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The heart and soul of The Passage is the father/daughter-like relationship between Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Brad Wolgast and Saniyya Sidney as Amy Bellafonte. They carry the show on their chemistry. Gosselaar is now a 44-year-old father in real life, and he's in a perfect position to give advice to his 12-year-old co-star. He started modeling when he was only 5, and appeared in several commercials and TV episodes before creating the character of Zack Morris on Good Morning, Miss Bliss in the late '80s and bringing Zack to the now iconic '90s show Saved By the Bell.
He really just told me to have fun and to stay a kid because in the industry sometimes you can mature faster. I really took it to heart and I carry it with all the other advice that actors and actresses have given me till this day. So for him to tell me that I really took it in and I was like, 'Thank you that's very special.' It was great. He gives me great advice and he makes it fun and it comes easier when it's fun.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar would know about being a kid in the industry, although he recently admitted he doesn't remember too much of his time on Saved by the Bell.
MPG is a fun guy and a big jokester, Saniyya Sidney added. She said the fact that he has two daughters of his own makes it easy and comfortable to talk to him, because he can relate. She knows the chemistry between their characters is special, and it was important for them to build a relationship off-screen too.
You can also see their playful relationship in some of their Twitter banter, including this praise from MPG to Saniyya after last week's episode:
Saniyya Sidney is doing a fantastic job in the lead role of Amy Bellafonte. Her take on the character from the books is clever, funny, loving, guarded -- just everything, a true three-dimensional human it's easy to root for. She already has a lot of acting experience under her belt from Fences, Hidden Figures, the 2016 Roots remake, and American Horror Story: Roanoke. One can imagine the sky is the limit for her future, and she's in good company with MPG there to show her what to do -- and what NOT to do -- as she grows up in the entertainment industry.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar has talked about loving The Passage but worrying it may suffer the same one-season-and-done fate of his 2016 TV show Pitch. He knows people need to watch the show each Monday night for the Fox show to get good ratings, and the producers have also suggested it's better not to wait to binge the whole season.
The Passage continues Season 1 tonight (Monday, February 25) with "You Are Like The Sun," airing at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. It's one of the many shows now airing in midseason 2019.