Why Freddie Prinze Jr. Was ‘Cussed’ Out By Brian Austin Green Over ‘Punky Brewster’
After spending years out of the spotlight, Freddie Prinze Jr. is making a TV comeback on the Peacock reboot of Punky Brewster. The actor recently opened up about his time away from acting. And he revealed how his celebrity friend, Brian Austin Green, had to cuss him out to get him back on track.
Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Punky’s ex-husband on ‘Punky Brewster’
Soleil Moon Frye is back in the revival of her ‘80s sitcom, Punky Brewster. The 10-episode first season, which premiered on Peacock on Feb 25, also stars Cherie Johnson, who played Punky’s best friend in the original series.
In the reboot, Punky is a divorced mom with four children. Freddie Prinze Jr. portrays her ever-present and caring musician ex-husband, Travis Luna.
Why Brian Austin Green cussed out Freddie Prinze Jr. over ‘Punky Brewster’
Before joining the cast of Punky Brewster, Prinze Jr. was sure he was done with acting. But when the opportunity to play Travis opened up, his friend, Brian Austin Green, asked him to read a script. When Prinze Jr. pushed back, Green cussed him out and told him to get serious.
“I was retired,” Prinze Jr. told Collider. “I wasn’t even gonna do the show. My buddy, Brian Austin Green, called me. I don’t know this for certain, but I believe he was offered the show and couldn’t do it because he had booked something else. He called me and was like, ‘Hey, man, they’re remaking Punky Brewster and they really like you for the lead role. I know you’re lazy and don’t read anything anymore, but read this script.’”
“I hung up the phone and played Call of Duty for about nine hours straight after that and forgot,” he continued. “Two days later, he called me back and cussed me out and was like, ‘I told them you were gonna read the script. Are you ever gonna read the script, you lazy son of a bi**h?’ He cussed me out again. We’re good friends, so he’s allowed to.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar eventually convinced him to take the part
After Green’s push, Prinze Jr. started reading the scripts. And when his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, found out about the part, she convinced him that working with Frye would be a positive experience.
“I was reading the script and laughing, and Sarah went, ‘What are you laughing at?’ I was like, ‘You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,’” he said in his chat with Collider. “I told her that I was reading the Punky Brewster pilot, and she just went, ‘You’re doing the show.’ — She was like, ‘Freddie, Soleil is the sun. You’re gonna fall in love with her.’”
Prinze Jr. eventually met up with Frye. And after one hangout, he decided to give it a go. He went in to shoot the pilot and realized it was the perfect fit for him.
“I just knew it, and I was right,” Prinze Jr. said. “I loved going to work, every single day. It was just a pleasure to be there and to be the fifth lead on a show. You don’t know how good it feels until you’ve never been allowed to be one. It was just amazing. I hope I get to keep this job forever.”