U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, considered a top contender to be Mitt Romney’s running mate on the GOP presidential ticket, has a family connection to the entertainment industry: For 13 years, his sister Veronica was married to the the actor who played the bulked-up, speedo-wearing yoga instructor in the comedy Couples Retreat.
Carlos Ponce had the role of Salvador, the “uninhibited” yoga teacher in the 2009 film starring Vice Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis, and Kristen Bell among others.
Here is the yoga scene–some critics have written that this is one of the few actually funny sequences in the entire movie:
Like Rubio, Ponce’s parents are from Cuba, but he was born in Puerto Rico before the family moved to Miami. Ponce became a big star on telenovelas and is also a TV host and an accomplished singer and composer.
Ponce had a part in Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo among many other movies and he also appeared on Beverly Hills 90210 and 7th Heaven and other TV series. In 2006, he co-hosted the Miss Universe pageant.
Ponce is currently starring in the new TV series Hollywood Heights–the first-ever telenovela adapted for the U.S. audience–as Max Duran. The daily series airs on Nickelodeon.
Couples Retreat, which was filmed primarily on the island of Bora Bora, made money at the box office but was not well received otherwise (12% favorable on Rotten Tomatoes)
The Rubio-Ponce connection came to light in a new book about the senator, The Rise of Marco Rubio, by Manuel Roig-Franzia, which also reveals that Rubio likes hip-hop.
Ponce and Veronica apparently divorced in 2010.