Season 2 of Saved by the Bell hits Peacock on Nov. 24 just in time for a holiday weekend binge. Mac Morris and friends are back at Bayside High enduring the ups and downs of adolescence and getting into their usual antics along the way. Just in time for the premiere, Mitchell Hoog had a chat about the new season with LA Confidential about what the new episodes have in store, how snowboarding has benefited him as an actor and his hopes of doing more gritty indie projects.
What’s new for Mac Morris this season?
This whole season, I think, people will like better than last season. I feel like you see a completely different side of Mac. We touched on the relationship with Zack Morris last year, but it's it's really going into it this year, which I think people enjoy
Last season, I was kind of just the prankster and was always trying to compete with my dad, where this season, I think the whole relationship between the Morris name and me trying to make my own shoes and trying to kind of separate myself from my dad, is really kind of touched upon and what makes us different, even though we do at the same last name.
What else can fans look forward to from the students at Bayside High School?
Still all the normal shenanigans. I think everybody's storyline this year goes into what it means to be a kid in high school. And that's touching on love, that's touching on class, that's touching on gender equality, depression and all these different topics that do happen in the school system.
Sometimes when storytelling works to highlight diversity and inclusivity, it can feel inauthentic. With Saved by the Bell, it feels more natural. Why do you think the show does such a good job of that?
I think you have a show and environment that people are familiar with, and it's something that people already know about somewhat. And so I feel like when it's touched upon, number one, in that arena and, number two, in a comedic way, I think it's received a lot better and it's easier to comprehend. And I think that's the beauty of comedy and Tracey Wigfield, our showrunner, who does an amazing job of that.
Before you became an actor, you were a snowboarder. How has being a former athlete helped you working in film and TV?
I feel like when you come from a sport background, there's a certain rigid aspect to sports and training and a certain schedule that you need to keep up with and a certain professionalism that happens. And once you're in film, even though it's the arts, I feel like a lot of people think that you don't need a schedule and you don't need discipline. But really, your brain is just a muscle sitting down and training it every single day and reading scripts. And the discipline aspect, I feel like it's helped me a lot
The movie After Masks came out earlier this year, which, among other things, you had a role in writing. Is writing something you want to do more of throughout your career?
I would love to write and direct and produce and create some of the worlds that I have in my head and put them down. It's definitely something that I want do more of in the next couple years.
It's a different type of creativity. It's more logistical. Acting's interesting and it's hard because you don't get that instant gratification of seeing it happen in front of you. You just have to trust yourself and trust that when it comes out, it's going to be on point. You have to prepare for that. But when it comes to directing and writing and all that, it's something very tangible. And I think there's a comfort in that. There's no uncertainty; you know what's going on.
What kind of projects would you like to tackle from behind the camera?
Drama, for sure... Indies and stuff that pushes you and makes you uncomfortable, and it's not that comedy or TV doesn't, But I think stories that I want to do next are definitely ones that scare me a little bit.
Are there any films or filmmakers you are particularly inspired by?
The other day I watched Titane, which was amazing. Really anything Guy Nattiv does. His film Skin is one of my all-time favorites. [I also like] Sean Baker
What are you looking forward to most about the holidays?
Honestly, just being with my family, my whole family lives back in my hometown in Colorado. I don’t get to see them a lot, and I'm a mama's boy, for sure, so I’m excited to go and just spend time with them.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Photography by: Tyler Golden/Peacock; Patrick Wymore/Peacock