The group of That 70’s Show he was friends with his viewers. The chemistry between its protagonists infected the viewers of the series, who closely followed the daily misadventures of Eric Forman (Topher Grace), Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), and Fez (Wilder Valderrama) and the rest of those characters. And that fictional link moved behind the screen, with a cast that shared moments of great fun within the framework of a production that was not without some bitter pills.
In the mid-1990s, the marriage of screenwriters composed of Terry Y Bonnie Turner he had gained the confidence of the producers. Among some of his works, one could highlight the script for the two films by The world according to Wayneseveral sketches of the Saturday night Live and, mainly, the creation of the sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun. For this reason, when they came up with a new proposal, Fox was very interested.
The intention was to portray the friendship of a group of teenagers, framing the story in the seventies. It was not the idea to make a faithful portrait of that period, but to play with some clichés of the time. In tribute to The Who, the Turners had thought of naming their series “Teenage Wasteland” or “The Kids Are Alright”, but legal issues prevented them from using the names of those songs. That way, Feelin’ Alright emerged as a replacement, an option that did not convince them too much.
Originally, the premise was that of two friends, named Eric and Hyde, who competed for the love of Donna, a neighbor in common. In turn, the group was completed by Kelso, a nerd expert in starwarsan exchange student nicknamed Fez (for “Foreign Exchange Student”), and the clever Jackie. But the writers began to make some changes: the love triangle was dropped to focus only on the romance between Eric and Donna, and Kelso’s nerdy traits ended up in Eric’s hands. On the other hand, the figure of Red was created, the severe father of the protagonist. The idea of playing with the daily life of these characters and framing the adolescent routine in that past decade became the driving force behind the proposal. Ultimately, when the producers heard one person refer to the project as “that ’70s show,” they knew therein lay the perfect title for this series.
The Turners didn’t want stars for the younger roles. They were looking for new faces, and they knew that the key to success had to do with putting together a cast that genuinely connected. Thus began a search that yielded great results, from the most unexpected places.
For the role of Eric, they had in mind a young man named Topher Grace, whom they had seen in a school play. He had never acted professionally, but he was nonetheless cast and given the central role, a challenge Grace nervously accepted, as he once recalled: “Those opening chapters are very hard for me to watch. I’m literally learning how to act in front of the camera. I remember that at the time I saw them, I realized that I was doing everything very badly, and that is why I tried to improve the following week. It was like going to school”.
Ashton Kutcher was a model on the rise, when he wanted to audition for the role of Kelso. While other candidates (such as James Franco) played the character as if he were a klutz, Kutcher gave him a more innocent imprint, which the producers found hilarious. Like Grace, Ashton had also never acted professionally, and in a note he confessed: “During the first episodes, I was convinced that at any moment they were going to fire me, because my performance was a disaster.”.
Wilmer Valderrama like Fes, Laura Prepon like donna and Danny Masterson Like Hyde, they also appeared in casting tests and surprised by their freshness. However, the surprise came from the hand of a young woman named Mila Kuniswho indulged in a lie to get the role of Jackie.
When Kunis went to audition for That 70’s ShowI was only 14 years old. She knew that she couldn’t show up if she wasn’t 18, and she consciously hid that fact. The casting director and producers loved her performance, but they suspected she was underage, so they asked her if she had come of age. Very ambiguously, Kunis replied, “On my birthday, I will turn 18″, but she deliberately left out that it would be in four years. Laughing, some time later Kunis confessed: “Technically I didn’t lie, I told them I was going to turn 18, because it was true that I was eventually going to reach that age.” The producers soon found out that the young woman was just 14, but they liked her work so much that they agreed to hire her..
As is known, Kunis and Kutcher formed a most toxic couple in fiction, a duo that found a way to relate through deception, jealousy and lies. Behind the camera, they had a similar relationship, they were very close friends, but they constantly fought and even refused to greet each other. Of course, eventually, they always made up, because there was a great love between them. At that time, nothing suggested that this was going to give rise to a love story.
