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‘Saved by the Bell’ Star Tiffani Thiessen’s Casting as Kelly Kapowski Caused Serious Controversy!

Anyone who grew up in the ’80s or ’90s associates Tiffani Thiessen with Kelly Kapowski — aka the ‘every girl wants to be her’ cheerleader from Saved by the Bell!

But in an interview with Life & Style, the show’s original director, Gary Shimokawa, reveals that he initially didn’t want the brunette beauty for the role.

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After narrowing down the field to Tiffani, Elizabeth Berkley (who went on to play Jessie Spano) and Jennie Garth (who later landed a starring role on Beverly Hills, 90210), Gary admits he liked Jennie best.

“When Tiffany was brought on board, she had never done any acting,” he shares. “Tiffani just looked like she looks: She was absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and 14-years-old. But a lot of times we had to talk her through the performances.”

tiffani thiessen mark-paul gosselaar getty images

Tiffani with Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

On the other hand, Dustin Diamond — who played nerdy kid Screech Powers — hardly had to act at all. “He was just a zany, crazy, wild kid,” says Ed Alonzo, aka Max, owner of the show’s diner.

“When you’re around that every single day, especially for the rest of the cast, he kind of just became like an annoying little brother.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see which of the sitcom’s cast members hooked up off screen!