For the first time since he was the epitome of 1990s cool in Saved by the Bell, Mark-Paul Gosselaar is starring in a sitcom, NBC’s Truth Be Told. “Comedy uses mental muscles that I’m looking forward to using again,” the actor admits. The series follows two couples (Gosselaar and Vanessa Lachey, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb), who are best friends as well as neighbors, as they navigate life and question the world with their frank and unfiltered points of view. Gosselaar says his character — college ethics professor Mitch — has a self-righteous thirst for justice that is a “scratch that he needs to itch,” which tends to get him into trouble. But for Gosselaar, answering our 5 Questions was no trouble at all …
1) If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
Netflix, Golf Channel and NBC.
2) You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
“Golf Digest” is good. I like to pick up “Details” every once in a while. And some sort of home magazine, to be honest with you. My wife and I love to look at different styles and dream.
3) Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
One I really remember is when I had to meet Dennis Franz for NYPD Blue … I was really nervous about meeting him. But, he walked up to me and all he did was open up his giant arms and said, “Come here, give me a hug!” He then says, “Welcome to the family!” and he just gave me a big hug. I was like, “Wow!” Prior to meeting him I was very starstruck and anxious to work with him.
4) What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and something a little bit quirky. My snack to indulge myself — and it’s not really an indulgence because it’s not expensive — is really cheap caviar that you find in the grocery store. I just like the taste of it because I grew up eating very salty things. It’s very salty and I’ll put that on a cracker with cream cheese and that’s like my go-to snack at night.
5) What has been your strangest fan encounter?
My favorite ones are where they go, “I know you!” … Then they say, “You’re that Dawson guy!” I’m like, “Yep, yep. That’s me. I’m the Dawson’s Creek kid.” Before that it was, “You’re Rick Schroder!” [Laughs] I’m never who I’m supposed to be.
Truth Be Told > NBC > Fridays at 8:30pm ET/PT beginning Oct. 16