Mark-Paul Gosselaar on Becoming Zack Morris Again (Exclusive)
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is so excited to get back to Bayside!
The actor is reprising his iconic role as Zack Morris in the upcoming Saved By the Bell reboot, however, he didn’t quite get the chance to fully rejoin his fellow Tigers before production on the series was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“They had been in production since January, but because of my schedule and because of Tiffani Thiessen’s schedule, we could not join the production when it started,” Gosselaar told ET’s Nischelle Turner via video chat on Thursday. “We had about two weeks left of filming, just Tiffani and my footage, but it’s put on hold. So hopefully we are going to get back to that…whenever we can.”
The Mixed-ish star said the first trailer for the Peacock reboot — which premiered on Wednesday — was “pretty amazing” to watch. “I hadn’t been on set, everything for us has just been prep, but watching the trailer and seeing how it’s shot, I think it’s very smart.. It looks amazing and the content is great.”
And while he’s not quite back to Bayside yet, he was able to give fans a look at his return to Zack’s signature blond locks on his Instagram last month.
“For Mixed-ish, I am a little bit more hippie and facial hair,” he noted of the transformation. “For Saved by the Bell, I have to be clean-shaved and obviously, my hair is blonde…Thankfully, I didn’t have to dye my hair this time — which I did for six years when I was on the original show.”
In addition to Thiessen, Gosselaar rejoins former co-stars Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley on the series, which is set back at Bayside with a new generation of teens — one of whom is the son of Zack and his high-school sweetheart, Kelli Kapowski (Thiessen).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Zack — a charming schemer throughout his high school and college years — is the one behind the big shake-up that kicks off the series. Now governor of California, he “gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools and proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state, including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the overprivileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality,” per the reboot’s official logline.
But getting back into character for Gosselaar meant more than just his hair. While he said he “can’t wait to play the character again,” he admitted that Zack — or rather, Governor Morris — isn’t the easiest character to dive back into.
“I was taking the week we had before the lockdown to get back into the character, to understand him, because there is a way that he says things and if you say it in the wrong way, it can come off very douchey,” he recalled. “The actor who plays my son, Mitchell Hoog, I think he’s brilliantly cast, and he does a really good job of toeing that line — saying things that are offensive, but if you say them in the light of the Zack Morris way, it’s effervescent and you can’t take offense to it.”
Mixed-ish airs Tuesdays at 9pm PT/ET on ABC. The Saved by the Bell reboot is set to debut on NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock, later this year.
‘Mixed-ish' Star Mark-Paul Gosselaar Talks Returning to Bayside High for ‘Saved by the Bell' Reboot
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