Mario Lopez Reveals The Real Reason He Did That Colonel Sanders Movie - Exclusive

When Lifetime announced that it had partnered with KFC for a "Lifetime Original Mini-Movie" along with a promo photo featuring Saved By The Bell's Mario Lopez dressed as Colonel Sanders — with the iconic bow tie and goatee (via Twitter) — we weren't sure what to make of it. Sure, this had all the telltale signs of a prank. But this was Lifetime, and you don't go to Lifetime for laughs, right? You go to Lifetime because you're jonesing for entertaining, dramatic TV twists (via A+E).

It turns out, A Recipe For Seduction, which premiered on Lifetime at noon on Sunday, December 13, delivered 15 minutes of suspense, betrayal, and intrigue that played, nevertheless, a bit like satire (and doubled as an ad for KFC). It tells the story of a young heiress who falls for her family's new cook — the hunky, sensitive Harland Sanders (played by Lopez). The budding romance is threatened by the young heiress's mother, who conspires to keep her daughter and Sanders apart. "He has a secret recipe that's going to change the world," the young heiress says at one point — a reference to the real Colonel Sanders' secret special blend of 11 herbs and spices (via Chicago Tribune).

As the credits rolled, we found ourselves craving a bucket of the Colonel's Extra Crispy chicken and wondering how this delightful mini-movie even happened. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to ask Mario Lopez, during an exclusive interview with Mashed.

Mario Lopez never expected the buzz he got for playing Colonel Sanders

More than three months after A Recipe For Seduction was released, we were still dying to learn how Mario Lopez decided to get involved. When Mashed spoke with him, Lopez was busy launching his new virtual restaurant, Mario's Tortas Lopez, in partnership with Planet Hollywood's Robert Earl. Specializing in Mexican-themed sandwiches and bowls, Mario's Tortas Lopez has no physical presence, but rather, it partners with existing restaurants that then prepare its menu items based on recipes provided by Mario's Tortas Lopez. Delivery only, it's available exclusively on Grubhub.

So, did playing Colonel Sanders offer Lopez any insight into the food business? Well, of course not! The film was a "fun little spoof," Lopez told Mashed. "It was supposed to be very tongue in cheek." Turns out, Lopez got involved with A Recipe for Seduction while he was already filming another Lifetime movie, Feliz NaviDAD. "I didn't think it was going to get as much buzz as it did because a lot of people played him before me," Lopez said. "[It] just got a lot of pickup [...] We had a lot of fun with it."

You can watch Mario Lopez's turn as Colonel Sanders online through Jean Productions and learn more about his delivery-only restaurant, Mario's Tortas Lopez.