Michael Consuelos Interview: "Let's Get Physical" Is A Family Affair
Written by Marc Parker and Melissa Benefield Parker, Posted in Interviews Actors
Image attributed to Michael Consuelos
Born June 2, 1997, Michael Consuelos is the oldest child of actors and TV personalities Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. He is four years older than his sister, Lola, and six years older than his younger brother, Joaquin. Consuelos played the younger version of his father’s character, Hiram Lodge, in the supernatural, horror crime drama television series Riverdale.
Consuelos stars alongside Jenna Dewan, Jennifer Irwin, Bradley Stryker and Barbara Wallace in Lifetime’s Let’s Get Physical, which premieres October 15, 2022. Based on a true story, the movie is the story of a fitness instructor, who by day teaches fitness and dance to soccer moms, but by night leads a double life running a sophisticated prostitution ring with a customer list that includes very prominent men in the community. Let’s Get Physical is produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos and Jenna Dewan.
"I’ve learned a lot from both of my parents on the producing side and on the acting side. I worked with my dad on Riverdale, and when I was doing that, it was really cool to see how he does his thing. I learned a lot from working with him."
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Michael, with Let’s Get Physical, is this the first time you’ve collaborated with both of your parents?
Michael Consuelos: Yeah, definitely. It was a lot of fun. I think what was really fun was that they were very hands off about the whole thing. They let me do my own things with the character. It was a really amazing collaborative experience, I think.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: I see on their production website (Milojo) that you’re on the team and listed as “Intern.”
Michael Consuelos: (laughs) Yes. That is kind of dated. I was an intern back in like middle school. I ended up going to college for production. I did some producing as well as acting. I guess I got my start interning at their production company, and I saw how it happened. It really gave me my first minuscule taste of it.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Did they offer you advice?
Michael Consuelos: Sure. I’ve learned a lot from both of my parents on the producing side and on the acting side. I worked with my dad on Riverdale, and when I was doing that, it was really cool to see how he does his thing. I learned a lot from working with him.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Tell me about Let’s Get Physical and your character.
Michael Consuelos:Let’s Get Physical is a story about a woman who moves to a small town and kind of breathes new life into it. She runs a Zumba studio, and all of the local women come. It helps them with their confidence with their marriages and really does a lot of good for the community. But on the side, at night, she’s running a brothel with the local men, the husbands of the women she’s befriended and empowered. It’s a really nuanced story because, in a lot of ways, if the story were told differently, she could be seen as a villainess. But it’s morally gray, you know. I think it was really a unique way to tell a story.
My character is not really involved with the drama. He’s kind of like the neighbor. I think he feels, once he’s found out what’s happening, a little annoyed that he was left out, which I think was pretty hilarious. What a lot of people would see as a bad thing, he wasn’t involved in it at all and regrets that he wasn’t.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Yes. “Petey” was just about the only male who wasn’t involved in the after-hour activities.
Michael Consuelos: Exactly.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: The gray area you speak about is the fact that she (Sadie) gets arrested, and the men who participated do not.
Michael Consuelos: Definitely. Right. I think what I really enjoy about this story is that it really makes you think about a lot of this stuff, you know? It’s way more open-ended as to what was right and wrong, and who should have been punished versus who did and wasn’t. It was unique in that way.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Did you know Jenna Dewan, who plays Sadie, before this project?
Michael Consuelos: I met her a while back. She and my mom are pretty close. It was really a pleasure to work with her. In my admittedly limited experience, when someone’s leading the production as the lead actress, it sets the tone. It was all high energy and laughs and a really amazing collaborative experience. Jenna was really great to work with.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Jenna has said that your parents raised you and your siblings so well, she wanted advice on how to raise her own kids. That’s quite a compliment.
Michael Consuelos: Oh, well, I appreciate that. It was very, very nice of her.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Have you taken any acting classes, Michael?
Michael Consuelos: Yeah. When I went to NYU, I focused mainly on production and writing, but I also took acting classes. I write and I produce when I’m not auditioning for stuff. So I’m fairly busy. But I take classes when I can.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: When you were a child, did you realize what your parents did for a living? I’m old enough to remember when Kelly and Mark starred in the daytime drama All My Children.
