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September 3, 2015

Mark-Paul Gosselaar Talks Murder on 'Rizzoli and Isles' and 'Graphic' 'Weeds' Scene

by PopEater Staff, posted Aug 9th 2010 5:30PM
Mark-Paul Gosselaar's fictitious high school days are far behind him -- very far. This year alone he'll play a suspected killer, a rebellious lawyer with a sense of humor and a bartender lusting after a drug-dealing mother of three.

Gosselaar finds himself returning to TNT (home of his former show 'Raising the Bar,' and newest project, 'Franklin & Bash,') to guest star as a wealthy murder suspect on Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander's sultry crime drama, 'Rizzoli & Isles' (Mon., Aug. 9, 10PM ET).

'Whether they've done the most horrible things, there's always good behind a character," Gosselaar told Popeater.com about his wide range of characters.

The actor also spoke bout his favorite bad guy on TV, his new series with Breckin Meyer and what to expect from him on 'Weeds.' -- By Maggie Coughlan

For someone who has such a diverse television and film career, what's it like to be constantly compared to playing Zack Morris on 'Saved by the Bell?' Does that affect your projects going forward?

I don't really constantly think about it -- in terms of projects, I don't actually. It doesn't affect what I choose.

The character you play on 'Rizzoli & Isles,' Garret Fairfield, is so dark. You mastered that dead behind the eyes, sociopath look. What was it like for you to play a suspected killer?

I guess you don't see the character as a killer. It's kind of weird. You always have to find the goodness in a character. There's a fine line in playing those characters, it's fun. During the episode, you never see that he sort of has that in him until the end. Then you realize the guy's a complete douchebag.

Who are some of your favorite 'bad guys' on television right now?

Hmmm. I'm a huge fan of Dexter. He's not a villain, but I guess he could be. I think Michael C. Hall in that is brilliant. One of the few shows that I TiVo and watch.

We've read that your new show, 'Franklin & Bash,' may fill the gap for those missing 'Law & Order.'

I don't think it will take the place of 'Law & Order' at all. It's nothing like I've done in the past, it's a comedy with courtroom drama mixed into it. It's nothing like 'Law & Order,' [it's] much more fun. I hope people walk away when they see this and wanna go and dance and sing and make babies...rather than wanna kill themselves for how bad the world is. 'Law & Order' is ripped from the headlines.

Great show, I was even on that at one time. Our show is nothing like that, it's a buddy comedy as well. Some of our examples were 'Superbad' and 'Wedding Crashers,' 'The Hangover.'

Tell us about your upcoming role on 'Weeds.'

I play a bar owner in Montana who has a short fling with Mary-Louise Parker. I actually haven't seen the episode but I've heard from everyone who has that it was one of the most graphic scenes they've had on 'Weeds.' Yeah, so I'm very proud of that.

'Weeds' can be pretty controversial. Did you have to do any explaining to your children when you accepted that role?

I don't do anything that I regret later. There's a line I won't cross and I'm aware of not crossing that line. I don't think there's ever gonna be a point in my life where I have to explain to my kids why I did something.

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