The story line of his upcoming comedy “Nine Lives” hits Mark Consuelos close to home. Not because he will become a cat, but because he definitely knows a thing or two about having to balance his career and family life.
Currently, Consuelos and wife Kelly Ripa, both 45, are living bicoastal as he films his upcoming FOX show “Pitch” in the west coast and she hosts “Live with Kelly” in New York City.
“It works well [now]. When the kids were smaller and younger, I wouldn’t necessarily take these jobs to travel,” said Consuelo, who is of Mexican and Italian descent. “Now they are older and pretty self-sufficient … I’m excited because they get to spend some time in Los Angeles.”
He said that for the right role sacrifices are made, but ultimately family is everything.
It’s a lesson that Kevin Spacey’s character, Tom Brand, also learns.
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“Nine Lives” follows Brand, a major business tycoon who has distanced himself from his wife (Jennifer Garner) and 11-year-old daughter, played by Malina Weissman.
In a rush to get a last-minute birthday present for his daughter, Brand goes into a mysterious pet shop and buys a cat. However, on his way home, Brand gets into an accident and finds himself trapped inside the cat’s body — he has a week to reconcile with his family or stay trapped in the feline’s body forever.
In the film, also starring Christopher Walken and Robbie Amell, Consuelos plays Ian Cox, a co-worker and right-hand man to Brand.
“When Kevin Spacey gets trapped in the cat, (Ian) thinks it’s now his time to make his plan happen,” Consuelos said.
“He thinks it’s time for the company to go public so everyone makes some money. That’s his focal point,” he said. “It goes against Kevin Spacey’s character.”
He said filming the movie was a great joy especially working with the likes of Spacey, Walken and director Barry Sonnenfeld.
“(He) is such an amazing director, one of my favorites,” Consuelos said. “He is so fun to work with and he’s so good at what he does. Christopher Walken — what a thrill to have scenes with Christopher Walken, he’s a legend.”
As for his feline co-stars, Consuelos said it was his first time working with the animal because he is highly allergic. Luckily, the two cats used for the movie are hypo-allergenic – “so that helped,” he said.
“I did have an ‘intimate’ day with the cat and it was on me,” Consuelos said. “Treats were safety-pinned on my clothes so he would climb up. The cats were great and the trainers were amazing.”
Cats aside, Consuelos said the film’s message of finding that balance between work and family life is one that many people can relate.
“Through the experience that Spacey’s character goes through, he learns what’s important,” he added. “Family is important. That’s the only thing that matters.”
As for “Pitch,” the FOX baseball TV drama he is also working on, the Spanish-born actor said he is very excited to be part of a project that keeps the sport and league in its purest form.
He said the show’s message to young women also hits close to home as he is daughter Lola Grace is 15 years old.
“The story [in 'Pitch'] is about the first female pitcher in major league baseball, played by Kyle Bunbury, who is amazing and will be a breakout (star),” he said. “I think the messages are of equality and empowerment.”
He added: “Underneath the layer of baseball is a story of a young woman thrown into a situation that is solely male and having to be equal and fighting for that equality is so timely. I think it’s such an important message.”
“Nine Lives” hits theaters on Friday. “Pitch” premieres this fall.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.
Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang