MF: Tell me about the show, Overhaulin'
CJ: The basic premise of the show is that someone tells us about a family or friends car that needs Overhaulin', we generally stick to late 60's to early 70's American muscle cars, and when we pick the cars we want to do, I dress up and steal it. Once we are in possesion of the car, we start fixing it up, and during the week we have it, we play pranks on the individual, making them think they won't get the car back, and at the end of the week we play one final prank and give them their car back. And generally speaking - they are very pleased about the Overhaul.
MF: You play some dangerous pranks, have you ever had an altercation during the process?
CJ: No altercations, I am hoping that happens since it makes for good TV, my ultimate goal is that someone takes a swing at me. That hasn't happened yet, biasically people are good natured. No physical confrontations, a lot of yelling and screaming - but nothing physical.
MF: Are you a car buff yourself?
CJ: I am a car buff, I auditioned for the show and they wanted someone who could improvise for the pranks. As a bonus I was a car guy, so it was a perfect fit for me and the show.
MF: As the host of a show like this, I imagine your driving something epic?
CJ: I actually have five cars, and they pretty much run the spectrum. The car I love the most is 1968 Plymouth GTX, it puts out about 540 horsepower, that's my muscle. I have a cruiser, which is a 1968 Plymouth Convertible, it's as big as a house. I got a '66 Chevy Pickup truck, that's my beater. And I have an '85 Porsche 911, that I use to cruise up the 405 to and from work. And my last car is 2005 Dodge Magnum, that's been redesigned and customized.
MF: Outside of Overhaulin', you've been all over the screen...
CJ: I've been acting since 1995, about 11 years or so, and Overhaulin' is my first regular job. But I've been fortunate to do guest spots on Two and a Half Men, X-Files and CSI.
MF: Any favorites?
CJ: I had a great experience doing Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen was great to work with. He was an insider on Overhaulin', so I was able to work with him again. We overhauled his best friend's vehicle and he helped us play the prank.
CSI was also cool, it was during the first season, and I got to go hang out in Vegas for five days, which was pretty cool.
MF: If there was one show on TV you could guest star on, which show would it be?
CJ: Without a doubt, The Shield. It is my favorite show on television, I love that show. I'd do it for free if they'd have me. I'd love to play an undercover cop, it's by far my favorite thing on television.
MF: How do you stay in shape during the downtime?
CJ: I like to run, I have a pretty high metabolism and I have good genes - so I don't have to do a lot of lifting. I also play a lot of golf, and when I play I like to walk the course, which is pretty good exercise. My best friend and I try to get on the tennis court and smack the ball around weekly, which is a good way to sweat.
MF: Since your on a show that's mainly for guys, do you get recognized by many women?
CJ: Living in LA people are less apt to acknowledge that they recognize you, but when I am out of LA, people stop to tell me, "I like the show." Luckily for me, we do have an aspect of the show that appeals to women, so I do get attention.
MF: What aspect appeals to women?
CJ: [Laughs] It's the makeover aspect, the emotion. When someone gets their car back and they're happy. Sometimes I shed a tear, we do a really good job presenting the emotional side of someone's whose been overhauled.