If Rick Schroder can do it, why not Mark-Paul Gosselaar? Known best as boy hunk Zack on the NBC teen-com Saved by the Bell, Gosselaar, 26, will mix it up as a cynically charming lobbyist on D.C., The WB’s new young-bucks-in-politics drama from Law & Order creator Dick Wolf. ”I didn’t have to think too hard about it,” says the actor, who lives outside L.A. with his model-turned-actress wife, Lisa. ”It’s another rung on the ladder of me doing classy stuff.” No better time, then, to hit him with a few stupid questions.
What better prepared you for Hollywood fame: your guest-starring spot on Punky Brewster or Charles in Charge?
I knew you were going to bring that up! [Laughing] I think it was Punky. Seeing a young woman with breasts bigger than my mother’s, that really got me thinking ”This is what I want to do for a living.”
Were you secretly bitter that Tiffani-Amber Thiessen also had a hyphenated first name on Saved by the Bell?
See, that’s her middle name. I’ve got a little bone to pick with these Brian Austin Greens and these Tiffani-Amber Thiessens. I have a middle name too, but you don’t see me throwing it out there…. It’s Harry.
Can you please use your juice and hook up Bell’s Mr. Belding with a role on D.C.?
[Stunned silence] Are you serious? Oh, man! I heard that Screech actually has a band. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and say, ”Does he have a punk band?” But Mr. Belding — he was sort of like the Jan of the show.
There have been many false reports of your death. How many different ways have you died, and which did you enjoy the most?
I died on the same day as Kurt Cobain. That was pretty cool. I think it was from a drug overdose. I heard rumors that it was actually on MTV. I died in a car accident; I also died in a motorcycle accident…. And rumors that I’m gay — those are kind of cool.
As an actor who aspires to hone his craft in every role, what did you learn from working with Carmen Electra on The WB’s Hyperion Bay?
Thank God for editing…. That was her advice to me, to just rely solely on editing, because you’ll get very far doing that.
If you were running for office, what skeleton in your closet would wind up being revealed to the public?
I would just have to come out and say that I’ve slept with my coworkers.
When I get elected, then I’ll tell you.