Kurtwood Smith in Reprising Red Forman

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talks to That ’90s Show star Kurtwood Smith in the upcoming Netflix series, which is now streaming. The actor talks about reprising the role of Red Forman and how his character has changed.

“Hello, Wisconsin! It’s 1995 and Leia Forman, daughter of Eric and Donna, is visiting her grandparents for the summer where she joins a new generation of children at Point Place under the watchful eye of Kitty. and Red’s fierce glare,” reads the official synopsis. “Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll don’t die, they just change clothes.”

Tyler Treese: I love that the show isn’t just from the original, it’s a proper continuation. Everything changed, their lives happened. Is there any hesitation on your part to change Red? Or when you know it’s done right, are you on board?

Kurtwood Smith: Oh, I’m on board right away. Yes. I mean, I know it’s going to be done the right way because we have people with the right pedigree there. Two of the show’s creators, Bonnie and Terry Turner are back on board, and Greg Mettler, who was a writer on the show, is our new showrunner. And of course, [the] show owned by Tom Werner and Marcy Carsey. So it’s okay there. I just knew it would be right, and it was. First script, I know they just moved us and just dropped someone 20 years – 17 years, whatever it is.

You work with Debara Jo [Rupp] Again, I thought it was great that you had to show that Red and Kitty still have that spark. There are even some moments with some role changes, like some moments of Red being a bit soft. What do you like most about the updated dynamic?

Well, I like it. It’s good to have something new, something a little different, because we can see how he handles the newness when he points to it like, “Hey, thank you so much. You did this for me,” and I’m like, “Go away. ” But at the same time, he was touched. She complains to Kitty about the kids coming back and disrupting her life. Then we see that at the end of even the first episode, we see that he’s kind of happy that they’re around, you know? Gives him less life off the bat, but at least he can hit the neighbor’s head a few times. She’s new to the show, of course, Andrea [Anders], and he’s fine. So we are happy that he is there too.

That dynamic between you and Andrea is really fun, and I love that we got Don Stark as Bob again. How was it to see him again?

With Don? Oh gee, this is good. I love Don, and he’s one of those people that I see, very little. So it’s really fun to have him back on the show, and I’m sure we’ll see more, in the same way as Tommy, Tommy Chong. Tommy had a lot of fun. When I was at the premier the other night, I was standing next to Tommy, and Tommy is famous for weed, so we were standing there and he had a leather pouch hanging around his neck. So I thought, “Maybe he’s got some good weed in there or something. Maybe he brought it after the show. ” But I said, “Tommy, what’s in the little bag?” And he said, “This is my Tesla key, man.” Now he’s carrying a Tesla key instead of a pouch of weed. I thought that was pretty funny.

Funny. The young actress in the lead, Callie [Haverda] Leia is very talented. What do you like about working with him? It’s very similar to what you have with Eric, but it’s definitely a different dynamic.

It’s definitely different and we’ll see how it goes. For now, he, like Eric did, lives in fear of his grandfather. But then at the same time, he was much softer than Eric. [It] I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out she was wrapped around her little finger, you know? But I have to say this – I love Callie, and Callie is great, and all of them. All the kids, I really admire them. [Their] talent and their work ethic … the talent and their work ethic is obvious – they’re on time, they know their lines, they don’t waste, but at the same time, they’re having fun. They enjoy each other, they enjoy our company. So these are very good techniques.

What really impresses me about the show is that it works for people who have that nostalgia for That ’70s Show, but the new cast can hold its own. How big was knowing that the original legacy of the show would grow because of this and that it would work on so many levels?

I’m sure that’s the case. I’m very excited to see what the reaction will be [is]. The reaction of the journalists we interviewed was very positive. Everyone is very excited about the show for us, and we think it’s going to be great.

I thought all the cameos throughout the season were great. What did it mean to reunite with some of the older cast members and that they were willing to support it and gave it their full blessing?

Oh, I’m so happy. But I have to say, I’m not surprised. I mean, especially, I think, when they found out who was behind the show – the Turners and Greg – they felt comfortable coming back. For many, that’s their first big job, you know? And it changed the focus of their life, the direction of their life, I think, and so they definitely remember that.

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