January 15, 2018 01:16 PM

Édgar Ramírez has left an indelible mark on cinematic history playing Jennifer Lawrence’s sentimental ex husband in Joy, Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán in Hands of Stone and Venezuelan military leader Simón Bolívar in The Liberator. In his latest turn, he brings the late Italian designer Gianni Versace to life on FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, premiering Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. ET. Here are 5 reasons to love the 40-year-old Venezuelan heartthrob.

1. He’s hot and super smart: “I’m a journalist and I specialize in political journalism,” he told PEOPLE of his life before fame. “I was always very attracted to the world of performing arts. If I told you I was the kid that wanted to be in the movies, I’d be lying. I wanted to be something different everyday. I wanted to be an astronaut, a computer engineer, or a fireman and I always wanted to do different stuff everyday. Which ultimately relates a lot to the acting craft.”

2. He’s an animal lover and is an equestrian. “I’m good at horseback riding,” he told PEOPLE. “I grew up around horses and I’m very good at it. I feel very comfortable with horses.”

3. He can move! Besides wooing Jennifer Lawrence’s character with his impressive vocals in Joy, he loves to break a sweat on the dance floor. “I love to dance. I’m Latin and I’m from Venezuela so that’s kind of natural for us,” he told PEOPLE. “I really like it, I enjoy it.”

4. He stands up for what he believes in. The actor shared an image of the marches in Venezuela against the government of Nicolás Maduro on May 20 with the following message: “Today Venezuela is out on the streets once again demanding a change that cannot be put off… ‘Normality’, the fantasy of ‘stability’, the ‘everyday life’ in my country is much more suffocating than the clouds of tear gas that the people have had to endure during these 50 days of protest. The will of change in Venezuela is irreversible.”

5. He values family. The actor shared a sweet photo with his dad on Aug. 20, which he captioned: “I love you so much my old man.” He told PEOPLE his dad had a big influence on him: “My  father was a diplomat. We moved to different places so I grew up all over the place.”

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