Mark-Paul Gosselaar tells PEOPLE that his Saved By the Bell connection might be earning his oldest child social points at school

By Kara Warner
February 11, 2019 01:26 PM
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Like many children of famous parents, Mark-Paul Gosselaar‘s kids are not that dazzled by what their dad does for a living — except when it comes to impressing friends at school.

The Passage star recently revealed to PEOPLE that while his four children — Lachlyn Hope, 4 this month, Dekker Edward, 5, Ava Lorenn, 12, and Michael Charles, 14 — aren’t quite superfans of his work yet, Gosselaar’s beloved Saved by the Bell character Zack Morris is scoring his teenage son social points at school.

“The oldest have watched Saved By the Bell, but my younger ones are too young,” says Gosselaar, 44, of the ’90s teen ensemble sitcom that made him a household name.

“My 14-year-old son goes to school and is like, ‘Dad, the girls love you!’ and I’m like, ‘No, they love Zack Morris,’ ” he jokes.

Credit: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock; NBC/Getty

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The cast of Saved by the Bell
| Credit: Everett
Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen in Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas
| Credit: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank

He adds, “I think they are indifferent [about my work]. Honestly, my kids are ‘screenagers’ — if it isn’t something they can watch in five minutes, they don’t.”

Indifferent teens or not, Gosselaar says that spending time with his family is what he enjoys most these days, even if a lot of that is spent shuttling kids and things to and from home.

“It is fun to see the different stages the [kids] are in,” he says, adding jokingly, “We’re busy in all aspects of parenting at the moment, from short-order cooks to Uber drivers, to Postmates drivers, to Amazon delivery drivers. We’re covering all the bases.”

Mark-Paul Gosselaar and family
| Credit: Source: Mark-Paul Gosselaar Instagram

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In addition to dad duties, Gosselaar is busy with his gritty new role on the Fox drama The Passage, based on Justin Cronin's bestselling book series.

“I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read because I have four kids, but with these books I would put them on my iPad and read them on the treadmill any chance I got,” he says. “I couldn’t put them down. … It is very hard to stay true 100 percent to a book, but the changes we have made, I think fans will still appreciate. I’m interested to see where my character goes.”

Gosselaar’s The Passage airs Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on Fox.

For more from Mark-Paul Gosselaar, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.