Mario Lopez is enjoying life these days, especially because he gets to play doctor.
The Chula Vista native, who is best known for his role as A.C. Slater on “Saved by the Bell,” has just signed on to play a doctor on the CBS soap “The Bold and the Beautiful.” His first episode aired Monday, March 20.
Lopez is playing Dr. Christian Ramirez, and he is relishing the role and the opportunity it represents. Not just for him but for all actors of Mexican heritage.
Well, Slater made something of himself
“There aren’t too many positive Latino characters on TV,” he says. “But this guy is hardworking and doesn’t have a shady past.”
His character will, however, have a romance. Lopez refrained from elaborating, saying the show’s producers asked him to keep that info on the down low.
Lopez admits the first few weeks on the set were a challenge because playing a doctor means sounding like one. As a result, he had lots of “homework” so that he could bone up on medical jargon and sound like he had been saying it for years.
He did have some help from some doctor friends and says they reminded him that while doctors have lots of education, “at the end of the day they’re just regular guys.”
That may be the case but working on a daytime drama is not a regular job. Lopez says filming 20 to 30 pages of dialogue in a single day is common but says it’s actually easier than working on a film.
“It’s very fast-paced. I like moving fast. Those film sets where you wait around all day to film—that’s where it gets draining.”
Lopez is signed on “The Bold and the Beautiful” for two years and the 33-year-old actor admits his game plan is to gear his career towards the daytime audience.
“They tell me ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ is big all over the world and the producer is open to letting me do other things so I’m hoping to take a page from the Kelly Ripa book and work on both soaps and talk shows.”
But even though he’s gone Hollywood, Lopez still has Chula Vista on his brain.
“I’m down here at least twice a month. My family is still here so it’s my home.”