But Fox's new comedy, "Grandfathered," may be closest to his heart. Stamos plays Jimmy, a successful, smooth and seemingly content 50-year-old bachelor running an A-list bistro and still chasing very young women when his twentysomething son that he never knew existed shows up — with an infant daughter. Stamos, who is an executive producer, says the show's story lines and characters go far beyond that premise, with humor and pathos. "People look at Jimmy — or even myself — and think we have it all together and life is easy," says Stamos. "I know from experience it's not so easy.... Jimmy wants to be better and make up for lost time."
You've talked about feeling better after about a month in rehab following a DUI. What reinvigorated you?
I think over the last six months I had to go back to my early sense of discipline, regimen.... Life can knock you off your trajectory or your proper path, and I think that started to happen with life things — career and death and divorce and just stuff. So my main goal lately is to get back to good health.... You get a wake-up call.... Life is too precious and it's time to get back to what got me here in the first place: being a good person and taking care of myself, taking care of others and being healthy enough to love.
Do you meditate?
[When I started playing drums with] the Beach Boys in the '80s, Mike Love introduced me to Transcendental Meditation. I kept that as part of my grounding process. Last year I got back into daily meditation. It has helped me a lot — centering me and giving me a certain clarity. There's something spiritual about it. To sit for 20 minutes a day and not be on my computer, phone or texting is empowering.... It clears my mind to let good things in.
How have your workouts evolved over the years?
In the 1980s and '90s, I spent a lot of time in the gym working out for a bigger body or big arms. Now, the suits I wear on "Grandfathered" are so tailored and sleek that I have [turned to] Pilates and swimming. They give me that lean look and strengthen my core. I fit workouts around my schedule. I do Pilates about three days a week, using the Reformer and other machines, as well as doing floor work and a lot of stretching. I swim laps three days a week and do a lot of push-ups and pull-ups. For cardio I run up and down a hill.
How much sleep do you get?
I think sleep is the key to looking young, and I make sure to get a good eight hours every night. I believe that earlier sleep, before midnight, is better. It has been for me. I try to get to sleep by 9 or 10. I love the mornings and get up very early to read and meditate. I feel recalibrated at that time and that I can take on the day.... If I eat well, feel good and have had enough sleep, I can deal with stress and then let it go.
What gives you the most joy in life?
I like to make people happy. I know this sounds corny [but] later in life I get more enjoyment out of doing something for other people or seeing someone have a good time or laugh. And, I like music, like the kind I do with the Beach Boys; it's universal and opens people's hearts.