses for the Los Angeles Theater Center, for which he was awarded the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award; The Exonerated, directed by Bob Balaban; and the San Francisco run of the musical The Mambo Kings-Morales' musical theater debut.Film credits include Rapa Nui, produced by Kevin Costner; the award winning HBO film The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story directed by John Frankenheimer; the Gregory Nava's film Mi Familia; and Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation. He also starred in the films, The Line, Atlas Shrugged: Part II and starred and executive produced Gun Hill Road, a Grand Jury Nominee at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. Television credits include the Emmy award-winning series NYPD, Showtime's Resurrection Blvd.; PBS's drama series American Family; FOX's Vanished; and USA's Burn Notice as well as CBS's drama Jericho and the Syfy series Caprica opposite Eric Stoltz. He was also featured recurring on USA's Fairly Legal, as District Attorney Aaron Davidson. Most recently, Morales has joined the cast of CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS),  MAJOR CRIMES (TNT).  He recently shot two feature films one called RECON: Jarhead 2 and Saving Westbrook High.  Most recently he has joined the cast of the new HBO show The Brink where he plays the role of President of the United States.

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