Actor Mark Consuelos, 52, recently joined wife Kelly Ripa as the new cohost of ABC's Live With Kelly and Mark, replacing Ryan Seacrest. Before the long-running morning talk show started its latest season on Sept. 5, Consuelos shared his memories of working on All My Children, why he loves being a New Yorker, and how he and Kelly are handling empty-nesting.
How is it different being a permanent cohost rather than filling in from time to time?
When I would just fill in, there were no stakes. Sometimes, I'd fill in last minute. I was a hero, so to speak. They were always happy to have me. It was fun, and I would go in and come out and leave [and be thinking], What's the big deal? This is not a big deal. Now it’s definitely different. I have a different appreciation for all those Monday nights where I asked my wife to go have dinner with friends at 9:30 p.m. downtown and she would say, “I have to work tomorrow.” … Now, I've essentially apologized. When you do it every single day — sometimes doing multiple shows a day — and your job is to be “on,” and you have to be ready to go, getting to bed early is probably a good idea.
Do you have a dream guest you’d love to have come on the show?
Every day it changes. Right now, I'm such a sports guy, I'd love to interview [soccer player] Lionel Messi — he just came over from Barcelona to play in the United States. I thought that was such a courageous and such a shrewd and amazing decision. I think it's gonna change American soccer.
Do you and Kelly agree to topics that are “off limits” to talk about on the show?
There are definitely things we're not going to talk about, but we're pretty open. It's probably what you would gauge to share at a dinner party or at a lunch with a bunch of people, and you've been married a long time, without even talking to your wife. You just know you don't talk about certain stuff. … We've had 27 years of marriage, plus we're 52 now, so we've seen and done a few things. I think we're pretty relatable when it comes to being married and having a point of view on life, kids, whatever the topic of the day is, even the weather.