ET’s Nancy O’Dell put down her microphone and tried her hand at acting for a guest appearance on an episode of 90210. But she didn’t have to put her reporter know-how too far to the side because she was playing herself.
“Playing Nancy O’Dell has been quite the stretch. I must say, I had to study up on her. Find out her likes and dislikes. And I felt really comfortable with playing Nancy O’Dell,” O’Dell jokes about her role.
O’Dell plays herself on a set of ET where she is interviewing Annie Wilson, played by Shenae Grimes, about a “super-scandalous” book detailing Wilson’s life as a young escort.
And O’Dell is “getting the scoop…on an Entertainment Tonight special on 90210.”
“It is super-scandalous indeed. It is about her history with men in the past couple years, which has questionable judgment across the board,” Grimes said. “Some secrets have been held from most of the people in her life so she has been wanting to stay anonymous [but] she realizes that in order to make peace with everything she wrote about and finally move on from it, she needs to out herself.”
In the episode titled, The Empire State Strikes Back, fear of revealing her identity as ‘Author X” is prompted by fear that the secrets Wilson reveals will hurt the people closest to her in her life like her adopted brother, Dixon Wilson, played by Tristan Wilds, Grimes says of her character.
As far as the platform for where that secret should be told, Wilds says, ET was the perfect pick.
“It’s a staple in news now. It makes sense. And 90210 is a show that likes to make sense.”
When asked what the biggest challenge was of playing herself, O’Dell says it was memorizing the lines.
“I’m so used to knowing kind of where I want to go as far as the questions are, not actually having them scripted out. I’m like ‘wow’ I’ve got to ask this question word for word.”
“I asked her isn’t it weird that you’re doing a TV show within a TV show, because it’s weird for me right now…but hopefully she is having a good time,” Grimes said.
Also in this episode, UK singer-songwriter, Olly Murs, guests stars as himself. In an effort to get a pro-surfer to be their first sponsored athlete for their new surfboard line, Liam and Navid, played by Matt Lanter and Michael Steger consecutively, have to convince the surfer’s favorite musician, Olly Murs, to do a special performance.