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That '90s Show's Kurtwood Smith Thinks Red Actually Loves Having Dumb Kids In His House

What does any wayward child need but structure? The 1970s were a time for change and experimentation, but Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) still rules his family with an iron fist. And somehow, this makes Eric's (Topher Grace) friends even more inclined to hang out in the iconic basement for all eight seasons of "That '70s Show." Throughout Red slinging insults and reprimanding the teenagers, nothing stops them from making themselves at home. Donna's (Laura Prepon) parents become more and more indoctrinated into the hippie lifestyle. Hyde's (Danny Masterson) mother outright abandons him. And Jackie (Mila Kunis) admits that her father works too much to spend time with her.

Despite his best efforts to drive them away, it becomes these kids need is a parental figure who is present, and they continue to gravitate toward the Forman basement. Even though Eric complains about Red's strict rules, his father's house is the only one that is a home. Now, "That '90s Show" finds Red inundated with a whole new generation of teens as his granddaughter's friends crash the gang's old hangout. Why does he keep letting this happen? Kurtwood Smith has a theory.

Red doth protest too much

Just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in. After the drama on "That '70s Show" of Eric leaving for Africa, he and Donna reconciled and eventually had a daughter (Callie Haverda). Naturally, they named her Leia and the rest is history. When she visits for the summer, youthful shenanigans occur after she meets a new group of degenerates. But even though Red protests this teenage incursion in the "That '90s Show" trailer, Kurtwood Smith told Netflix that he believes the character wouldn't have it any other way.

"He's caught in that place where he thinks he wants to be retired. But at the same time, he doesn't really, because ... he really does like the life that these kids have brought back into his house," Smith explained on "Interview From the Hair Chair." "But he won't admit it because he's stubborn in his own way."

Red Forman, stubborn? Preposterous! But it does make a lot of sense. Beneath Red's gruff exterior has always been a heart of gold. When you peel away all the name-calling and glowering, Red does what he does because he loves Eric. Even when he's laid off from his job at the plant and money is tight, he still invites Hyde into his home. Eric's friend becomes a surrogate child to him, and it seems just as likely that Leia and her friends will find the same old welcome in a whole new decade.