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Here's Why Kurtwood Smith Returned To Play Red Forman On That '90s Show

"That '70s Show" may focus on a group of teens and their sitcom misadventures, but one of the most memorable characters in the show is just about as far from a 1970s kid as possible. Main character Eric Forman's (Topher Grace) father Red (Kurtwood Smith) is a stern disciplinarian who seems to exist to scoff at his son's various antics. Nevertheless, Red has his own, extremely acerbic sense of humor, and as the series progresses, he reveals more and more layers of himself.

The character of Red Forman is, of course, strongly associated with "That '70s Show." As such, it makes sense that he'll make an appearance in the upcoming continuation of the series, "That '90s Show" — especially since it has been announced that most of the original show's cast will turn up in some fashion. In Red's case, this return will be pretty grand, since he and Debra Jo Rupp's Kitty Forman have been announced as main characters. So, what prompted Kurtwood Smith to return to the character in such a major way after so many years?

Kurtwood Smith wanted to reunite with Debra Jo Rupp as Red and Kitty

Red Forman is notoriously hard to impress, but in an interview with Comic Book, Kurtwood Smith revealed "That '90s Show" might just be able to accomplish that feat. "We finished two episodes and the response has been terrific," he said. "So I think you're going to be very happy." 

However, his main motive to return to the show was the fact that he evidently loves his character — and loves playing Red opposite Debra Jo Rupp's Kitty. In fact, he said that this prospect alone was enough to make the decision.

"I can't tell you too much, but I can tell you that the big thing for me was getting to play that character again and getting to play that character with Debra Jo Rupp playing my wife Kitty," Smith said. "Those two things were enough to entice me to want to do the project." The actor was also happy that "That '70s Show" writer Gregg Mettler was returning, as well. 

Smith seems to be delighted with his chance to bring back his legendarily grumpy character. If what he's saying about the response "That '90s Show" has received behind the scenes is any indication, the audiences may very well be, too.