This is going to be a busy fall for Mario Lopez. Not only did he just snag another hosting gig — Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” — but he’s also planning a wedding.
Lopez, who has been in the public eye since 1989 when he made teen girls swoon in the sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” recently signed on to cohost the live performances of the singing competition along with Khloé Kardashian. The performances start later this month. Lopez is also the host of “Extra.”
“‘The X Factor’ happens to shoot next door to ‘Extra,’ right in the heart of Hollywood,” he said. “So I don’t even have to change my parking spot.”
He said he’s most excited about ‘The X Factor’ being filmed live. “I love live television,” he said. “You know what time you’re going to go on and what time you can go home. It has that opening-night feel. And there’s always potential drama — even if you mess up, it’s compelling. And I’m like the quarterback on stage. I prefer it.”
He also hosts MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” has been featured on “Dancing With the Stars” and portrayed Olympic diver Greg Louganis in a TV movie. So staying in shape is paramount for the actor, whose physique is also featured in the ads for his own underwear collection, Rated M.
“It was always a dream of mine to get into the apparel business,” Lopez told WWD during a recent visit to New York City to film “Extra.” “I didn’t know how to begin, but I knew everybody needs underwear, so that was a good place to start.” He said he wanted the brand to be “fun, funny, sexy and a quality product at an affordable price. I’m a former inner-city kid and I knew Rated M would resonate with a young crowd, either Latinos or across the board.” He said the M in the brand’s logo can stand for anything: “man, magical, macho, Mario. The slogan is cheeky and fun.”
The brand also offers a subcollection called Play that can be worn while working out. “I’m constantly at the gym and sweating up a storm, and I love the stuff,” he said. He said he manages to keep his washboard abs by “mixing things up. I like to keep my muscles guessing,” he said. “I break a sweat every day — I just don’t feel awake unless I work out. It’s more for my sanity than vanity. It’s a real stress reliever for me and it’s one of the only things I do alone.”
His workout of choice? “I box three times a week, run, swim, surf, hike and take CrossFit classes,” he said.
He also stays in shape by chasing after his two-year-old daughter, Gia, with fiancée and Broadway dancer Courtney Laine Mazza. The two are planning to get married on Dec. 1.
“She’s great,” Lopez said of his daughter. “She’s not camera-shy, she’s bilingual and I’m hoping to give her a little brother. But with my luck, I’ll give her twin sisters.”
So what does Lopez wear over his Rated Ms? “It depends on the show,” he said. “For ‘Extra,’ we shoot outside and we had one hot summer, so I didn’t have a chance to layer. I like polos, button-downs, thin sweaters — I like to think I’m conservative with an edge.” For his MTV show, he tries to dress a little more “hip,” and for red carpets, it’s a suit or a tuxedo. “But when I’m just hanging out, it’s more athletic stuff. I like to be comfortable because I’m always on the go.”