Tiffani Thiessen And Mark-Paul Gosselaar Shared Some BTS "Saved By The Bell" Secrets, And I'm SO EXCITED

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Not so long ago I was able to curb all my excitement to have an interview with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen. If those names ~ ring ~, it's because they played the 'it couple' Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski on-screen in the 1990s, repeating their roles in Peacock's hilarious reboot of Saved by the Bell. We were able to take a trip back in time and reminisce - here is everything we learned:
THEN - What was your favorite scene or episode from the original Saved by the Bell?
Tiffani Thiessen: I find it difficult to choose a real favorite. But I have such strong memories of the summer episodes we shot on the beach. ... I have to say that these films were definitely my favorites throughout the show. Mark-Paul Gosselaar: I think we both reflect that. Because yes, we talked about it on my podcast [Author's note: The podcast is called Zack to the Future and you should definitely check it out!] Favorite scene? "And it was work for us, you see? 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 moments that are offset ... and I think one of the reasons [Tiffani] and I remember each other remembering the beach episodes is that they were offset. That was on site, it wasn't in our usual environment. For us it was like an excursion. You don't remember what you did in school, but you remember your excursions and the summer episodes were the best excursions for us.
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BuzzFeed: Did you keep anything from the summer episodes? Like the swimsuits or surfboards? Or something from the series in general?
MG: I wish I was more sentimental because the only reason I'm watching the episodes now is because of my podcast. For example, there were these Screech / Dustin Diamond masks that everyone was wearing, and I wish I had kept one of them - or like a Bayside t-shirt. There were so many props and I really didn't get anything from the show.
TT: I have a pair of Levi's, which is nice because the 90s are back now [laughs]. I actually got the entire cast and crew to sign these jeans ... I also have the letterman jacket we got.
NOW - Do you have any favorite episodes or scenes from the restart? Was it one that you were in or one that you saw?
MG: Honestly, the episode I directed. [Author's Note: The episode in question is episode 8 of the upcoming season.] There were a couple of scenes that Tiffani and Elizabeth [Bekley Lauren who repeated her role as Jessie Spano] have in the office and they are amazing. I was a little nervous that I got the two of them into a room with so much dialogue and not much more, but you two did it. It was so fun to watch.
THEN - What were some of your favorite off-camera memories?
TT: Mark-Paul and I actually have to go abroad! The show premiered in all of these different countries so we almost got to tour the US with the cast, but they made us both go international. We went to France and Belgium ... it was my first time abroad. The memories of traveling with Mark-Paul - when I was 16 years old and in Europe - and exposure to different cultures were so unforgettable. These trips sparked my love for the kitchen and the art of cooking.
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MG: Absolutely - may I say that? I'll say it - me, Tiffani and my mother got high together in Amsterdam ...
TT: Mark-Paul was an absolute gentleman. He held my hair back when I vomited.
MG: Yeah, again, I don't remember much from the show, but I do remember those experiences. For example, we received Cartier watches as a gift when we were in Paris? We ate a lot of croque monsieurs and croque madames. We played a lot of pool ... but my favorite part of this trip was when we went to Bordeaux and went down the sand dunes.
TT: I tried snail for the first time!
MG: We drank really good wine. Like a lot.
NOW - What was it like to reunite and play your old characters together? And how about working with the cast?
TT: For me, I got to know the children and spent a lot more time with them because we were all socially distant in season 1. I got to know them so much better which was fun because they are really great kids. And they are so professional! They were much more mature and professional than we ever were [laughs].
BuzzFeed: And what about working with Mario and Elizabeth?
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TT: Well most of us stayed in touch. Mark-Paul and I are still very close - our spouses are very close. We were actually on a trip to Denver together! The same goes for Mario [Lopez, who was repeating his role as Slater] and Elizabeth - I think the biggest reunion for me was Ed [Alonzo, who was repeating his role as Max] because I hadn't seen him in years. It was definitely fun and cute to see him since it had been so long. Seeing Lark [Voohries who repeated her role as Lisa Turtle] was also great for us. Really fun having them back.
MG: Yeah, it was great to see Lark and Ed again after all these years. But Mario and I hang out a lot and Elizabeth and I keep in touch - you know, we all went our separate ways for a while after the show ended, but now we're all adults and we all have kids the same age, that got us all up together again. Plus, social media makes it easier to keep in touch.
THEN / NOW - Do you have a favorite recall / tribute that the original series relaunch does?
TT: There are SO MANY that you just have to see and figure out. But I'll say they were really smart with the way they sprinkled them on the new series.
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THEN / NOW - What was your first reaction when you heard that Saved by the Bell was getting restart treatment?
TT: It was different with Mark-Paul and me [laughs]. Do you want to take this, Mark-Paul?
MG: Yeah, I'll be diplomatic on the whole thing [laughs]. You know, for years people have been asking if we would be interested in a reboot and I think we made it very clear that - you know, after the first run of the series and making sure we weren't typed - we all were had a great experience but couldn't fully focus on a project that celebrates the original and feels organic at the same time. We had fun with Fallon, for example, and playing those characters all over again, but with lyrics and storylines that were smarter and funnier? We were excited, but nothing useful hit our desks. When Tracy Wiegfield joined us, we were all excited - and that she would come up with what she was doing ... I mean, after that first pitch meeting, I was on board. It blew me away. What Tracy did with this IP exceeded anything I could ever have imagined.
THEN / NOW - On the restart, Zack and Kelly are married and have their son Mac, but where did you see your characters end up before the restart?
TT: I'm being honest, I don't think I was thinking too much [laughs]. But I have to say it definitely makes sense that they are still married. I am not shocked by this. I am shocked that they only had one child. I would have expected ... more [laughs].
Thank you for talking to us, Mark-Paul and Tiffani! Be sure to see this iconic duo in Season 2 of Saved by the Bell which is now streamed on Peacock!
In this article:
Tiffani Thiessen
American actress (* 1974)
Mark-Paul Gosselaar
US-American actor

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