'Nip/Tuck's' Mario Lopez goes the 'Extra' mile
You may be watching Mario Lopez annoy Sean and Christian on "Nip/Tuck" on Wednesdays this fall -- a new episode airs this week (10/28) -- but Lopez has a lot going on right now, beyond the acting career.
Between playing Dr. Mike Hamoui, hosting "America's Best Dance Crew" on MTV, co-writing a children's book and being the face of entertainment news series "Extra," Lopez is like the new Seacrest.
Though most of us grew up watching him as the singlet-wearing, Jessie Spano-dating A.C. Slater on "Saved By The Bell," it seems acting isn't at the forefront of his future plans.
"I'd love to continue both [acting and hosting], but if I had to choose, I'd choose hosting, because I can be myself."
Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, "Extra"'s senior E.P., says Lopez campaigned hard to be in the position he's in now.
"Seven years ago, he came in here and he wanted the main job," Gregorisch-Dempsey explained. "And I said, You're not ready. And he was like, No, I am ready. I said, Look, everything comes easily to you. You know, you still have a little of the "Saved By The Bell" cheesiness on you. You have to go out there, on your own, and wipe it off. Go reinvent yourself and I'll talk to you in a few years."
Gregorisch-Dempsey says Mario continued to pursue the job and the more she said no to him, the more determined he was to get it.
After a stint on Broadway and his successful turn on "Dancing with the Stars," she felt he was finally there and made him "Extra"'s weekend anchor. A year ago, he took over as sole host of the daily show.
"Mario [is] the ultimate insider in Hollywood," Gregorisch-Dempsey mused. You know, everyone grew up watching him. And he's friends with every celebrity out there. Whether it's Tyler Perry texting him or Jamie Foxx or Russell Crowe calling him or hanging out with him in Vegas, they're really comfortable with him. The microphone is almost invisible when he's sitting down with somebody, because they're his friends, they trust him. He gets more out of them, because there's a comfort zone and it's more like a conversation than a scripted interview."
I met up with Mario this month to get his take on all that he has going on.
But mostly, I just wanted to hang out with Mario Lopez...
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