Saved Bell is finally back after almost 30 years with a whole new generation of students! The show recently debuted at the Peacock Festival, where both members and newcomers attended. Recently, there was an opportunity to talk to some of the stars of the show, including Dexter Darden (Devante Young), Mitchell Hoog (Mac Morris), Haskiri Velasquez (Daisy Jimenez) and Belmont Cameli (Jamie Spano). Our full interview with Darden took place yesterday, and next up is Huth, who has the exciting task of playing the son of Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Kelly Kapowski (Tiffany Thiessen). We asked Hug to tell us about his work with the stars of the original and his hopes for a possible second season….
You have the best job of all, being the son of Zack and Kelly. I read that you didn’t watch the original show, but learned from the YouTube clips. Have you spoken to Marc-Paul Gosselaar? Did he have any advice on how to play against Morris?
Mitchell High: In fact, I didn’t meet Mark until he was a regular on another show, so I only met him at the table when he was, I think, doing the sixth reading. Fifth or sixth. Actually, I met him quite late. So I was lonely, in a way, I guess. I probably shouldn’t talk about it myself, because I had a great team of writers and producers helping me out.
I think in my head, I knew who I was and my place in the arc of everything in this story, but there were definitely little things…. We were on set and Tracy Wigfield, our showrunner, or one of the other writers or producers came up to us and said Hey, let’s take a look because it’s kind of an ode to the original. I’d say: Okay, cool. Then I watch and learn a little.
SIBI: Mark-Paul was not the only person in the original. Tiffany Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez participated in the show. Did any of them have wisdom?
MH: I don’t think they gave us any advice on how to proceed. I think it was one of the best things, they knew it was kind of a reinterpretation of Bayside, and they really gave us the freedom to say, what do you want to do with it? We made him what he was then. There was a great, beautiful, happy camaraderie. And now they’ve sort of handed us over. It was like, you know, we’re all together in this new world, so let’s deal with it. So they gave us freedom, so to speak. And I think it is: Have fun with it. I think it was the best advice they could have given us.
SIBI: I like that the show doesn’t shy away from social issues. They invoke white privilege and make fun of the original, but not in the wrong way. What aspect of these things attracted you to the project?
MH: I think it all fits together, especially at a time like this. People need comfort, and we need nostalgia and some kind of memories, maybe of times when we were a little better off. And I certainly didn’t know about the pandemic at first when it happened last year. But the way Tracy wrote it, the way she mixed comedy with these socio-economic issues and discrimination and so many different topics that were easy to understand in comedy, it’s really hard to do and really hard to write. When I first read it, it made no sense.
SIBI: If there is a second season, is there anything you hope to get out of the show? Are there things you want to talk about or things you want Mac to do?
MH: That’s a good question. I don’t think so, because I started this relationship and it ended on a sweet note for me. Such loving comfort from my father. I think relationships can last a long time. I mean, it might be nice to find a love interest. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Mac is a single man.
SIBI: That was my next question, because we love a good teen romance.
MH: Yes. We love her.
SIBI: I can’t help but see Daisy [Haskiri Velasquez] as an option, but I know it’s a little early for that.
MH: That was fun. I haven’t used the Instagram app in a while and recently reloaded it. I was scrolling and someone sent me, I think it might have been Belmont [Cameli], or someone, he sent me this collage video. And it’s someone who tried to get Daisy and Mac out in season two. And I thought: What is it now? What the hell is going on here?
SIBI: Yes. I have a feeling this could be the end of the game.
MH: Maybe a little… something.
SIBI: I think we were all shocked by your last line in the pandemic season. If there is a second season, to what extent will they focus on the pandemic? Or did you think it was just a joke?
MH: Honestly, I can’t say. Our writing room – and I can’t even say this for legal reasons – I don’t know. I am always surprised in our writing room. Every time we read a panel, we all sat down and were like children on Christmas morning. We were so excited to read what was on those 50 pages because we had no idea what was going to happen. I think it’s kind of a fun show too. So I think it needs to be defined.
SIBI: How many did you shoot during the pandemic?
MH: We went back for six weeks in August and shot eight, nine, ten and just over one. I think that was also one of the most interesting aspects of being on the show, we have this long break and we’ve all been busy enough to think about the issues being raised in the community. So when we came back, there were conversations and stories in stories that we changed because we felt like it needed more light now. Or, okay, we were wrong the first time. Let’s adjust a little.
SIBI: Do you have any funny stories to tell behind the scenes?
MH: Oh, there were so many. One of them made us stand in a circle on the ship. It was kind of in the back of the studio, and we were just laughing and joking, and something moved at Josie [Totah]. She pushed her water bottle and it was over and we literally shot in two seconds. The cameras went off. And now I’m completely soaked, so the wardrobe department had fun with me.
SIBI: I’m conducting an investigation. Jamie and Aisha’s team or Jamie and Lexi’s team?
MH: I didn’t even know it was a thing.
SIBI: Yes, it is, on Twitter.
MH: Really? I don’t have Twitter. That’s all I’m saying. So, Jamie’s team of, okay. Um… (Clears throat) Yeah. I’m not sure I have an answer to that question. I think it’s funny, too, because we’re like a little family.
SIBI: Yes. You don’t want to choose between friends.
MH: Yes. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Let’s see what’s on the table.
BEHIND THE BELL
SIBI: They were in Wacky recently and will be in the new Heavy. I’m curious, is horror your favorite kind, or is it just a coincidence? Are there any other franchises you are interested in?
MH: You know, it’s funny. I didn’t expect to make a mess. And when Conjuring came along, which we had been filming for a while, it was just the right time and the right people, and somehow it all fell into place. I was thinking, you know what? Let’s go. You always have an idea of what it’s going to be like on a horror set, and then you get there and it’s not like that at all. It was one of the most affectionate sets I’ve ever seen, even compared to Freaky, because Freaky is a kind of dark, terrifying and funny reinterpretation of body-swapping. And so the energy on the set, on the two sets, was very, very different, because one of the plots moved into other films, and the other was a reimagining of that classic. So I know I had a good time on both sets, and of course I would love to do more horror.
I feel like everything Star Wars has done has always been fun in terms of honesty. Like Adam Driver in that movie, and so many great, great actors and actresses. Of course, it would be nice to be there, wouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to hold a lightsaber in their hand?
SIBI: It’s actually a good segment because it’s like, so I always ask, is there a superhero you want to play with?
MH: Ooh. Well, here’s a fun fact. When I was a kid, my brother and I would wake up every day and pick a different superhero. And then we can use that power. We just fought for hours. We’ll see about that. A superhero? I think something like Hancock. Like a superhero, but you’re not a man. They’re working on it, so to speak. Something about flying. Superman.
SIBI: Are there any projects you’d like to talk about?
MH: There’s one coming out after the masks. So there are six different stories in the film, and they are all connected by a connecting line. And it’s not the fact that we’re in this objective pandemic, it’s what we subjectively experience. So sadness, loneliness, pain, different things that happen when we are quarantined and isolated. I think they are very, very important to the conversation.
And each story touches on a different kind, I guess you could call it emotion. I’m really looking forward to people seeing this, because I think it will make them realize that everything that happened, and maybe nothing, but somehow, whether we know it or not, we were all in the same boat during this pandemic.
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