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Mario Lopez Spills His Biggest Red Carpet Secrets About Interviewing Ben Affleck and More (Exclusive)

Mario Lopez Spills Red Carpet Secrets About Ben Affleck and More
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Mario Lopez has perfected the art of the red carpet interview over the years — but not all A-list interactions go to plan.

In an exclusive Us Weekly cover story, Lopez, 49, dished on some of his biggest blunders and memorable moments, noting that it’s been “a while” since he’s felt starstruck on a red carpet. “Now I’ve interviewed [celebrities] so much, they’re friendly with me and I’m cool,” he told Us.

It was hard to keep his cool, however, while meeting icons like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Those guys were larger than life,” he raved. “All the people that you liked as a little kid, [it] makes you feel like a little kid when you see them again for the first time. And now I’m friendly with them.”

While he proudly stated that he’s “always very prepared” for his interviews, Lopez confessed there was one unforgettable instance where he was the opposite. “One time when I interviewed Ben Affleck for a movie … I didn’t want to do it because I wasn’t prepared,” he recalled. “And they said, ‘We don’t have anyone, you have to do it.’ I was like, ‘Oh, God.'”

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Lopez came with questions written down, but Affleck, 51, couldn’t be fooled. “He was looking at me [like], ‘You didn’t see this, you don’t know what you’re talking about,'” Lopez told Us with a laugh. “He could see through me! And I’ll never forget that. And I was like, ‘Never again am I going to try to fake it.'”

Affleck was “cool” about the flub, according to Lopez. “I knew he knew and I … felt very awkward and uncomfortable there,” he told Us.

In his time hosting shows from Extra to Access Hollywood, Lopez has been a mainstay of awards season — and he’s always ready to party at the Golden Globes. “[That’s] always my favorite red carpet,” he explained. “The first award show of the season. … Everyone’s in a good mood and it combines TV and film and the drinks are always flowing.”

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There was one year, however, where the drinks flowed a little too freely. Lopez brought tequila to the carpet — and chaos ensued.

“I was trying to do shots with everyone and I ended up doing, my God … like, 20 something shots and it was bad,” Lopez recalled. “And it was on the cover of [The] New York Post or something, ‘Mario Lopez was doing double digits in shots.’ They were counting on the thing. It was crazy. I felt it the next day.”

The Saved by the Bell alum wasn’t the only one taking part in the fun, but his interviews were a little more loose than usual that night. “I’ll never forget, by the time I interviewed Reese Witherspoon, I was already kind of slurry a little bit,” he teased. “But she was a sweetheart. … She was very cool with me, but everyone was like, ‘Oh damn, I better not do any more shots.'”

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Lopez, who shares three children with wife Courtney Mazza, has no plans to slow down in his career anytime soon as he prepares to celebrate his milestone 50th birthday this month — and he has big goals for his next chapter.

“I want to keep doing what I’m doing … and then amp the production side of it and start to produce more, create more stories and tell more stories, [about] people in my culture as well,” he told Us. “And I want to be able to take care of my family, take care of my friends, and have us all rise and win together.”

For more on Lopez’s career, family life and more, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.

With reporting by Andrea Simpson

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