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Debra Jo Rupp Recalls ‘Fluttery, Giggly’ Feeling Meeting ‘That ’70s Show’ Co-Star



Debra Jo Rupp has openly spoken about the joyous time she had working on That ’70s Show. When the show ended, Rupp recalls being emotional. She had similar sentiments when Netflix called with the offer to reprise her role as Kitty Forman in That ’90s Show. Hear Rupp’s recollections of meeting Kurtwood Smith, the man who played Red Forman, for the first time, plus what it was like to reunite with the cast of That ’70s Show in the Netflix spinoff.

Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp | Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Debra Jo Rupp knew ‘just from looking’ Kurtwood Smith would play Red Forman 

Rupp spoke about the That ’70s Show spinoff series with Vulture recently. During her conversation, she talked about the first time she met Smith. Their meeting took place during the audition they did together for the That ’70s Show pilot. At the time, she had been cast as the show’s matriarch, but they were still looking for the perfect Red to her Kitty. 

“I had to read with everyone they had chosen for the final group,” Rupp recalled. “I remember looking down the hallway and there had to be five or six men sitting and waiting their turn. I went, ‘Oh, it’s going to be this guy.’ I swear, just from looking at Kurtwood.”

Debra Jo Rupp ‘instantly felt Kitty’ auditioning with Kurtwood Smith 

Rupp joked Smith’s “big head” was what got him the role in That ’70s Show. In reality, she “instantly felt Kitty with him.” 


“I felt fluttery and giggling and happy,” the actor continued. “He was very RoboCop-ish in his audition, which made it really easy to be Kitty against that. His energy is so grounded and she’s all over the place. It wouldn’t have been the same if Red wasn’t as grounded. It would’ve been harder.” 

Reuniting for ‘That ’90s Show’ was ‘very emotional’ for the Kitty Forman actor

Having the opporitunity to play Kitty again was a joy for Rupp, who said she “cried for a month” when That ’70s Show ended. “… I took everything I could,” she told The Wrap in January 2023. “I couldn’t get the Vista Cruiser because Wilmer [Valderrama, who reprises his role as Fez] took that, but if I could have, I would have.”

Those cheese grater lights from the Forman’s kitchen? Those were Rupps when the show ended. She also took the purple grapes and “these orange things that were in the back den that no one ever saw” when the show concluded. She also took Kitty’s sweaters and her nursing uniform, all of which had to get shipped back to be used in Netflix’s That ’90s Show

Getting the chance to be back on set with Smith was special, but so was reuniting with the rest of the That ’70s Show cast. Once again, Rupp cried. “It was very emotional for me,” she explained. 

“They didn’t come all at one time. They came one at a time, really. And each one would come in the living room and come in the kitchen, and I would cry and we would take a short break, so I could compose myself. And then we would move on.” 

Debra Jo Rupp, The Wrap

After working with these actors for eight years, Rupp’s reaction to seeing them again was understandable. Stream all 10 episodes of That ’90s Show on Netflix. 


Source: Cheat Sheet

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