Shannen Doherty Tells SOCIALITE LIFE: “I’m On Brenda Walsh’s Side”

Dreams are coming true left and right.  SOCIALITE LIFE – nay – I had the pleasure of speaking to Beverly Hills, 90210 legend Shannen Doherty, whose reality series, Shannen Says premieres tonight @ 10pm on WE TV.  Doherty takes viewers on her journey to the alter with now-husband Kurt Iswarienko (who, BTW, is downright adorable), and enlists the help of wedding planner extraordinaire David Tutera to help her execute the perfect ceremony.

SL: My first web site was Team Brenda, because I was always on Brenda Walsh’s side in the Kelly-Dylan-Brenda triangle.

SD: I mean, that was so totally the right side to be on by the way.

*Shakes her fists to the sky in victory*

SL: I was swept away by Brenda and Dylan’s relationship, and the addition of Kelly Taylor into the mix taught me a lesson in loyalty and friendship.  Have you ever been asked whose side you understand more, Brenda’s or Kelly’s?

SD: I have never been asked that question-It’s a good question by the way. I understand Brenda’s side and it’s not just because I played her. It’s because I think it speaks to me as a human being. My girlfriends and I have always had a pact our entire lives that it’s, you know, much like the guys have bros before -whatever they say – which is something not very nice. 

But it’s the same with us girls.  It’s friends before boyfriends.  There’s an honor code. If you spotted him first, he’s all yours. Go for it. And we would never  do something like that scenario back then.

I actually remember getting that storyline and being incredibly upset about it. And it wasn’t because Brenda was losing Dylan. I thought that it was really wrong that we were putting that out there, that we were saying “Yes, it’s okay for a best friend to fall in love with her best friend’s boyfriend and cheat with him.”

Where’s loyalty, where’s friendship? And isn’t loyalty the most important thing in this world? Along with love? I mean those are two of the things I grew up valuing the most. 

It was really disgusting at the time.  Looking back on it, I certainly think that it was a smart storyline because it’s real and there are women who don’t have an honor code and there are men who don’t have an honor code. And I get it. But (God), I certainly – I definitely understand Brenda far more than Kelly.

I understand why she didn’t speak to them and why she was really upset and hurt and angry.  It made her feel vulnerable and she couldn’t trust [anyone]. I mean if you can’t trust your best friend, who can you trust?

SL: Precisely.  By the way, you looked better in the spring fling dress than Kelly did.

SD:  Thank you. I know. Poor Brenda. She never got to be the princess. But, you know, I can say it’s all okay because Brenda is in London.

SL: Yes.  With Roy Randolph.

SD: That’s right. Yes, Roy Randolph. She has a child and she’s successful and very content. What I loved about the new 90210 is how the producers really took my opinion into consideration and where Brenda would be.  She would not be the sort of angtsy teenager anymore.

This is a girl who moved away and went to London and followed goals and her passion and her dreams. And living overseas I think she would be a much more sophisticated calm person and she’s also had some success. But it’s kind of like she would have grown up. And I loved playing her in the new 90210 because it was just such a different level that she was at that it was a joy.

SL: And Kelly has Dylan’s love child, which is so fitting.

SD: Right. It’s perfect. And all is well in the world.

SL:  I really loved the first two episodes that I watched.  I thought you were fantastic. I thought Kurt was adorable. And I found myself laughing throughout the episode.  In one scene you described yourself to David Tutera as “determined.”  You have a lot of heart, you’re passionate and you have a lot of people who care about you. What were your initial concerns about filming the reality series and what do you hope people will see when they watch it?

SD: Well, I think the initial concern is about how much privacy and how much of myself am I giving up. And whatever you do, at all costs you want to be authentic and truthful.

Kurt and I really made a pact about this and said, “If we’re going to do this, then we have to do it right.”  And the only way to do it right is to be ourselves. And that means bearing the good, the bad and the ugly.

With some of that comes fear and trepidation because I couldn’t go into it saying “Oh, I want to change people’s perception of me,” because that would mean that I took a step into it in a very sort of dishonest way and that I would be conscious of the image that I was portraying. And I didn’t want to do that.

But the fear comes from when you’re 100% yourself and people still hate you and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. This really sucks. So it was hard, but ultimately it was incredibly rewarding because we did stay honest and we did stay truthful and we did stay authentic. And we do fight.

Some people are going to say that it’s too soft and some people are going to say “she’s too bitchy” and some people are going to say that I’m too demanding. And some people are going to be like, “David claims that it’s the determined person being stubborn.” On a side note, he’s a Taurus, which everybody knows Taurus are the most stubborn people there are. So that’s a stubborn man…

Being even more stubborn with me, which is interesting. I’m – I would say I’m not stubborn.  I do think that there’s a clear difference between determined and stubborn, as the Webster’s English dictionary would point out as well.

But I think that that – I think that’s very telling. And I love David and we had a great time. But David was – he was cautious in meeting me too. And I think that that was, you know, David’s first reaction to me is everything that he had heard.

In the show I think you see that relationship change and I think you see it grow just like you end up seeing, you know, the truth behind my relationship with my now husband and how – yes, we may fight. You know, it’s not all roses and rainbows and butterflies and – it is a real honest relationship and that – it doesn’t mean that we’re pulling each other’s hair out.

It just means that when we have an issue, we don’t always come at it from a very calm, rational place. Sometimes we get really upset. Sometimes he sleeps elsewhere and I cry or whatever it is. And again, I think that that’s what makes the show different and interesting and something that I’m really proud of is because it just stayed honest all the way through.

Shannen Says premieres tonight (April 10th) @ 10/9c on WE.