September 06, 2011 02:00 PM by Veronica Dudo
Mario Lopez was a second-place finisher on season three of Dancing with the Stars and has a full plate these days. Many remember Lopez when he played popular teen hunk A.C. Slater on Saved By the Bell. Now, the 37 year old is all grown up with a lot going on including a new TV show and a children’s book!
Currently, Lopez is the host of the syndicated entertainment news magazine show, Extra; a host on America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV; a children’s book author and a new Dad to Gia Francesca. He hosted a party at the Pool After Dark inside Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City over the weekend, where he talked about his new TV show, life after Saved By the Bell, his new children’s book due out this month and how he’s already teaching his daughter how to give back.
You have a new book coming out called, Mario and Baby Gia?
Yeah, I’m real excited totally different deal. It’s my children’s books coming out “Mario and Baby Gia” is a follow-up to my second children’s book, “Mud Tacos” and paying homage to my little girl; but in the book she’s my little cousin. The characters are my sister and I when we were little kids. It’s about a baby coming into the family when the other kids have to adapt—it’s all about family and encouraging kids to use their imagination, sharing our culture too.
Can you talk about your decision to ask people to make donations in lieu of giving gifts for your daughter’s first birthday?
Birthday parties are a big deal and stuff but especially the first ones for the kids so we were having a big old thing with a lot of people but we didn’t really want to have any gifts per say for our little girl–fortunately we take care of her pretty well but we wanted to just ask people to donate to this charity that I work with a youth center in the neighborhood that I grew up in and those little kids could really use it and I think it could go a long way so if they go to myregistry.com and go to Gia Francesca’s 1st Birthday $5, $10 anything will help these kids are inner city kids and I’m a former inner city and it will go a long way with these kids.
What is the idea behind your new reality TV show, H8R?
It’s called “Hater” it’s on CW it’s sort of like this generations Punk’d but as opposed to the celebrities getting punk’d, the celebs are punking regular people and those people happen to be a hater of theirs and I just thought it would be interesting to explore the people that sort of are cowards behind the internet and talk a lot of trash about people and how they would feel if they got surprised by the celebrity they’re talking trash about. Then they get the chance to kind of win them over maybe see if they change their mind or if they still feel the same and it’s just a lot of fun–it’s a little edgy, a little loud but a lot of fun.
How has your journey been since having gained fame from Saved By the Bell?
I feel very blessed, very fortunate, very happy with Extra my show, with my MTV show America’s Best Dance Crew, my show Hater now my children’s book, “Mario and Baby Gia” so I’m just very blessed–I don’t take it for granted.
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