Kurtwood Smith On Firestarter, That ’90s Show, Star Trek And More

People are very excited about “That ’90s Show.” Were you surprised to see such an outpouring of support for the return of the show, and what can fans expect?

I can’t tell you too much. Netflix wants to keep it this way, but I can say that it is what I expected, but I was afraid it wouldn’t be. I thought we left on such a high note. My kids were around when I was playing that role initially, but then, on top of that, my grandkids loved the show, and not just because their grandfather was in it.

What I always used to say is, because it was a period piece to begin with, it will never be out of period, and I felt like I was right. It lasts throughout various generations. There are qualities to it that all kids and parents recognize. I thought [the new show] would be met very positively, and in fact, it has been. The tests that they’ve done and the reactions to the first two episodes have been great. Netflix has been terrific to deal with.

For me, I guess the number one thing [I’m happy about] would be getting to play Red Forman again. Number two would be getting to play opposite Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman. Then beyond that, the fact that there are original people from the show in terms of writers — the creators of this show, three of them were from the original show. [All of this] should make it a very exciting project.

We have two of the original creators of the show, Bonnie and Terry Turner, and then Gregg Mettler, who’s one of the creators of “That ’90s Show” and was a writer on “That ’70s Show.” He was a very young writer and cut his teeth on that show, so he’s always had a very affectionate feeling towards it. He was really excited to come back and work on it. [It shows you that], in terms of the work that the Turners and Gregg are doing, plus the affection that Debra Jo and I have always had for each other as performers, we fell back into it very easily. We’re smiling and happy to work, until she decides to tell me what to do.

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