Mario Lopez is ready to devour a chicken salad after his handprint ceremony held at Planet Hollywood Times Square. He’s pumped about his role in the Broadway version of A Chorus Line. He describes preparing for the role to be “like cramming for midterm exams.”

“I’ve always wanted to be on Broadway; I think every actor does,” the Saved By The Bell star tells me in a private room overlooking NYC. “I liked this play ‘cause they hadn’t had a celebrity do it yet. It’s an iconic play, it’s raw, it’s character-driven, a period piece. I like the role that I play – it’s very raw, tough guy, and you get to see his vulnerable side, and I get to sing and dance.”

What surprises him most is how much work it is to put on the musical eight times a week.

“I love the cast I’m working with,” the 34-year-old actor says. “I love the whole lifestyle. But it’s hard work. The show is very taxing, too, so it’s tough.”

Mario should have no problem keeping up considering his book Knockout Fitness is in stores now. What fitness tip can he share?

“Depending on your level and how serious you want to be, try to eat every three hours, keep it real small meals, make your first meal at seven in the morning and your last meal at seven at night,” he says. “Don’t eat past twelve hours. Keep it light. Keep the carbs before three o’clock. Try to break a sweat every day. You don’t have to do the same thing. Keep your muscles guessing.”

Mario likes to listen to hiphop or dance music when he’s boxing, but when he’s running, it’s all ‘80s tunes.

What did he eat for breakfast? “I made a shake with peanut butter, granola, strawberries and bananas,” he tells me.

And now, it’s time to dig in to that chicken salad for lunch.

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation