Interview: MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR from RAISING THE BAR

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

A few weeks ago, I took part in a conference call with MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR to talk about his character, Jerry Kellerman, on TNT’s new show, RAISING THE BAR, which airs on Mondays at 10pm.

Here are the highlights of what he had to say:

– There were 3 things that attracted Mark-Paul Gosselaar to the project:

  1. It was produced by Bochco
  2. The initial script was good
  3. David Feige

– In Raising the Bar, it’s not the system that needs protection from Jerry’s clients, but the clients that need protection from the system.

– In addition to Judge Kessler (Jane Kaczmarek), there will also be other judges introduced in the show.

– The relationships between the prosecution and the defense might not be that realistic, but it allows the audience to see what drives them.

– By the end of the season, Jerry’s relationship with Michelle will be different and more complex.

– When asked what advice he gave the other actors about working with Steven Bochco (whom he had work with previously), Mark-Paul Gosselaar said “Don’t f*&$ with Steven!”

– When asked how he prepared for the part, his response was:

“What do you mean prepare? I just let my hair grow!” (laughs)

But more seriously, he read the book and interned one week for a Bronx’s defender.

– What about the hair? It has become a debate. Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s wife and Steven Bochco both hate it, but Steven Bochco’s wife loves it. Mostly, Mark-Paul Gosselaar wanted to be as far removed from his character on NYPD Blue, plus it just goes with the character.

– Because Jerry Kellerman is very passionate about his views, it was important for Mark-Paul Gosselaar to not make him one note. He doesn’t want the audience to get bored.

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So there you have it. So far I have seen three episodes and have liked every one of them.

Raising the Bar airs on Mondays at 10pm on TNT.