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INTERVIEW: The Cast of ‘That 90s Show’ Talks Bringing the 90s to Life!

The kids in That 90s Show

I spoke with many of the cast of That 90s Show about bringing the show to life and in talking to the younger cast, they seemed to really love the…well, 90s of it all. For Maxwell Acee Donovan, who plays Nate in the series, he related back to growing up in Colorado and how it felt very 90s there for him.

“I grew up in a small town in Colorado that when I was growing up there, it wasn’t too far. Like it still seemed like it was the 90s in that town,” he said. “So my cars all have cassette players and all that sort of thing. But my parents lent me a bunch of their 90s stuff, all their VHS tapes and I actually broke our VHS player, which my bad.”

I pointed out to him that those are hard to replace now and he said “I know, right? I can’t find it anywhere,” he said. But then he went on to talk about the process of bringing the 90s to life. “It was definitely an interesting process to go through. I really focused on all of the pop culture from the 90s when I was getting into that mindset because I’m like, ‘this is the media that Nate would’ve been consuming in 1995.’ I think I’ve mentioned the fashion always stuck out to me and all of the trends are kind of coming back around, but in different ways and it’s really neat to be be able to see how they were portrayed in the actual 90s versus now how we’re portraying them in the show.”

For Sam Morelos, who played Nikki in the series, it was all about how the times change but teenagers stay the same. “Honestly, what’s cool is that teenagers don’t really change throughout the decades,” Morelos said. “And you see that in the writing of That 70s Show, That 90s Show. And like a lot of shows today, it’s kind of just very friend group focused, our show. So the problems that they face within the relationships are also similar to the kinds that I face now with my friends too, of certain tensions in that way. But something that’s really prominent in going back to the 90s is the certain trends that they had and certain things they owned. Like I’d never worn paperback shorts until this show. And it was a learning experience because you get exposed to all of these different things from the 90s and it’s really cool transporting back to that and having my hearing my mom say, ‘oh my gosh, I always wanted paperback shorts. Oh my god, the clogs. I wish that I had those as a kid ‘or ‘oh my God, I had a Tamagotchi when I was small.’ Like, things like that.”

Morelos went on to talk more about relating to the show through things like the fashion of NIkki and how it could relate back to her parents. “Hearing those things, it’s really cool and nostalgic, which I think that a lot of it kind of expands our audience in that way because it relates to young people because it’s about young people’s problems and teenagers and things like that. But also if they watch it with their parents, it could be fun to be for their parents to kind of transport themselves back to when they were our age and they’re like, ‘oh my God, I had that as a kid.’ Or ‘oh my gosh, I remember seeing that on TV’ and doing a little research was very informative of the 90s for sure.”

For Reyn Doi, who plays Ozzie on the show, it was all about appreciating what he had after learning just how technology worked back in the 90s. “I learned to appreciate how much technology has advanced,” he said. “In the episode where Ozzie has with Kitty, Ozzie knows a lot about technology. He’s sort of the smart one of the group and he’s teaching Kitty and Red about this new computer and how it takes five minutes to restart. I couldn’t imagine taking five minutes of my day every time I wanted to restart my phone or my computer. And so every time I want look at my phone, it’s just right there and I have it. So it’s different. So I think I appreciate the generation that I live in now more than I used to.”


That 90s Show is streaming now on Netflix!

(featured image: Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.