Dexter Darden is Bayside Excessive’s latest star. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the actor about becoming a member of the ‘Saved by the Bell’ universe, his character, staying shut along with his ‘Maze Runner’ household, and extra.

Dexter Darden stars as Devante, one of many new Bayside children we’re going to get to know within the Saved by the Bell revival, which premieres Nov. 25 on Peacock. Whereas the revival will characteristic acquainted faces like Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley, Dexter revealed in our EXCLUSIVE interview that the brand new present might be “very completely different” from the unique sequence. Nevertheless, the present will “pay homage” to the unique.

The proficient actor additionally opened up about taking part in the late John Lewis within the movie Son of the South and what it meant to him to have John cosign on him getting the function. Dexter stays shut along with his Maze Runner castmates, and he revealed how they’ve been there for him throughout the trendy civil rights motion. Learn our Q&A under.

Dexter Darden stars as Devante within the new ‘Saved by the Bell.’ (Peacock)

In the beginning, I do know the present was a bit bit earlier than our time however had you watch the unique sequence, or did you in some unspecified time in the future?
Dexter Darden: After all. I used to be a giant fan of the unique again within the day. I used to get up and watch reruns. It was good to have the ability to simply dive proper again into that world and have the chance to go to Bayside and be the brand new Bayside child. It was actually thrilling.

Inform me a bit bit about Devante and the way he suits into this Saved by the Bell world.
Dexter Darden: Devante is among the children who comes from Douglas and finally ends up becoming a member of Bayside in hopes of getting a brand new starting. He was into some hassle at Douglas, and he’s lastly getting the chance to reinvent himself and actually dive into what he appears like he want to be identified for at Bayside and transferring ahead in the remainder of his life. I believe it’s actually, actually vital that we present characters like Devante on tv as a result of not fairly often can we see an African American younger man get the chance to have a recent new begin in class the place he has a brand new alternative to be someone who he’s all the time wished to be.

How would you say the revival compares and contrasts with the unique sequence?
Dexter Darden: It’s very completely different. We now have a number of the originals again. Mario’s again, Elizabeth’s again, and there are a pair different visitor stars everyone might be actually, actually completely happy to see on the present. However primarily based on proper now with the present nature of our world, it could possibly’t be the identical college because it was within the early 90s, late 80s. The world was very completely different when it comes to how issues had been working when it comes to trend, so Bayside is providing that facet of life with trend, however with a more moderen twist. With the whole lot being the best way that it’s proper now within the tradition and the present local weather of our nation, it’s vital that we contact on sure points that are typically prevented by most. Saved by the Bell’s actually doing that, and we’re additionally a single-camera present. The authentic was multi-cam for the stay viewers to get the laughs. We don’t have that. Our showrunner Tracey Wigfield, who did 30 Rock and Champions, she’s completed so many various single-cam comedy reveals. She comes from that Tina Fey umbrella to the purpose the place the humor is a bit bit extra refined. It’s an thrilling layer of Bayside.

Within the trailer, it seems to be like there’s a bit musical quantity. Are we going to listen to you sing?
Dexter Darden: I
don’t wish to give something away, however let’s simply say there’s a chance that you simply get to listen to Dexter Darden lastly open up his vocal cords and let unfastened. Devante is a type of characters who it’s important to watch the present to determine a bit bit about, however I believe I lastly get the prospect to showcase a bit bit extra of my skills and expertise that the world has form of gotten a glimpse of however not likely the chance to totally discover.

The Saved by the Bell forged is crammed with such nice younger expertise. What was it like so that you can be on set with folks your age and creating one thing that’s very present for a brand new technology?
Dexter Darden: We weren’t blind to the truth that the present and the world that we had been moving into is vital and means so much to everyone. Saved by the Bell has established itself — from a nostalgia standpoint — to the plenty. It’s vital for us to do the whole lot that we are able to to form of pay homage to that and to actually present how we’re the brand new 6 children that Bayside has chosen to comply with. However we imply so much on this world of Bayside and it’s vital, so I’m excited concerning the alternative to have the ability to showcase and work with Josie Totah, who’s such a revolutionary within the sense of what she’s working so exhausting to perform for the world when it comes to the LGBTQ group in New York. Having the chance to work so carefully with Jo and in addition create with the originals Mario and Elizabeth each single day, it actually means so much when it comes to what we try to perform on the present.

Dexter Darden is one in every of Hollywood’s most proficient younger stars. (AP)

You starred in an extremely vital movie known as Son of the South the place you performed John Lewis. What was your course of like as you stepped into the sneakers of a civil rights legend? 
Dexter Darden: For me, each probability to play someone who really existed and stroll this earth and make such a optimistic and influential influence on our world, you actually wish to have the chance to only pay him homage and that’s actually it. All I actually wished to do was make him proud. He really needed to cosign on me taking part in him, which was actually particular. As a result of if you play such an iconic determine within the Civil Rights actions, you actually wish to ensure that a) you’re doing all your greatest job to make them really feel as nice about what your efficiency is offering and what you’re bringing to the desk, and b) you wish to just remember to know that you’re making the viewers perceive and be part of the ache on this planet that he was experiencing at that particular time. It was actually an honor. It’s a heavy film, nevertheless it’s a narrative that must be informed proper now similar to how Burden was.

In your Instagram, you posted your poem Silence a couple of months in the past. Is poetry one thing that you’ve all the time been inquisitive about? Have been you impressed by the second that we’re in proper now?
Dexter Darden: I’ve all the time been a singer-songwriter. Being a singer-songwriter, you might have a means with phrases which can be impactful should you can painting them in the proper means. However on the subject of poetry, it’s by no means actually been one thing that I’ve been obsessed with doing. With this latest civil rights motion, I keep in mind sitting down, and I used to be watching all the riots taking place in Minnesota. I really occurred to be watching CNN when the African American reporter acquired arrested only for doing this job. These law enforcement officials had been arresting him for reporting and doing his job. He wasn’t even a rioter. He was peaceable. He was really coming to congratulate them on how nice of a job they had been doing and so forth. That impressed me to only write Silence. I simply actually wished to provide folks a perspective of what it appears like being an African American male, not likely understanding many allies locally and our trade. I wished to provide everyone the chance to not simply plead their case, however to come back ahead and say I stand with you, and for these of them who didn’t know why not talking up can also be contributing to the issue. I believe presenting to them by way of artwork that they will relate to me and that by way of poetry or whether or not it’s music or no matter, they may relate to me in a selected means. I assumed that that was the best way that I may form of attain the plenty probably the most.

Dexter Darden performed Frypan in ‘The Maze Runner’ motion pictures. (The Everett Assortment)

I used to be an enormous fan of The Maze Runner sequence. Do you all nonetheless be in contact at the moment? 
Dexter Darden: We’re nonetheless very shut. We strive our greatest to see one another and talk. We speak day-after-day about life and verify in with one another. One factor that actually meant so much to me was when the civil rights motion began taking place — George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so forth — having Kaya [Scodelario], Chris [Sheffield], Dylan [O’Brien], and Ki Hong [Lee] all name me and say, can we get on Zoom? What can we do? How can we make you’re feeling comfy proper now? We love you. We care about you. We stay up for making you’re feeling protected. It actually reveals that we weren’t only a household as a result of we had been filming a film collectively. We’re a household for the remainder of my life, and that was one thing that actually meant so much to me.