Kurtwood Smith Says Laura Prepon Directed Half of ‘90s Show’ Season 2 | Us Weekly

June 26, 2024

Kurtwood Smith Says Laura Prepon Directed Half of 90s Show Season 2
Monica Schipper/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Kurtwood Smith says the cast of That ‘70s Show were able to pick up right where they left off in That ‘90s Show (give or take a few decades).

Smith, 80, played Red Forman on the hit sitcom that ended in 2006. He reprised his character for the Netflix spinoff, which premiered in January 2023.

Smith spoke with Us Weekly exclusively at the premiere of the spinoff’s second season. He said bringing back their old characters was “easy” and “fun,” and lauded Laura Prepon (Donna) for her growth since the show’s original run.

Kurtwood Smith Says Laura Prepon Directed Half of 90s Show Season 2
(L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti, Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Topher Grace as Eric Forman and Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Patrick Wymore/Netflix

“Laura is directing now as well, she directed half of the shows this year,” Smith said. “It’s a real pleasure to work with her in that situation and see how she has developed and yet, acting-wise, it’s [the] same old Donna.”

Prior to That ‘90s Show, Prepon directed three episodes of Orange Is the New Black. She also wrote and directed the 2011 TV movie Neighbros.

Smith and Debra Jo Rupp star in That ‘90s Show as grandparents to Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna’s daughter, Leia (Callie Haverda). Prepon, 44, has a recurring role while Grace guest stars on the spinoff. Many characters from the original series pop up throughout the first season.

“The thing that has made both seasons work so well is the fact that we enjoy each other’s company,” Smith added. “And we have fun doing it. I think that this show very much is really about family, you know, a larger family.”

Kurtwood Smith Says Laura Prepon Directed Half of 90s Show Season 2
Laura Prepon as Donna and Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Season 1 of That ‘90s Show received positive reviews and rose to No. 4 on Netflix’s Top 10 TV English titles. The series was renewed for a second season just one month after it debuted.

To Smith, the idea to bring That ‘70s Show back in a spinoff seemed wise.

“When we finished 70 Show, we did 200 episodes. And I thought that was the end. It just didn’t occur to me that there’d be any coming back,” he said. “But then when they started bringing shows back and redoing them, I thought, ‘well, they could do that with our show.’ It’s easy, since Debra Jo and I are still around and working. Sure enough, they called me up one day and said, ‘What do you think about this?’ And I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

The 16-episode That ‘90s Show: Part 2 will be released in two batches of episodes. The first episodes will drop on Thursday, June 27 on Netflix with the second group following on October 24.

With reporting by Mariel Turner

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