One of TV’s biggest ‘90s heartthrobs, Mario Lopez, is all grown up with successful endeavors in radio, TV, books, philanthropy—and as a father. We find out how he balances it all and what Father’s Day gift he loves.
Mario Lopez has come a long way since the halls of Bayside High and hanging out at The Max. The former Saved by the Bell star now balances hosting the nationally syndicated Extra, co-hosting a new dating show, Love and Salsa, with his wife, Courtney, and being a spokesperson for NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, with his “best role yet”—father. We caught up with Lopez to discuss his ultimate Father’s Day gift, how he balances it all, and what kind of dad he thinks A.C. Slater would be.
What are you doing for Father’s Day?
MARIO LOPEZ: It’s usually not up to me—my wife and kids decide what they want me to do. They usually know I like to eat at my favorite spots and take it easy.
Any favorite Father’s Day gifts?
ML: I like to just sort of relax, but when I need to be moving around, when I get going, I like my NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto coffee machine. I have one at my office, one at home, and they’re great gifts, too. I’m a big coffee lover.
Mario Lopez with his NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto.
With roles in TV, radio, fitness, and philanthropy, how do you balance it all?
ML: It just turns into an action-packed day. And then you’re just going a hundred miles an hour until the end, so you just kind of squeeze it all in—but I’m a hyper kid, so it works out.
What’s your advice for other fathers on how to balance career and personal life?
ML: It’s the best role yet. As far as with the balance, your priorities change, and you get a new focus on your life, and so you’re sort of reinvigorated with energy, so you just make it work.
What kind of dad do you think your Saved by the Bell character, A.C. Slater, would be?
ML: I think a good one—a disciplinarian and a loving one.
Where do you like to go in LA?
ML: We shot [Extra] at The Grove (189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles, 323-900-8080) for a while, so we became good friends with the Carusos [who own The Grove], and that’s always a great place. I love his properties, The Grove and The Americana at Brand (889 Americana Way, Glendale, 818-637-8982)— they’re fun, because you can eat and watch movies, and just kind of walk around, and hang out.
What’s next for you?
ML: Continuing to do my show, Extra, and my radio show [On With Mario Lopez], which is nationally syndicated now, and Love and Salsa. I’ve got some other stuff in the works producing and possibly on-camera, so [it’s] a busy time.