How Saved By The Bell’s Mark-Paul Gosselaar Is Trying To Make Zack Morris Less Of A Jerk In Reboot

Saved by the Bell The College Years Zack Morris Mark-Paul Gosselaar Kelly Kapowski Tiffani Thiessen
(Image credit: Saved by the Bell: The College Years Screenshot / NBC)
(Image credit: Saved by the Bell: The College Years Screenshot / NBC)

Longtime fans of Saved by the Bell are more than aware of Zack Morris' tendency to be rude or offensive, as is actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who even apologized for one episode in particular. With the Saved by the Bell reboot on the way, many are already wondering if Zack will still possess his same arrogant and somewhat jerky attitude. Well, it looks like Gosselaar is trying to tone things down just a bit for this version of Zack Morris.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who was originally thought not be appearing in the Saved by the Bell reboot was able to make a way in his busy schedule to reprise his role for the upcoming sequel series on NBC's Peacock streaming service. Now, Gosselaar is opening up about his approach to the character. Among the things he's hoping to change is how Zack carries himself. On revitalizing the character, Gosselaar told ET:

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. 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.

It's going to take more than getting Zack’s blond hair back for Mark-Paul Gosselaar to ease back into his Saved by the Bell character. Speaking of which, Gosselaar showed off his look as Zack circa 2020 just last month and believe it or not, Gosselaar told ET he didn't have to dye his hair this time around.

When it comes to actually playing the character, Mark-Paul Gosselaar seems to be taking him more seriously, but has Zack really grown up at all? The first trailer for the Saved by the Bell reboot did not reveal much on that front, as Zack was utterly absent from it. This is mostly due to the fact that Gosselaar wasn't able to shoot much before the show shut down production. Thankfully, fans did catch a glimpse at Zack’s good friends -- Slater and Jessie.

In the Saved by the Bell reboot, we find that a lot has happened for Zack since the events of the original series. Not only are he and Kelly Kapowski married with a son. With this, one also has to wonder what the state of Zack and Kelly’s marriage is, as there have been some ominous teases regarding their future.

On a professional level, the Saved by the Bell reboot has unleashed the biggest surprise. When it picks up, Zack Morris is the governor of California. Yes, you read that correctly. Whoever voted for Zack, clearly took his campaign promises very seriously. Although, he has apparently gotten into hot water for some of his more recent decisions.

On a more personal level, I just wonder if Zack was able to be less enough of a jerk to keep Kelly as his wife, who will be played by the returning Tiffani Thiessen. So far, Mark-Paul Gosselaar has revealed that the two will be in one or two episodes together, which means we may not get too deep into weeds of their relationship status... right now.

So who else is ready to meet Zack and Kelly’s son and find out what has become of the Morris marriage? While not all of the original cast will be returning for the new series, it'll be interesting to see what Zack, Slater, Kelly, and Jesse are like in 2020.

Here is hoping there is a Season 2, and we can get some guest appearances from a few more veteran characters. The Saved by the Bell reboot is slated to premiere on NBCUniversal’s Peacock at some point this year and, while you wait for Zack to ring your bell again, check out this spring’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.