Point Place is welcoming a new generation of teenagers. That ’90s Show will feature a group of teenagers, including Eric and Donna’s daughter Leia, living it up in the summer of 1995. Over the course of the summer, Leia and her new friends bond in that beloved basement just like the That ’70s Show crew did all those years ago.
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the new cast — Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen, Maxwell Donovan as Nate, Mace Coronel as Jay Kelso, Reyn Doi as Ozzi, and Sam Morelos as Nikki — about this next chapter. Callie admitted that she definitely felt pressure playing Eric and Donna’s daughter when she was first cast.
“It was incredibly intimidating at first, but everyone was supportive and made me feel so comfortable,” Callie told HollywoodLife during the show’s press junket. “So it quickly became very easy and just second nature. But I mean, in the beginning, with the character of Leia I didn’t want her to be a carbon copy of Eric and Donna. It was trying to find that simple medium — her being her own character, so having mannerisms from her parents, obviously, that she takes on and tone inflections like Eric’s perfect little high-pitched voice, stuff like that. I think I can say for all of us it was just insane when we booked it. It was definitely a joyous celebration.”
That ’70s Show made instant stars out of the original cast: Topher Grace as Eric, Laura Prepon as Donna, Ashton Kutcher as Kelso, Mila Kunis as Jackie, Wilmer Valderrama as Fez, and Danny Masterson as Hyde. Ashley and Sam explained why That ’90s Show will pay homage to That ’70s Show but will stand on its own.
“I feel like something that I loved about That ’70s Show was the chemistry all the characters had and how well they got along,” Ashley said. “I feel like that’s something we wanted to bring to That ’90s Show, the same sense of camaraderie, but also have our own characters that aren’t just copy-paste of That ’70s Show, so it’s like a good balance between the two.”
Sam added, “At the end of the day, we’re all just teenagers and we’re playing teenagers. That ’70s Show was really about a friend group, and now we’re just a different friend group. So it does stand on its own in that way.”
The new cast does get to work alongside Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith, who return as Kitty and Red Forman, Leia’s grandparents. “They were just so nice in making us all feel welcomed into this new environment,” Reyn said. “It was really exciting to work with them. I was like screaming. But we’ve all grown really close.”
Callie noted that it was “really nice to be able to watch them work. I feel like both of them understand their characters so well. It was amazing watching the switch from like Kurtwood to Red or like Debra Jo to Kitty.”
Sam called it a “masterclass” watching Debra Jo and Kurtwood at work. “I’ve learned so much just by watching them work because they’re helping each other with each other’s beats and with the comedic timing of it all,” she said. That ’90s Show will premiere January 19 on Netflix.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.