Appearing at Maserati’s U.S. Open Polo Championship at International Polo Club Palm Beach today, the wrap-up for the season, seems a natural fit for actor Antonio Sabato, Jr. A race car driver who has raced in Indianapolis, and son of Antonio Sabato, Sr. who starred in the 1966 car classic “Grand Prix,” his love of beautiful cars is well documented.
“It’s in the genes,” the Rome native confirms. “Half my life has been lived around cars, motorcycles and Formula One racing. We love cars, and we take pride in Italian car-making.”
So while it makes sense that Sabato, famous for playing hunky agent Jagger Cates on “General Hospital” and appearances in Calvin Klein ads, drives a Porche, one of his other rides is decidedly more…domestic.
“I drive an electric car, a Chevy Volt,” says Sabato, 41. “It’s something I believe in. The car is pretty much like an iPhone. It’s very reliable, easy to drive and comfortable. And I never have to go to the gas station (more than) once a month.”
That kind of practicality is refreshing in a guy who has made a career by cutting such a dashing, international man of mystery-esque figure, with his charming accent and a well-documented, well-chisled torso on display in those Calvin Klein ads, Janet Jackson’s “Love Will Never Do Without You” video and even Fox’s recent “Stars In Danger: The High Dive” celebrity diving show.
A natural competitor, he wound up winning. But sometimes victory isn’t pretty.
“I was called at the last minute when an athlete dropped out. I had a week and two days to practice,” Sabato says. “The training was really brutal. I was bruised all over the place, diving from 15 feet into water. I ended up winning but I’m glad it’s over.”
His other current projects include appearances on shows like ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy,” his own children’s acting academy and his “Sabato Jr. Ishake” line. His “General Hospital” fans were disappointed that he hasn’t taken part in the show’s 50th anniversary celebration - his last appearance as Jagger was on 2008’s spinoff “General Hospital: Night Shift.”
“I’m reminded on my Twitter page every single day, by hundreds and hundreds of fans - ‘When you gonna come back?’” Sabato says. “It’s not up to me. I wish I could call and say ‘You need to have this guy come back. The fans need him.’ But I’m always up for it.”
IF YOU GO
Antonio Sabato Jr. at International Polo Club Palm Beach, 3 p.m. today.