Michael Consuelos: Yeah. I am, too. I grew up basically on Live. Even before that, I would go to All My Children, and I would sit in the makeup chair with my mom, and I’d watch her get her makeup done. I remember there was one story. I can’t remember the episode, but I think my dad’s character saves my mom from a burning building or something. I went in to school, and I said, “My dad rescued my mom from a fire last night.”
No one believed me. As it turns out, it was a scene on a television show (laughs). So I was never … I just always accepted what they did. I knew that it wasn’t particularly normal compared to most. It was just something I lived with.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: And you realized that other kids’ parents had different occupations.
Michael Consuelos: When you’re a kid, you just go with stuff. I just went to school, and I had friends. I just accepted that what my parents did was different than what their parents did. It didn’t really strike me as strange or anything like that.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Did you always know you wanted to be in the entertainment industry?
Michael Consuelos: Absolutely. I’ve always really enjoyed telling stories and being in stories. I studied production, writing and acting. So in every aspect of my life now, I am helping stories be told, and that is the only thing I could ever see myself doing. It’s what I really enjoy.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You started out as a production assistant on The Goldbergs?
Michael Consuelos: Yes, actually. Yeah. That was my first real taste of major production in television, and I’ve gone on to do some other stuff now. I’m writing a lot. I’m writing like crazy.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Screenplays?
Michael Consuelos: The funny thing is I studied screenplay writing in school. But I grew up reading a lot of Stephen King. That’s my literary idol. He’s big on descriptions. I would get marked down on my screenplays because I would spend ages describing something you typically just do in three lines. I’d go, “That’s not enough!” So I’m actually focusing on novels and stuff. We’ll see if anything comes of it. That’s what I’m working on now.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: In the horror genre?
Michael Consuelos: That’s it. That’s my main inspiration, so horror’s definitely my genre.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: If you weren’t writing so much these days, what kind of acting roles would you prefer going forward?
Michael Consuelos: Gosh. In an ideal world, I’d do both. But I really enjoy villainous characters.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: So you want to be a bad guy?
Michael Consuelos: Definitely. That’s more fun to play, and I haven’t done it yet. Petey, the character in Let’s Get Physical, is such a sappy, nice, kind of dumb guy, and I’d love to do the exact opposite. I’d jump at the chance to do that.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Your sister, Lola, recently released some music. Is that something she seriously wants to pursue as a career?
Michael Consuelos: She’s been singing since she could talk or since I’ve known her. I used to find it really annoying when I was little, but I’d always admit that she was really good at it. So I’m really happy for her. It’s been a long time coming, and the best is yet to come. I think she’s insanely talented, and I could never do it (laughs). My singing would deafen people.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Spoken like a proud brother. What are Joaquin’s aspirations?
Michael Consuelos: He’s actually studying acting in Michigan. I think I have about maybe four years in a career before they realize, “Oh, let’s go for the younger, more talented, more handsome one.” (laughs) So I’m soaking it up now before he gets in the business.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Maybe you two could work together in the near future.
Michael Consuelos: That would be amazing!
Smashing Interviews Magazine: You have a project called Dissocia coming up?
Michael Consuelos: That was a pilot I shot back in May. I played a vice-principal, and that was exciting for me because up to that point, I’d never played an adult. Typically, I’d play high schoolers. I’ll be honest. Playing a high schooler really stinks because if you have a beard like I do, you have to shave it three times a day (laughs). So that was kind of a drag. It was cool playing somebody my own age. I don’t know what will become of Dissocia or when it’s coming out. It was a pilot. I don’t know if it is picked up yet.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: What are your other interests?
Michael Consuelos: I love writing. I love reading. I’m a big reader. I’m constantly reading. If I’m not reading, I’m listening to audiobooks. It’s a big thing. As well as tell stories, I like to hear them or read them. I’m a big runner. Whenever I can, I try to run. I live in the city, so I’m always dodging cars when I’m running, so that’s always fun to add to the drama. That’s really it.
Smashing Interviews Magazine: Is there anything you’d like to add, Michael?
Michael Consuelos: I think we covered it. Thank you very much for this opportunity! It’s been a blast!
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