Mark Consuelos opens up about 'embracing' father — rather than boyfriend — roles

/ Source: TODAY

Mark Consuelos says that it’s the strong women in his life who make him who he is.

“I was raised by a very powerful and intelligent dynamic woman,” he told TODAY on Sept. 24 while celebrating his role as a spokesperson for HeForShe’s #MorePowerfulTogether campaign. “And I am married to a very intelligent, dynamic woman. We are limiting ourselves when we eliminate or exclude half of our population, which are women, their voices, their ideas, their contributions.”

In fact, the 47-year-old said that he’s horrified that statistically women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts' earnings and he works with wife Kelly Ripa to ensure that doesn’t happen to their teenage daughter, Lola.

“Right now, there are more men in positions of power,” he said. “And to think that my daughter could still face a wage gap despite working just as hard or harder than the boys her age is unconscionable. (Ripa and I) have these conversations with our kids so that we can make a change.”

But, more than supporting a campaign or talking about gender inequality, Consuelos credits one main thing for ensuring his daughter’s success: her mom.

“The biggest step to show that she is just as good as boys is her mother who is an amazing role model,” he said. “She works, she provides, she contributes, and she shapes the conversations in our lives. (Lola) is getting to look at her mom and it also sparks conversations with my boys. We as men have to be a part of the solution.”

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While Consuelos is working on a worldwide level to ensure his daughter has an equal opportunity as her two brothers, he’s also helping on a more personal level by completing college applications together.

“We are in the middle of the application process with my daughter right now for college, and she just started the essays last night,” he said. “It brings back so many memories. It just seems like it was last year that we were doing that for Michael, and he is essentially halfway done with college.”

The 21-year-old film student and television student is not only close to being finished with college, but also just landed a role on "Riverdale" playing a younger version of his father (Hiram Lodge).

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“It just happened by accident,” Consuelos explained about his son getting the role. “The producers used his photo last year as an old picture of my character in the trophy case and thought it would be awesome to use Michael in a flashback episode. He went in, and he read for the producers, and he got the role. I am so proud of him.”

And while he’s used to being a dad offscreen, it’s playing one on TV that’s new to him. “I used to be the boyfriend of the girlfriend that the father didn't like,” he said. “Now, I am the father that doesn't like the boyfriend. It's a natural transition. I am embracing it. It’s a lot of fun.”

As for the upcoming third season of "Riverdale," Consuelos said, "It’s going to be darker."

"It’s a super dynamic show," he added. "I love playing this character so much, as bad as I thought he was last year, he is topping himself for sure."