Jennie Garth Dishes on What Kissing Jason Priestley Is Like 25 Years Later on 'BH90210' (Exclusive)
By Leena Tailor
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Countless Beverly Hills, 90210 fans the world over grew up dreaming of kissing Jason Priestley, and now his screen love Jennie Garth is dishing on what it’s like to lock lips with the Canadian hunk all over again on Fox’s quasi-revival, BH90210.
The 47-year-old actress sat down with cos-tar and bestie Tori Spelling, 47, to interview each other for ET on all things kissing, panic attacks and reboot.
“Why are you asking me that? It's kinda gross,” Garth jokes (we hope) when asked by Spelling how it felt to be kissing Priestley again on the new series, which sees the original cast portraying heightened versions of themselves.
Pressed on whether she still felt the strong chemistry that their characters, Brandon and Kelly, shared on the '90s show, Garth said it felt like two very different experiences … but admitted kissing Priestley leaves you sweaty!
“It's impossible to compare the two experiences because like you said, one was Brandon and Kelly, one's Jason and Jennie,” she says. “Chemistry-wise, Jason and I work really well together and we're both just in it to win it. It's like, ‘Let’s get this and go home.’”
“So, there's not a lot of drama or any extra stuff going on,” she adds. “Kissing him was just like old times. It felt exactly the same. Like riding a bike. Ah, it makes you sweaty!”
Eager to put Spelling under the same spotlight, Garth then quizzed her on having to kiss Brian Austin Green, who portrayed her character, Donna’s, high school sweetheart-turned-husband David Silver on the original show.
“I was nervous for a moment!” Spelling confesses. “[I would feel] less nervous if it was someone new, I think. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. What if he's like, ‘Ooo, this poor thing has gone downhill!’”
The grilling continued as Spelling asked Garth (with whom she worked with to get the reboot off the ground) how confident she had been that people would embrace the show’s return.
“I was not sure at all that people would embrace this concept -- this whole meta version of doing a reboot,” Garth admits. “And, I was nervous because it had never been done before. [People] playing themselves in roles has been done in the movies [and] by different shows and I know a lot of our inspiration came from [comedian] Larry David and I have fun when I watch shows like that.”
“[But] developing it, I was really nervous that people would be confused -- that they would just want to see the characters,” Garth continues. “But I remember you encouraged me all along. I would have a panic attack and be like, ‘This is not gonna work. They are not gonna like it,’ and you would say, ‘Yes they are, it's gonna be fine.’ And, you'd have a panic attack and I'd say, ‘You're fine!’”
Garth revealed that they had initially envisioned the series as a half-hour comedy similar to Curb Your Enthusiasm, and were nervous about developing it into a one-hour show. She added that seeing good reviews and the “energy” around BH90210 has been the most rewarding part about persevering with the idea.
The two sweetly described how they also had two “angels” watching over them as they revisited the iconic series -- late co-star Luke Perry, who died in March, and Spelling’s father, Aaron Spelling, who was the original show’s producer and died in 2006.
“Your dad is the most famous producer of television there ever was,” Garth says. “It's in your genes.”
“My dad was such a fighter. If he had an idea, he would not take no for an answer,” Spelling says about how her dad helped motivate her, like in those moments when she and Garth panicked about whether people would like the show. “He stuck to his vision, and in life, when there's different cooks in the kitchen, things get changed, and one thing he taught me to do is believe in what you create and don't let that vision go.”
“I feel like during the process we had two angels looking down telling us, like, go ahead," she adds. "My dad and Luke were both wanting us to go ahead with our vision and stick to it."
BH90210 airs Wednesdays on Fox. See more on the series below.