Not long ago, I was able to contain all my excitement to do an interview with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen. In case those names ~ ring a bell ~, it’s because they played on-screen “couple” Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski in the 90s and reprized their roles in the hilarious Peacock movie. Saved by the Bell restart. We were able to take a trip down memory lane and remember – here’s everything we learned:
THEN – What was your favorite scene or episode from the original? Saved by the Bell?
Tiffani Thiessen: It is difficult for me to choose a real favorite. But I have such strong memories of the summer episodes we did on the beach. … I would have to say that those were definitely my favorites to film for the entire show.Mark-Paul Gosselaar: I think we both echo that. Because yeah, we talked about this on my podcast. [Writer’s note: The podcast is called Zack to the Future and you should def give it a listen!] and people always come up to us and ask us, “What is your favorite moment? What is your favorite scene?” And for us it was work, you know? And people say, “Well, how can you not remember? It was such an important part of your life!” But we were young. And it was work. However, we remember misplaced moments … and I think one of the reasons why [Tiffani] and we both feel like we remember the beach episodes because they were off-place. That was in the place, it was not in our usual surroundings. For us it was like going on an excursion. You don’t remember what you did in school, but you remember your excursions and the summer episodes for us were the best excursions.
BuzzFeed: Did you save anything from the summer episodes? Do you like swimsuits or surfboards? Or something from the series in general?
MG: I wish it was more sentimental, because the only reason I’m watching the episodes now it’s for my podcast. Like, there were these Screech / Dustin Diamond masks that everyone wore and I wish I had stuck with one of them, or as a Bayside t-shirt. There were so many accessories and I don’t really have anything from the program.
TT: I have a pair of Levi’s, which is good because the 90s are back now. [laughs]. In fact, I had the entire cast and crew sign those jeans … I also still have the Letterman jacket that we got.
NOW – Do you have any favorite episodes or scenes from the reboot? If it was one you were in or one you saw?
MG: Honestly, the episode that I directed. [Writer’s note: The episode in question is Episode 8 of the upcoming season.] There were some scenes of Tiffani and Elizabeth [Berkley Lauren, who reprised her role as Jessie Spano] have in the office and they are amazing. I was a little nervous to put those two in a room with so much dialogue and not much else, but you two pulled it off. It was a lot of fun to watch.
THEN – What were some of your favorite off-camera memories?
TT: Mark-Paul and I have to go abroad! The show premiered in all these different countries, so we were able to tour most of the United States with the cast, but they made us go international. We went to France and Belgium … it was my first time abroad. So the memories of traveling with Mark-Paul, being 16 years old and being in Europe, and being exposed to different cultures was so memorable. Those trips are what sparked my love for cooking and culinary arts.
MG: Totally, can I say this? I’m going to say it: me, Tiffani and my mother got high together in Amsterdam …
TT: Mark-Paul was a complete gentleman. He held my hair back while I was throwing up.
MG: Yes, again, I don’t remember much of the show, but I do remember those experiences. Did they give us Cartier watches while we were in Paris? We ate a lot of croque-monsieurs and croque-madames. We played pool a lot … but my favorite part of that trip was when we went down to Bordeaux and down the sand dunes.
TT: I tried snails for the first time!
MG: We drank very good wine. I like very much.
NOW – What was it like meeting and playing your old characters together? And work with the cast?
TT: For me, I got to know the kids and hang out with them a lot more this season, as in season 1 we were all estranged from social media. I got to know them a lot more, which was fun because they are really cool kids. And they are so professional! They were much more mature and professional than us. [laughs].
BuzzFeed: And what about working with Mario and Elizabeth specifically?
TT: Well, most of us have kept in touch. Like, Mark-Paul and I are still very close, our spouses are very close. We actually went on a trip to Denver together! Same with Mario [Lopez, who reprised his role as Slater] and Elizabeth; actually I think the biggest reunion for me was with Ed [Alonzo, who reprised his role as Max] because I had not seen it in years. It was definitely fun and sweet to watch since it had been so long. Also, seeing Lark [Voohries, who reprised her role as Lisa Turtle] it was huge for us too. It was a lot of fun having her back.
MG: Yeah, it was great to see Lark and Ed again after all these years. But Mario and I often go out together and Elizabeth and I keep in touch; You know, after the show ended, we all went our separate ways for a period of time, but now we are older and we all have children of the same age. , so it brought us all together. Plus, you know, social media makes it easier to keep in touch.
THEN / NOW – Have a favorite callback / tribute the reboot makes to the original series?
TT: There are MANY that you will have to look at and discover. But I will say that they were very smart with the way they included them in the new series.
THEN NOW – What was your initial reaction when you heard that? Saved by the Bell was I getting the reboot treatment?
TT: It was different for Mark-Paul and me [laughs]. Do you want to have this, Mark-Paul?
MG: Yes, I’ll be diplomatic about everything [laughs]. You know, by years People have asked if we’d be interested in doing a reboot, and I think we made it very clear that, you know, after the initial run of the series and making sure we didn’t get pigeonholed, we all had a great experience. , but we could not understand a project that celebrate the original while still feeling organic. For example, we had fun with Fallon and replayed those characters, but did we come up with plot lines and writing that were smarter and more fun? We were excited, but nothing viable appeared on our desks. So when Tracy Wiegfield got attached, we all got excited, and for her to think about what she did … I mean, after that initial introduction meeting, I was on board. I get astonished. What Tracy did with this IP was above and beyond anything I could have imagined.
THEN / NOW – In the reboot, Zack and Kelly are married and have their son, Mac, but before the reboot, where did you see your characters end?
TT: I’ll be honest, I don’t think I gave it much thought. [laughs]. But I will say that it definitely makes sense that they are still married. That does not surprise me. I I am surprised they only had one child. I would have expected … more [laughs].
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Mark-Paul and Tiffani! Be sure to catch this iconic duo in season 2 of Saved by the Bell, now broadcasting on Peacock!