Playing a fun-loving attorney on Franklin & Bash, Mark-Paul Gosselaar has long since left the days of Bayside High behind him.The road from child actor to adult star is often a rocky one, but for Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who rose to fame as a teenager on Saved By the Bell, the journey has been smooth sailing. These days, Gosselaar, 38, stars as charming, headstrong lawyer Peter Bash on TNT’s hit show Franklin & Bash, which returns this month for its second season. He fills us in on the fun he has both on- and offscreen.
American Way: What’s in store for Season 2?
Mark-Paul Gosselaar: Franklin and Bash have become equity partners in the firm, so we’ve gained more responsibility and are dealing with a lot of moral issues — how do we bring in bigger clients while still staying true to who we are?
AW: So are you now well-versed in legalese?
MPG: No. If I found myself in trouble with the law, I’d hire myself the best attorney I could afford.
AW: Offscreen, you gravitate toward some pulse-pounding hobbies, like flying and car racing. Are you an adrenaline junkie?
MPG: I used to race cars semiprofessionally when I wasn’t working as much, and when I was younger, I raced motorcycles. My brother, Mike Gosselaar, is one of the most prolific motorcycling mechanics in AMA [American Motorcyclist Association] history, so motocross is a huge part of our family. I don’t race cars as much anymore since my daughter was born — for the last seven years, I’ve been racing road bikes.
AW: How were you able to make the transition from child star to well-adjusted adult?
MPG: My parents are hardworking immigrants from Holland, and from a very young age, I was taught that you didn’t take your work for granted. You respected your bosses. And I grew up with normal friends at a normal school. Also, Saved By the Bell wasn’t as watched then as it is now that it’s in syndication. So I lived a pretty normal life.
AW: Is the Bayside crew still close?
MPG: We keep up with each other. Not as much as we should, but whenever anything good happens to someone, we all get in touch.