Tiffani Thiessen isn’t returning to Bayside anytime soon.
The 45-year-old, who famously played Zack Morris’ high school crush Kelly Kapowski in “Saved By the Bell,” won’t be appearing on the upcoming reboot of the hit sitcom alongside her on-screen beau (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
But the actress has plenty of things on her plate these days. In addition to starring on Netflix’s “Alexa & Katie,” the “Beverly Hills, 90210” alum recently published a children’s book alongside her husband Brady Smith titled “You’re Missing It!” and is a proud hands-on parent to their two children: Harper, 9, and Holt, 4. The TV chef and cookbook author also recently partnered with Maple Hill Creamery to raise awareness on the benefits using grass-fed milk.
Thiessen spoke with Fox News about why she’s totally fine not appearing in the “Saved By the Bell” reboot, what her relationship is really like with Gosselaar today and how she discovered her passion for cooking.
“Saved by the Bell” cast: (l-r) Mario Lopez as Albert Clifford ‘A.C.’ Slater, Dennis Haskins as Mr. Richard Belding, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary ‘Zach’ Morris, Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers.
(Photo by NBCU/Getty)
Fox News: What are your thoughts on “Saved by the Bell” getting the reboot treatment?
Tiffani Thiessen: Well, it was news to me. It was news, I think, to Mark-Paul as well. We’ve talked about it. We didn’t know that it was happening. I know it seems like everybody’s doing a reboot of something these days. So I guess it’s not that shocking, I guess. We’re not involved. I know Mark-Paul’s not involved. I’ve been doing a show called “Alexa & Katie,” which has been on Netflix for the last two years. And Season 3 actually premieres at the end of December.
And he’s got a show called “Mixed-ish.” So we’ve been busy. But you know, it seems like everybody wants to see things rebooted, I guess. I don’t know. I mean, I guess I get it. I’m nostalgic, too. I just … I kind of like the original stuff. I go back to the original.
‘Well, it was news to me. It was news, I think, to Mark-Paul as well…We didn’t know that it was happening.’
— Tiffani Thiessen on the “Saved by the Bell” reboot
Fox News: What’s your relationship like with Mark-Paul Gosselaar today?
Thiessen: We talk a lot… My husband and him, they are super funny together. They love to go grab a drink. I could not adore Mark-Paul’s wife more and, you know, they live not too far from us. We hang out a lot actually.
Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar have remained close over the years.
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Fox News: What was it about “Alexa & Katie” that made you want to get involved?
Thiessen: I think for me it was a very different kind of … it wasn’t a traditional sitcom, it wasn’t a traditional sort of comedy. I loved that it actually had a lot of heart, and it was also dealing with something that, you know, you don’t see a lot on TV and in a serious way, but also with a lot of heart and a lot of lightness, as well. I think most people can say [they’ve] been touched by cancer somehow, whether it’s a family member, a friend.
And so I think it was really trying to kind of almost normalize cancer in a way where they’re really no different than anybody else. That, you know, struggling with something so prominent like that, but still having the struggles of normal high school like my daughter does on the show; I think it tapped into a lot of different things for people.
Fox News: Where did the idea for your children’s book “You’re Missing It!” come from?
Thiessen: It came from a very honest place, a very real place. I think it’s a conversation that I’m hoping that a lot of people are starting to have, but it was one that was very important that we talked about a lot in our own family about being present. I think it’s especially hard now that, you know, everybody has a phone, everybody has a computer.
Tiffani Thiessen says she’s a proud hands-on parent.
(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
We’re always having to be reachable somehow. But sometimes it’s hard to turn that off… Even today when you’re looking around the city, [you see] nannies and parents, and they’re busy, and their phone is always in front of their face instead of actually connecting with their children.
And I get it… We’re not perfect, but I … It was a conversation that my husband and I were having a ton about, that we should have certain times to have those phones, and have certain times to be able to plug in when we need to, but then unplug when our children are around.
