Mark-Paul Gosselaar Calls Watching 'Saved by the Bell' Eps 'Torturous'

Mark-Paul Gosselaar doesn’t love watching himself play his iconic character from Saved by the Bell, Zack Morris. The actor admits he’s hard on himself when looking back at old episodes.

In a new interview with Variety, Gosselaar talks about the Zack to the Future podcast, which features him and Dashiell Driscoll — a writer on the upcoming Peacock reboot of Saved by the Bell — discussing a specific episode of the beloved series. The 46-year-old actor says that he’s a constant critic of his work, even though he was just a teenager when Saved by the Bell first started airing.

“I feel like it’s a little bit torturous every week for me to go through this process because I am watching my work — and it doesn’t matter that it’s 30 years old, it’s still something that I feel like I can improve,” Gosselaar says. “There’s moments where I’m talking with Dashiell and I say, ‘My timing is off there, if I had just done it this way I bet I would have gotten a bigger laugh.’ But that’s just the perfectionist in me, which is why I don’t like to watch my work: I feel like I should leave it on the set.”

Gosselaar said he learned a lot from working on the show, including now knowing when to ask for another take.

“It was a classroom on the set for me of how to conduct myself as an actor,” he shares. “Looking back, I bring up things like character protection. But I think that was one of the things that attracted so many people to the show: It was just the innocence of these characters, as well as the actors portraying them. A lot of people forget that we were the same age as the characters, so we were going through the same experiences as them. And there was no ego on the set — there was no negative energy — and when you watch the show you see that bleeding through. So not getting another take now, as an actor I would put my foot down and say I need another one. But I don’t know that people were looking that carefully at this show, it was a Saturday morning show.”

Gosselaar previously revealed that he had never watched a full episode of Saved by the Bell before deciding to start binging it for Zack to the Future. ET spoke with him in April, and he talked about stepping back into Zack Morris’ shoes for the highly anticipated Peacock revival, though production had been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“They had been in production since January, but because of my schedule and because of Tiffani Thiessen’s schedule, we could not join the production when it started,” Gosselaar told ET. “We had about two weeks left of filming, just Tiffani and my footage, but it’s been put on hold. So hopefully we are going to get back to that…whenever we can.”

He also shared that he’s more than satisfied when it comes to how the first trailer for the reboot turned out.

“I hadn’t been on set, everything for us has just been prep, but watching the trailer and seeing how it’s shot, I think it’s very smart,” he said. “It looks amazing and the content is great.”

Watch the video below for more.

'Saved by the Bell' Reboot: Mark-Paul Gosselaar on Reprising Zack Morris Role (Exclusive)

'Saved by the Bell' Reboot: Mark-Paul Gosselaar on Reprising Zack Morris Role (Exclusive)

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