Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Zack Attack! Actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar takes a look back at his 20-year film and TV career

Entertainment Weekly writes:
Mark-Paul Gosselaar suits up as a lawyer in TNT's new ''Raising the Bar.'' He recently debriefed us on his lengthy resume (as well as his plans to read Screech's tell-all).

Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1988-1989)
Saved by the Bell (1989-1993) (pictured)
Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993-1994)
Role: Zack Morris
Two bits of trivia:

(1) Gosselaar's eagerly awaiting Dustin Diamond's 2010 Saved by the Bell tell-all. ''I read that it was about sex, hardcore partying, and drug use, and I'm thinkin' well, somebody's gonna sell books. I can't wait to read it, 'cause I'd like to know what kind of hardcore partying I did and about this rampant sex that was happening. We were all very open with the fact that we all dated each other — we were kids — but...I can't wait to get an advance copy.'' Does he think he'll actually get one? ''No, because I'm still waiting for my T-shirt that I bought to save his house.''

(2) Gosselaar met his wife, Lisa, in 1993 when she had a bit part on an episode of The College Years. ''She walks down the hallway, Zack says something, and the audience goes wooooo. A week later, we were dating, and we've been together ever since.'' They have two children.

Film: The TV and Straight-to-DVD Movies He'd Rather Not Talk About (1995-1997)
Film Role(s): Various paycheck roles

The three years after Saved by the Bell ended were tough, Gosselaar admits. He didn't get offered the kind of projects he expected to; he only got offered ''the ones that even I close my eyes when I watch.'' (We don't think he's joking when he says he wouldn't tell people why he was going out of town, when he'd leave to shoot one of them.) Pictured is our selected sampling. From top to bottom: 1997's Dying to Belong, which starred Hilary Swank; 1996's She Cried No (a.k.a. Freshman Fall), in which he plays a frat boy who date-rapes Candace Cameron (!); and 1996's Specimen, in which he learns that he is alien spawn. ''Those three years really opened my eyes to what could happen,'' he says. ''That's what shaped me to be very, very appreciative of the work that I have now.''

Television Show: Law & Order: SVU (2001)
Role: Peter Ivanhoe, a.k.a. Wesley Jansen

While working on the drama D.C., Gosselaar routinely told Wolf's producers to keep him in mind for a guest spot. They cast him as a gay porn star. ''That's the role they came up with,'' he says, with a chuckle. ''It was a great role, so I was pleased to be given the opportunity, but I had just signed on to do NYPD Blue, and they had no idea I was going on Law & Order: SVU until it actually aired. One of the NYPD Blue executive producers, who had been a detective for 25 years, was very disappointed — in a fun way, I think. ''You're playing a cop now, and then you're a gay porn star?''

Mark-Paul Gosselaar takes a look back at his 20-year film and TV career. READ MORE

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