So that was where the idea came from. I literally was nagging my husband who was swinging my child outside and I was cooking dinner. He was being such a great dad, but his head was down the whole time. And I literally yelled out, “You’re missing it!” And that’s where the title came from.
Tiffani Thiessen and family arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” held on June 11, 2019, in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty)
Fox News: How do you unplug at home?
Thiessen: We don’t have any sort of electronics at dinner or breakfast… During the week as [the children are] at school, we limit the screen time to be very minimal. I find our kids are better without the screens. I mean, it can be a place of winding down that we all need sometimes, but I think sometimes we use it as an excuse to kind of let our kids sit there and watch things so we can get things done.
And I don’t ever want to use that excuse, but we have used it. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t, or on long flights, you know? It’s not like the iPad isn’t an amazing thing that I didn’t have when I was a kid and I’m sure my mother would have loved it, but it’s all … Again, it’s all about balance and not overdoing anything.
Fox News: How do you balance being this hands-on mom, along with having a high-profile career?
Thiessen: I feel like I’m always striving for that perfect balance of it all. But I don’t know if there is such a thing. And I think kind of knowing that you just have to do every day your best to make sure that you can hopefully get home and spend time with the kids. And I try to spend the mornings with them, but also try to get to the gym. It’s always a balance. It’s always a dance.
Tiffani Thiessen and her husband Brady Smith.
(Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty)
And I also lean on a lot of people. I lean on my husband, and my parents are actually ones who are always watching our kids a lot of the times when… both of us are working late hours, or we’re having to tape really late. We don’t have set schedules really as an actor. They’re not 9 to 5, you know? So I lean on my parents a ton and I’m super lucky that way.
Fox News: What’s the secret behind your lasting marriage?
Thiessen: A lot of laughs. We laugh a ton. We laugh a ton and great communication. We try to really be good about communicating… Both of our parents have been married forever. My parents have been married for 53 years, his parents celebrated 50 last year, 51 almost. So we have good examples.
‘A lot of laughs. We laugh a ton. We laugh a ton and great communication.’
— Tiffani Thiessen on the secret to a lasting marriage.
Fox News: When did you realize that you had this passion for cooking?
Thiessen: I’ve always had a passion for cooking since I was little. I grew up in a household where all the women were in the kitchen cooking and having fun, and I wanted to be with them. So I fell in love very, very early with cooking. And I think actually as I started to get older and started traveling throughout the United States and then even going overseas, learning about different cultures, different cuisines, my love of food just expanded even more so.
Tiffani Thiessen recently teamed up with Maple Hill Creamery to further share her passion for cooking and feeding her family.
(Maple Hill Creamery)
And now, it’s really about entertaining and having family meals. It’s our way of connecting as a family, especially during the week when it’s crazy busy with school and work. But when you sit down at a table it’s really about connecting with the people around you while you’re enjoying food.
Fox News: You believe there’s something better than organic when it comes to dairy. Why?
Thiessen: Being a mom of two kids, I, of course, strive to make sure that my kids are eating the best they can and the healthiest. And it’s not just organic, it’s … I always thought organic was the best to buy, and it’s actually not.
And Maple Hill, they actually showed me that grass-fed milk is actually even better. It’s better tasting, it’s better for you and it’s better for the environment, which I think even more so nowadays, I think we really need to be cautious of that. I’m super happy to be able to know that I can actually buy that for my family.
These days, Tiffani Thiessen is keeping busy with her Netflix series “Alexa and Katie.”
Fox News: What are some of your favorite quick-and-easy treats that we can make at home with just a handful of ingredients?
Thiessen: We’re big ice cream people. We love making our own ice cream… We use the whole milk actually… I believe in good fat. But we make a lot of ice cream during the summer — fudge pops, which I actually have a recipe for, lots of stuff with milk. We’re big milk drinkers. That’s how I grew up, so my kids are growing up the same way.