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"I was a full-time father and nothing got filmed in L.A. anymore, so I didn't want to leave for six months a year," the actor explained

By Georgia Slater
February 26, 2021 09:09 AM
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Freddie Prinze Jr. Was ‘Kinda Done Acting’ Before ‘Punky Brewster’ Reboot
Credit: The Kelly Clarkson Show/YouTube

Freddie Prinze Jr. is opening up about his decision to get back in front of the camera.

The '90s heartthrob, popular for his roles in films like She's All That and I Know What You Did Last Summer, appeared on Thursday's episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, during which he discussed his return to Hollywood in the new Punky Brewster reboot.

The 44-year-old said he was not expecting to act again, as he was focused on being a father. Prinze Jr. shares daughter Charlotte Grace, 11, and son Rocky James, 8, with wife Sarah Michelle Gellar.

"It was wild, I was kinda done acting. I was a full-time father and nothing got filmed in L.A. anymore so I didn't want to leave for six months a year," Prinze Jr. explained.

Prinze Jr. said that he got the call about a role in the highly-anticipated reboot from his old friend and fellow actor, Brian Austin Green.

The Scooby-Doo star recalled Green telling him to read the script and praising his friend Soleil Moon Frye, who would once again play Punky Brewster for the reboot.

"So we hung up the phone and I played Call of Duty for like eight hours instead, you know I was tired," Prinze Jr. continued. "[Green] called me the next day and was like 'You jerk you didn't even read the script, read it! It films in L.A.' "

Prinze Jr. said he eventually read the script and couldn't help but laugh while flipping through it.

"So I start reading it and I'm laughing while I read it and Sarah [Michelle Gellar] goes 'What are you reading?' And I'm like 'You wouldn't believe me if I told you,' " he recalled.

After telling his wife it was the Punky Brewster reboot pilot, Prinze Jr. said "everything just stopped."

Punky Brewster
Credit: Peacock

"She said 'Oh my God you're doing it' and I said 'I haven't finished the script,' " he recounted with a laugh.

The actor added that Gellar, 43, also raved about Frye, sharing "all the things that Brian said about her."

Prinze Jr. eventually met with Frye and the Punky Brewster team, committing to the project.

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"I said 'Look I know you guys heard that I wasn't really doing this anymore but if you guys want me I'll give you 100%' and they said 'Yeah we want you here' and it just worked," he explained to Clarkson.

In the reboot, Punky, now in her 40s, is a single mom of three and meets Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a young girl who reminds her of herself. Prinze Jr. plays Travis, the ex-husband of Frye's titular character.

The 10-episode Punky Brewster revival is available now on Peacock.