Photo Credit: Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic
Kelly Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos is probably pretty psyched to check out Channing Tatum's upcoming male-stripper movie Magic Mike when it hits theaters June 29 -- and not because he wants to see Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and Alex Pettyfer get their erotic dance on. No, it's because, just like the characters in the film, Consuelos got his showbiz start as a stripper in South Florida! In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Ripa, 41, opens up about her significant other's time as a go-go boy.
"A lot of hot guys in Hollywood have done that," she says of Consuelos, 41. "He was straight out of college, and he went to Notre Dame and finished his degree at the University of South Florida. So, there he was in South Florida, he's gorgeous, looking to break into show business, so he started off as a roadie to a group of these guys, and then they talked him into stripping."
There was never any big terrible reveal about it, either. Ripa says that Consuelos was very open with her about his pre-Hollywood stripping stint. In fact, Kelly even has an old pin-up calendar of her hunky hubby.
"He is so unbelievably gorgeous, with a Mexican father, Italian mother born in Spain and raised in Italy, and I will never give him up," she says.
Consuelos and Ripa met while both working on the soap opera All My Children, and they were married in 1996. They have three children: Michael, 14, Lola, 10, and Joaquin, 9. Even though she loves her current gig as host of Live! With Kelly, Ripa says that she misses the freedom that came with being a soap opera star.
In fact, it her experience on All My Children coupled with a general boredom with big weddings -- and not Consuelos' stripper past -- that prompted the couple to elope rather than have a blowout ceremony.
"My parents worship Mark. My husband is probably the most responsible, hard-working, diligent person I know. He is very smart and stable," she says. "We eloped because his brother and sister had also just had weddings, everybody had just got married, our characters on All My Children were married to each other three different times already. We felt as if we had endured enough weddings. We didn't feel like we needed the big party."
But they've stayed happy ever since, both working in the entertainment business and taking the time to raise their children. According to Ripa, the two of them are "kind of strict" parents.
"We are a little bit old-school that way," she admits. "There is only one computer in the entire house for the family to share. The computer is just for homework. They are allowed to TiVo but watch TV only on the weekends. TV during the week interferes with schoolwork. There is too much of that 'Let me hurry through, slop this out on the page so I can go watch some television.'"