Mario Lopez Reflects on the Saved by the Bell Reboot

One of Saved by the Bell's original stars shares thoughts on the latest season of a recent reboot

One of Saved by the Bell‘s original stars shares thoughts on the latest season of a recent reboot

TV Week: Jumping back to season one of the new show, what was it like for you as an actor filling in the gap between where we left A.C. Slater as a college jock and where we find him, decades later, as a high school coach?
Mario Lopez: You know, what’s funny and I thought very cool is, ironically, my character is sort of stuck in that era—wears the same clothes, listens to the same music, has the same mindset. I like guys like that—they’re funny. So he was really fun to play and fun to revisit. He didn’t show much growth, which was great, 30 years later. It was a neat take [the writers] had on him.

You began season two with a subtle little ode to Screech, in the wake of [actor] Dustin Diamond’s passing. How did you go about crafting that?
We wanted to do it in a tasteful way and with a poignant moment. I thought we handled it well and I’m really happy that we could pay tribute to him right off the bat. And his family was happy. I’m glad we made a point of addressing that in the first episode.

Plot-wise, this second season really opens up some new avenues for Slater and his old girlfriend Jessie [Elizabeth Berkley]…
Yeah! It’s funny, because I don’t want Slater to be a homewrecker or “the bounce-back guy” [laughs]. We’ll see where it goes. But there’s chemistry there… And I love working with Elizabeth. She’s funny and we have a lot of fun together.

People really go nuts for this series. What’s your most memorable Saved by the Bell fan encounter ever?
Oh, man. You know, back in the day… these teenaged girls are a little aggressive, right? [Laughs]…. I remember somebody followed me driving from San Diego to L.A. I’m like, “Damn, they really followed me for two-and-a-half hours.” And I pulled over… [we] took pictures and stuff. I was like, “Wow, that was a commitment!”

Saved by the Bell streams on Stack TV