“9-1-1”'s Ryan Guzman on Playing a Father Before Becoming a Dad: 'Almost Tearing Up Every Take' (Exclusive)

The actor shares his two kids — Mateo and Genevieve — with ex Chrysti Ane

<p>Sara Jaye Weiss/Shutterstock</p> Ryan Guzman

Sara Jaye Weiss/Shutterstock

Ryan Guzman

Ryan Guzman may have played a dad on TV since 2018, but he didn't become one in real life until he welcomed his son a year later.

At the premiere of season 7 of 9-1-1, the actor, 36, spoke with PEOPLE about his tenure on the show, including his experience working with Gavin McHugh, who plays his son on the series and was only 6 years old when the show premiered.

"Oh my god. For six seasons now, I've fallen in love with this kid. Although he's changed and aged and a little bit more in that teenager maturity, now he's just like a bigger version of a shining light," Guzman says.

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<p>FOX via Getty </p> Ryan Guzman

FOX via Getty

Ryan Guzman

Related: Surprise! Ryan Guzman, Chrysti Ane Welcome Daughter Genevieve Valentina: 'So Special'

Asked if playing Gavin's dad on television has impacted who he is as a dad in real life, Guzman says, "Yeah. Playing a father before I was a father, it was incredible."

"And there's a moment I always go to where I was walking him to school. I could do that all day. I started almost tearing up every single take because I couldn't imagine what it would feel like to walk my own son," the star shares with PEOPLE.

"And here I am now, preparing my son for kindergarten. So it's a full circle moment. Watching him grow up, watching him become a young man, I feel like a proud father."

Guzman shares his son Mateo, 5, and daughter Genevieve, 3, with ex Chrysti Ane.

<p>FOX via Getty </p> Ryan Guzman

FOX via Getty

Ryan Guzman

Guzman welcomed his daughter in 2021, sharing the exciting news on Instagram after keeping it under wraps throughout Ane's pregnancy.

Although the mom of two said she was "so happy" that they kept the experience to themselves, Ane decided to share some throwback photos on Instagram taken while she was expecting.

"Well world, I think it's time I make a confession....I've been pregnant for basically this entire quarantine 😭😂," she wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself and Guzman with the newborn in a hospital room. "... Ry and I decided to be a little selfish this time around and keep this journey between us. I'm so happy we did that. It was so special."

She also included a video montage recapping her pregnancy that showed the moment they learned of the sex of their baby on the way. "Gigi's journey," she captioned the clip, "And this is how it went."

9-1-1 airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Read the original article on People.