Shannen Doherty Looks Back on '90210': I'm Glad I Played Brenda, Not Kelly (EXCLUSIVE)
Shannen Doherty makes her much-anticipated return to TV tonight on WE tv with Shannen Says, a reality show that follows her and fiance, famed photographer Kurt Iswarienko, as the two plan a wedding.
Last week, Shannen talked with us about misconceptions and mistakes -- and now get more scoop from the famed TV icon. Shannen discusses kids, finding 'the one' and -- of course -- 90210 with Celebuzz's Taryn Ryder.
I know you went through a hard time with the passing of your father, but it looked like Kurt really helped you through that. Was that part of how you knew Kurt was "the one"? Yeah, I knew he was the one the minute I met him. There are things that happen in life and in a relationship that maybe cement your togetherness even more, and my father passing away was definitely one of them. We were engaged prior to my dad passing away, so we already knew that we wanted to spend our life together. When my [dad] passed away we put the wedding off because I couldn’t really imagine walking down the aisle. You know my mom, I think Kurt helped my mom quite a bit. Anybody that helps my mom I’ll love and be loyal for the rest of my life. My mom is the most raw, honest human being, what you see is what you get. Kurt and just my relationship with my mom in general has helped me start to deal with it, and it has helped me at least put one foot in front of the other every single day.
You and Kurt really do seem great together. On a lighter note, I saw that one relationship "rule" you guys have is to spend weekends together. What other rules do you have? Respect. Respect is a very, very, very, very big rule. It doesn’t really matter if you are in a fight and are hating each other or anything else, but name calling is an absolute no! And you know people get in fights and someone will flip out, but it’s up to that person to really apologize for it. For us, it's mainly its about respect. Whether it's fights or loyalty or how you conduct yourself in public, any of that falls under respect. Another rule we have, is he has his parents I have my mom, so we have to show each other’s families respect and put each other first.
So... what is harder: planning a wedding or landing the right guy? I think landing the right guy is a lot harder!
Tell me about it--I’ve been looking and it's tough! It's when you’re not looking! I know, everyone says that and you’re like “Oh whatever,” but it’s true because when I met Kurt I definitely was not looking. I was just getting out of a relationship myself-- I wanted to be single and he was in the process of getting out of a relationship and he didn’t want a relationship either. That’s sort of when it clubs you over the head and you’re like ‘Oh!. But it’s also when you’re ready; you know when you’re actually ready for the right guy. Because honestly, how I met Kurt, a year prior or 4 years prior or whatever, I wouldn’t have been ready for him or wouldn’t have been able to recognize that he was the right guy for me.
So I noticed the "no children" policy you had at your wedding. Do you two want kids? Yeah we do want kids eventually and it’s funny-- I ended up having kids at the wedding! It was kind of the most whimsical and joyful part of the wedding, seeing these kids on the dance floor just getting down and having an absolute blast. I realized ‘Oh God, I was so stringent.’ It's because it was the first time I’ve had an actual wedding, I thought I could be a little bit controlling about it, and after a while you just have to let things go. In letting things go you sometimes become enlightened, and we sat there watching the kids dance and it was like, ‘How could you not have kids there?’
Do you see yourself having kids soon? Or in a few years? Although we’ve been together now for three and a half years, we enjoy each other’s company so much that I think right now we just want to keep it the two of us. That doesn’t mean that we’re not taking the proper steps to have a kid! Somebody looked at me recently and said ‘You used to be so skinny, you’ve gained some weight!’ I was like, ‘Yeah because I was too skinny to even have a kid’. You start changing your eating habits, and you put on a couple of pounds because it’s healthier for you. Then you just kind of wait and find the right time to see what happens.
I'm a huge 90210 fan, and by that I mean I'm a huge Brenda Walsh fan. Do you ever watch reruns when they are on? I don’t, but it has nothing with the show and everything to do with the fact that I can’t watch myself on TV. I would become incredibly self conscious; I’ve watched a couple of things I’ve been in because I’m very curious. Like Heathers-- I've watched Heathers. But for me, I notice too many things and I will sit there and make a list of things that I do that annoy me. Whether it’s the way my eyebrow raises or the way I push my hair. I guess in a way its good because when I try and build the next character, I make sure I don’t do those things and push my personal habits out so that the character is completely different, but I also think it comes a point when you become too self conscience and I don’t ever want to get there.
Just so you know, I watch reruns all the time and get actively upset when Kelly goes after Dylan. Well you’re right to! That’s the breaking of girl code. How could you do that? I remember getting that storyline and being so mad because I thought it was so irresponsible and what kind of message were we sending out to kids. In hindsight, I go alright it happened, and we elicited an emotional response from the audience and people definitely took sides-- that was our job. Personally, I’m really glad I played Brenda in that scenario and not Kelly, just because it’s one of those personal things that I could never do to one of my friends.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the cast? With some of them. With anything in life, you don’t always keep up with the kids you went to high school with. So it’s the same thing. I didn’t work with them for 10 years or 8 years, or however long the show was. I had a very different scenario. I was there for 3 or 4 years-- I can’t even remember! I do speak to Brian [Austin Green] and I do speak to Jennie [Garth]. I ran into Tory [Spelling] a couple of week ago, and it was lovely seeing her again. I also ran into Ian [Ziering] and I had a fantastic time sort of catching up with Ian. So there’s some that I’m much closer to, there are some that it’s enjoyable to see and catch up with. It kind of fills you with this joy of seeing someone that you worked with and now you’re adults and everything is different. And to be honest there’s some people I don’t talk to at all.
Be sure to catch Shannen Says, premiereing tonight, Tuesday April 10 at 10pm on WE tv. Trust us-- the show is hilarious, sweet and serious all at the same time. It's worth tuning in!