When the series ended, Kunis and Kutcher always kept in touch, and after not seeing each other for a while, there was a departure that changed everything. In her own words, Mila told how that reunion was: “I saw it and it was literally like we were in a movie, with the music and the violins playing in the background. For the first time, seeing him took my breath away, and I realized how handsome he was.”. In 2012, the two started dating, and in 2015 they got married. They currently live on a sustainable farm in Beverly Hills, together with their son and daughter, forming one of the most beloved couples in Hollywood.
From the adult flat That 70’s ShowWithout a doubt, the most important character was that of Red Forman, Eric’s strict father. He was a taciturn man, incapable of showing a hint of emotionality. He abided by a very strict code of conduct, he was only interested in sports, and again and again clashed with his son’s personality. Those differences between both generations, was one of the juiciest condiments of the show, and for that reason, the writers wanted a man who symbolized that idea of ”old-fashioned macho.”
For that role, they had only one name in mind: Chuck Norris. The Turners wanted the legendary action hero for their comedy, an actor of his own weight who could even renew his image in a sitcom. But sadly, Norris couldn’t take the job because he was still running the company. Walker Texas Rangerhis television series.
With no candidate to play Red, he appeared on the scene Kurtwood Smitha veteran interpreter capable of giving life to a father old school, more predisposed to growl than to speak. Although he did not suspect it at first, the actor confessed on several occasions that this was the job that gave him the most satisfaction, and revealed who he relied on to compose it: “I didn’t write any of the jokes, but at the casting and from then on, I always had my stepfather in mind. He died just before the pilot aired, and throughout all the seasons in which I composed Red, making a character that had such an important value for me was something very special.”.
Another strong figure was actress Lisa Robin Kelly, chosen to play Laurie Forman, Eric’s incorrect sister. Although she was not a fixed character, her appearances were important and the public enjoyed each of her evil and the way in which she manipulated the fearsome Red. But without much explanation, Laurie disappeared in the middle of the third season.
The versions assured that she had resigned, while other rumors indicated that the actress was very conflictive, and that for that reason she was fired. Unexpectedly, in the fifth season she returned to her but only for a few episodes. Without any kind of communication from her, the production finally replaced her with the actress Christine Moore. Over time, Lisa Robin Kelly revealed that she suffered from an addiction problem, which affected her work. And in 2013, the actress had a tragic end, when she died due to an overdose.
That 70’s Show It debuted in August 1998 and its success allowed it to last for eight seasons, which had their ups and downs. The writing team made an endearing portrait of friendship in the seventies, emphasizing humor and all kinds of absurd situations. They allowed themselves to play with great films, records and fashions of that time, and they had enough ingenuity to portray habits that were not well seen on broadcast television at that time, such as the consumption of marijuana (something that gave rise to those remembered talks, with the camera turning on the laughing expressions of the protagonists).
The show was a real success, driven not only by the quality of its episodes, but also by the bond of its protagonists, who became great friends and used to show up together in nightclubs and bars. The only exception was Topher Grace, who although she did not have a bad relationship with her classmates, she did not establish that friendship that the rest of the group did. And in part, that was because he was so focused on his career.
One of the big blows the series received occurred when Grace announced her resignation. When he was summoned to work in Spider-Man 3, the actor left television and sought to start a career in film, which ultimately did not give great results. The production then decided to create a new character to somehow make up for the absence of Eric, a boy named Randy, who was played by Josh Meyer. To the delight of the public, Grace returned as a guest for the last chapter, issued in May 2006 and entitled “That 70’s Finale”.
A few days ago, it transpired that the cast of That 70’s Show will have a reunion in the framework of the imminent That 90´s Showa new fiction that will tell the life of Leia Forman, daughter of Donna and Eric (who apparently never lost his obsession with starwars). The only one who will not be part of that reunion will be Danny Masterson, because he faces three accusations of rape, for which he will stand trial in August of this year.
With everything ready for a new return of these friends, now the eyes are on the long-awaited return of Eric, Donna, Jackie, Kelso and Fez, a group of characters who never lost the affection of their fans.