Mario Lopez will play the 'The Bold and the Beautiful's' Dr. Christian Ramirez, brother of Hector Ramirez (Lorenzo Lamas).
Mario Lopez: More than a role
March 20 is Mario Lopez's first airdate as The Bold and the Beautiful's Dr. Christian Ramirez, brother of firefighter Hector Ramirez, played by Lorenzo Lamas.
The television veteran (Saved by the Bell, Pacific Blue) says his first day on the set was an unforgettable experience.
"I've known about the show for a long time," Lopez says. "Besides having great stories and some of the best actors around, it's also one of the big favourites with Spanish-speaking audiences."
(Indeed, B&B was the first soap to broadcast simultaneously in English and Spanish using the SAP technology.)
"So," says Lopez, "you can understand that the only word that can describe how I felt when I got ready to do my first scene is 'excited.'"
Lopez says that being an actor means involving yourself deeply in your character and in your story.
POSITIVE ROLE MODEL
"But at the same time, you are who you are as a person," he says. "And as someone who is part of the Latin community, I Mario am very proud to play a character like Christian Ramirez because he's more than a role; he's a positive role model for people to look up to. He's a good man who wants to do good things. And he's strong. He proved that you can overcome anything to be the person you want to be."
With B&B breaking the cliched casting that too often has the Latino actor playing a hood and rarely a hero, Lopez says, "It reinforces for young people the positive image as the one to emulate."
This is Lopez's first soap. The actor, who also starred in the film Breaking the Surface about Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, says he quickly learned how fast the pace is compared with films and prime time.
"But I like that," he says.
Asked to describe Christian Ramirez to someone who is about to meet him for the first time, Lopez says: "I'm still getting to know him, but I can say this: You'll find someone who is strong, smart, generous and, oh, yes, sexy."
And on that last note B&B fans know that the couples on the show aren't given to constancy: Partners are forever splitting up and forming new relationships. It's like a cupid-driven kaleidoscope. Does Mario have any idea yet which lovely lady Christian might be moving into his space at some point?
"No idea at all," he says. "But I'm looking forward to finding out."