Skip to main content

Jennie Garth on '90210,' Amanda Bynes, Peter Facinelli

By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
updated 8:42 AM EST, Tue December 11, 2012
Garth on preparing for her first Christmas as a single mom:
Garth on preparing for her first Christmas as a single mom: "I'm going to make it the best holiday for my girls that I possibly can."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jennie Garth and former "90210" co-star Luke Perry are developing a TV series together
  • On Amanda Bynes: "You can't play sisters with somebody for four years and not love them"
  • Garth, who split from Peter Facinelli this year, called the dating scene "awful"

(CNN) -- Jennie Garth is not ashamed to admit she gets hooked on "Beverly Hills, 90210" reruns on SOAPnet from time to time.

"Sometimes I'll be walking through a room, and I'll see that it's on, and I have to stop and pay my respects and watch it," she said. "Then I get sucked in. Just seeing the clothes and the makeup was so distinct to that era, you know? It's really fun to watch now. You can play drinking games to it, too, which is always a good time."

While in New York City promoting eBay's Give One program benefitting Toys for Tots, the actress spoke to CNN about re-entering the dating scene, her former co-star Amanda Bynes and the role that launched her career: Kelly Taylor on "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Over the course of the original "90210's" 1990-2000 run, Kelly was shot, raped, kidnapped, addicted to cocaine, joined a cult and almost died in a fire.

Jennie Garth: How I got body, life back

While Garth never got top billing, Kelly was arguably the series' star, looking back on "90210's" decade-long run. In fact, Garth pointed out that the only episode that didn't prominently feature her character was the one where the gang went to Hawaii (because that's what you do when you're unemployed and just out of college).

"This is the ultimate sacrifice for being a mother," said Garth. "The ultimate 'f--- you,' basically, from my show. I had a baby; they went to Hawaii. I didn't get to go because I had had a baby."

Garth's character, Kelly, did get shot at the very end of that episode.

"Yeah I got shot, but really I was having a baby," said Garth. "Very symbolic. Become a mother, get shot. Become a mother, don't get to go on anymore vacations."

The conversation quickly turned into a retrospective about the disasters Kelly endured during her "90210" tenure.

The fire: "I had to wear that stupid scar makeup for months."

Kelly's fellow burn victim: "The lesbian stalker, one of my favorites!"

Drug addiction: "The coke days! Those were fun episodes. The dark eye makeup, black nails, I really went for it. Edgy."

2013 will mark the 20-year high school reunion of the fictional West Beverly Hills High School Class of '93, and Garth isn't opposed to a potential reunion special.

"I've never been to a real reunion because I didn't graduate from a real high school so that would be pretty cool," she said.

Garth was hard-pressed to come up with any on-set "90210" secrets that the fans don't already know, but she did come up with something rather shudder-worthy.

"There was a vending machine at The Peach Pit that had nuts and candy," said Garth. "You know those ones where you put your quarter in and out comes a handful? It was maggots. There were actual maggots crawling inside it. It was so disgusting."

Another interesting fun fact: the house where the fire episode took place was the same house used for the exteriors of the Burnham family house in "American Beauty" and the Griswold family house in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." That house sits on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, and its windows and trimmings are often altered to suit filming.

Garth, who turned 40 earlier this year, remains friends with her "Beverly Hills, 90210" co-stars -- yes, even Shannen Doherty. She also still sees Tori Spelling and Ian Ziering, but remains closest with Luke Perry.

"Luke and I are actually doing a show," she said. "We love working together so when we did that (Old Navy) commercial, he and I, specifically, have a very strong connection so we were like 'Let's make a show together. Let's work everyday with people we actually love.' So we're working on something now."

Details about the still-in-development show remain under wraps, but Garth and Perry are developing, creating and producing it.

Garth, who starred alongside Amanda Bynes on the sitcom "What I Like About You" from 2002-2006, has not spoken to Bynes since the young actress' legal woes began mounting this year.

"I'll always have a special place for her in my heart," said Garth. "You can't play sisters with somebody for four years and not love them and take them under your wing."

Garth and her husband, actor Peter Facinelli, split earlier this year after 11 years of marriage. Facinelli is now romantically linked to actress Jaimie Alexander, his co-star on Showtime's "Nurse Jackie." Garth and Facinelli share joint custody of their three daughters -- Luca, 15, Lola, 10, and Fiona, 6 -- whom they remain utterly devoted to.

"I have the girls for Christmas Day, and we're gonna have a traditional Christmas," said Garth, "then we're traveling to see some friends in Virginia and then their dad's going to be taking them for a few days to go skiing or something. It's all new, this splitting of the holidays. It's definitely new. Definitely new and foreign; but I'm jumping in with both feet, and I'm going to make it the best holiday for my girls that I possibly can."

For all the "Twilight" fans wondering whether Garth has seen Facinelli's latest movie, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2":

"I haven't," she said. "My girls are all fans, and I support them loving it and loving the movie that their dad's in but, no, I haven't seen the new one."

Garth also admitted she hates being back on the dating scene.

"Who wants to date," she said. "It's awful, and then add to it being photographed while doing it, and the scrutiny that that entails. It's impossible."

Garth also took the opportunity to clear up rumors that she likes mean guys.

"It went viral that I like bad boys, like mean people. No, I'm a little edgy so I like someone who has that edge. You can have that edge, and you might not notice it by looking at someone, but it's in there... I'm into nice guys!"

Garth told CNN that she doesn't have a "type," per se.

"It's all about an energy," she said. "If there's an energy between two people it doesn't matter what you look like or what you do for a living or where you live."

As the interview wrapped, Garth said she was heading straight to the airport.

"I'm gonna get a piece of pizza in the car on the way to the airport, maybe some crazy (street vendor) nuts. Hold the maggots."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT