Miami Living Magazine

Mario Lopez

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Page 77 of 147

76 MIAMI LIVING Championing a transition from teen heartthrob to successful host /actor/ author /producer, Mario Lopez has come a long way since playing Bayside High's favorite jock, A.C. Slater, on the 90's sitcom sensation Saved by the Bell. After appearing on Season 3 of Dancing with the Stars, which Mario credits his mother for participating in, ("They had asked me the first couple of seasons, but I didn't want to wear those outfits. My mom is a fan of the show… finally I succumbed to her pressure. I'm glad I did —it was a good time.") Mario's career was boosted into the next echelon. These days he's hard to miss, and you wouldn't want to. With a body like a Grecian god, the most salacious dimples, and incessant talent —it's no wonder People Magazine named Mario 2008's Hottest Bachelor. Not to worry ladies, he's still dating. Though, Mario adds, "I wouldn't date me. I'm too busy." Umm, that won't deter many. The last couple of years have been jammed with project upon project. Last year, Mario made his Broadway debut as the lead in, "A Chorus Line" ("It's one of those things you grow up dreaming about doing someday. I hope to do more in the future."), penned his first book, "Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness" and currently hosts hot entertainment news show, Extra and MTV's dance show, America's Best Dance Crew. He wasn't joking about being busy. After wrapping up an episode of Extra, Mario took a break to sit down with me and chat about what he's up to, the recent Saved by the Bell reunion and his plans for the holidays. "Extra is going great," Mario says exultantly. Since becoming their solo host, almost a year ago, Mario has introduced viewers to a new Extra. "I think it's the coolest of the entertainment shows... I want to keep it very loose and lot of fun. I really incorporate the fans, they get to talk directly to the stars and ask them questions. A lot of times these hosts are kinda yelling at you and anchoring, all sort of cookie cutter, I'm trying to make it a little different." Touting an extraordinary resume of hosting spots that range from national sporting events to beauty pageants, co-hosting on Live with Regis and Kelly and Larry King, as well as for other various shows, Mario was the ideal candidate— innate charisma and dashing good looks didn't hurt either. The public and media can't seem to get enough of Mario. E! recently aired a TV special called, Sexiest Celebrity Body Parts, where Mario won "Best Male Smile" and was a contender for "Best Male Butt." "I was? Awesome," Mario boyishly replies. Surprisingly, this topic seems to make the typically vivacious host a tad uneasy. It's as if Mario is unaware of the effect he has on people. "That's funny. I don't even know about these lists until people like you tell me. I guess that's cool." I ask him how it feels to be venerated as a sex symbol. He shifts in his chair; slowly a shy smile turns up revealing those notorious dimples. "I don't know. I just kinda laugh. That's funny. I won that in high school." I can't help but ask which category he's referring to—he was up for two. "Smile, I don't think they had a butt one," Mario says with a laugh. ML EXCLUSIVE! EXTRA, EXTRA Read All About It! Extra host, Mario Lopez, Sets down the Mic to Answer our Questions Words by Vanessa Pascale Photos credit: Extra/Warner Bros.

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