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Mark-Paul Gosselaar Reveals What It's Really Like to Work with Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni
It’s not the first time the former Saved by the Bell star has taken on a darker project. Mark-Paul Gosselaar dishes on guest starring on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The show follows Gabi Mosely, a kidnapping survivor who has now captured the man who abducted her, Sir, and tries to use his dark insight to find other missing people.
However, the show isn’t Gosselaar’s first foray into a crime drama focused on different cases each week.
In a recent interview with NBC Insider, Gosselaar and Hampton spoke about what fans can expect from new episodes of Found, their family reactions, and Gosselaar's past experience on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar on His Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Appearance
The Saved by the Bell star previously joined the long list of guest stars on Law & Order: SVU’s roster. He was Wesley Jansen in the Season 3 episode “Sacrifice” of Law & Order: SVU, starring opposite of Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Migration). The two played a young couple who have a daughter together with an incurable genetic disease, which leads them to working in the porn industry to pay for their mounting bills. A twisty murder mystery ensues.
“I just remember working with Elizabeth Banks, in the the start of our careers at that point,” Gosselaar said. “I had actually signed on to do another cop show a month before called NYPD Blue.”
While filming that show he mentioned to a colleague he was going to be playing a character on Law & Order “that wasn’t too savory,” unlike his role on NYPD Blue.
“I remember my technical advisor on NYPD Blue was like, ‘How could you play that character? You’re going to be playing a detective!’ And that was like this sort of inner, inner battle that we had,” Gosselaar said. “I had a great time doing it, working with Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay.”
Gosselaar called the pair "iconic actors.”
“They were very sweet to me and I’ll forever remember that,” Gosselaar added.
Do Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Shanola Hampton’s Families Watch Found?
Gosselaar didn't elaborate on his family's reaction to his dark turn on Law & Order, but he and Hampton did share their family's reaction to Found.
Hampton’s entire family is “super supportive," she said.
Hampton is married to Daren Dukes, an actor, writer, and producer. NFL fans may recognize him from his YouTube channel The Dallas Cowboy Show. The couple married in 2000 and have two children together named Cai MyAnna and Daren O.C. Dukes.
“My family definitely watches [Found],” Hampton said. “The kids watch it. My daughter is very mad at Mr. Mark-Paul, which is what they call him and he’s — they said, when he calls back, she’s going to tell him, do not kill Lacey.”
Watching the show is also good for her family because they’re able to see issues happening in the real world reflected from “this entertainment base,” Hampton explained.
“My sister is really into the show,” Gosselaar told NBC Insider. “My older daughter is into the show. My younger kids could care less.”
“After we watched the pilot together and on our screen at home, she turned to me and said, 'You kind of creep me out, Dad,'” Gosselaar said of her response to his character Sir on Found.
He could see it was “a little disturbing for her” to watch him play this type of character, according to Gosselaar.
To see for yourself, watch Found on Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC or stream next day on Peacock.