Mark-Paul Gosselaar Talks Justin Bieber, Breckin Meyer, and Growing Up In Hollywood

What are the Bayside High School students doing today?
We take a look back at our favorite TGIF shows.
Congratulations are in order for Mark-Paul Gosselaar and his wife, Catriona McGinn. The couple welcomed their first child together, Dekker Edward Gosselaar on Monday, September 30.

The proud papa told Us Weekly “We are overjoyed with the new addition to our family. We are madly in love with our little boy. He is healthy and just perfect — all we could ask for,”

Before he became a dad for the third time, Gosselaar sat down for drinks with Paul F Tompkins on his interview show “Speakeasy with Paul F Tompkins.” In the intimate, speakeasy setting, the two drink Manhattans while Gosselaar opens up about everything, including his “Franklin & Bash” co-star Breckin Meyer, how he survived growing up in Hollywood, why he thinks Justin Bieber is annoying, and, he even plays an hilarious game of “Modern Day ‘Saved By The Bell.'”

More from the interview after the jump, and don’t forget to launch the gallery to take a look at Mark-Paul Gosselaar through the years.

Before he donned the crimson letterman jacket of Bayside High School prankster, Zack Morris, Gosselaar was pursuing a career in drama, not comedy. He explains that he felt drama was what he was stronger as a dramatic actor. He isn’t the only one who thought that; in fact, early on in his career Gosselaar was mentored by Alan Arkin who advised Gosselaar to stay in film and drama, and to not do a sitcom. In the end, Gosselaar did not let “Saved By The Bell” pass him up, even if Arkin didn’t agree with the career path. Things seem to have worked out pretty good for Gosselaar, who, over 20-years later, stars in the TNT comedy, “Franklin & Bash.”

“Franklin & Bash” centers around two off-beat and unconventional attorneys who are also life-long friends. The show also stars Breckin Meyer, and Gosselaar explains that the chemistry we see on-screen between Franklin & Bash, reflects the pair’s relationship in real-life: “what you see on screen is mostly just us really enjoying each other’s company.”

Gosselaar, who has been acting since he was 12, has avoided the traps most child stars fall into. He explains to Tompkins that the secret to his private life, is maintaining a life outside the Hollywood bubble. Although Gosselaar worked in L.A. from a young age, as a child he lived a normal life with his parents and siblings, in a quiet suburb 30 minutes outside the city: “I went to a normal school. I had normal friends that were not in the industry. I wanted to play sports. I wanted to just hang out with my friends.”

Gosselaar admits that it was easy to “stay under the blanket and kind of hide” when he was a child actor.

“There wasn’t Twitter. There weren’t paparazzi. I was still going to clubs at 16. I was still doing all kinds of things that 16 year olds do…Having adventures. But now you see these kids having adventures and the poor things, it’s being documented. and people judge it. And you’re going ‘ah, they are just being kids.”

Times have definitely changed for child stars. Gosselaar points to Justin Bieber as an example of how different it is for young stars today. He confesses that he finds Bieber “annoying,” in part because of the constant media coverage the young singer receives. “I think the majority of teens now-a-days, if they had the income and the resources that he has, they would be doing exactly the same thing. Except his is being documented and people, like me, are calling him asshole.”

For even more from the interview, head over to YouTube to watch the full segment.

After the interview, Tompkins surprised Gosselaar with a fun game of “Modern Day ‘Saved By The Bell.'” Gosselaar put himself back in the shoes of Zack Morris to answer questions on topics like cat-fishing and cross-fit. Along the way, Gosselaar also revealed secrets from “Saved By The Bell.” Did you know that Screech is not a human being? And do you know which character(s) is secretly in the closet? Watch the video below for the answers.