Tori Spelling & Jennie Garth Interview: Mystery Girls & Moms #ABCFamilyEvent
I walk onto my first live studio set, and I am instantly attuned to the laughter. Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling are in the middle of shooting for an upcoming episode of Mystery Girls, and all I can hear is the two of them cracking up. This couldn’t be a real ABC Family studio, could it? After sitting down to talk with longtime friends Tori and Jennie, it’s not wonder that doing a comedy together would be a no-brainer. Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth opened up with us about coming back to TV after 90210, their friendship, and life as moms.
Just looking at them during this interview gave me 90210 flashbacks. Donna and Kelly sitting together again…the chemistry was magic. Finishing each other’s sentences, laughing on cue and even sharing looks and private inside jokes, these two teen icons turned moms talked candidly with our crew of 25 bloggers.
How did the idea of Mystery Girls come about?
Tori: “I had done a Christmas movie for ABC Family and I knew they were looking for comedies. I used to be a huge fan of mysteries in the eighties and my dad’s shows and I loved Remington Steele. I just wanted to pair that with comedy.”
The idea of Jennie Garth joining the show came naturally to Tori.
Tori: “I was praying that she would want to do it. And when I thought of the idea, no one else could do this. But, I didn’t know at the time what she was doing, what her plans were so I just I emailed her and…”
Cuts in Jennie…
“You emailed me a very sweet letter. No pressure but, just read it. And I read it.”
What is it like for the two working together after so many years?
Jennie: “We have fun. We have so much fun and it’s just really easy. You know we know each other very well so we’re past all [of] the awkward getting to know each other and we kind of know each other’s ups and downs, when we need space, when we need comforting and it’s like we’re very familiar with each other already. And we already have that built-in chemistry too as actresses.”
Tori: “And of course, you know, anyone can do a female buddy comedy, but I feel like the chemistry over twenty years of a friendship, like you can’t replace that. I don’t feel like anyone else could really have that back story.”
Jennie: “What’s great about our partnership is that we both come prepared. I’m usually the one to mess up my lines?”
Tori: “That’s true.”
Jennie: “Because I have a very short attention span. But if you know having an acting partner in a scene that you can count on is really important. And we always kinda show up for each other so it’s good to know that.”
I was definitely interested in how these actresses are handling the busy pace of a sitcom and balancing mom duties. As a busy mom blogger myself, getting those little tips and tricks from any mom not only validates your thoughts and feelings but inspires you to do better. Here’s how Tori and Jennie are dealing with children’s schedules and their own.
Tori: “It’s definitely a change of pace. And it’s the first time I’m acting away from them full-time. So it’s been different. But luckily they can come to set and Jennie takes [her kids] to set and they play together. So we say we have like a job and a daycare at the same time. It’s been great.”
Jennie: “You just, what feels right, what works with your schedule and for me, what works with my kids’ schedules, which you know like their what, where they are in school, the school year, where it shoots is a big deal. Things change when you have kids. Your priorities definitely change. And for me like, it’s always “where do we shoot?” I won’t go out-of-town, you know. Or if I have to go out-of-town, is it when they’re in school? You know, definitely material comes second now. Color code everybody, have everybody color coded and we do that for our family. [LAUGHS] I keep it, you know, I just gotta a schedule and try to keep us going. But for me that’s what we really do live by our schedules and it’s staying committed. If you make a commitment we keep it and… we have good help too.”
Tori: “Yeah, I always say like if we have to try to get something done, give it to a mom because I feel like moms can multi-task like no others. And we’ll just get it done.”
Jennie: “Yeah we’re usually like, you know, executive producing the show and answering casting questions and arranging play dates and like…”
Tori: “…and moms, I think it’s scary, the notion. I think if you actually take a moment and stand back at look at a situation, you’d be like, “Oh, my gosh, it’s too overwhelming.” That’s the great thing is moms just go. You don’t think about it. You just go and do. And I think-, I admire moms so much. Everywhere. ‘Cause you know it’s just, it’s a tough job.”
We asked about the ideal audience for this show. With old 90210 fans and now the more recent younger generations, where do they think Mystery Girls falls?
Tori: “It’s a blend.”
Jennie: “I think it just appeals to both [the everyday mom and the younger generation]. Because you know they get to see fashion that could inspire them or you know, escape them from maybe what’s not a very exciting life for them or they don’t get access to great fashion. And also, working moms. I have a lot of twitter followers that [are] from all different walks of life.”
Tori: “Well we definitely, I mean we try to give them a little bit of both. We have the mom. We have the single girl so you can kind of appeal-, men, I mean watch the show. We have the guys in the show. I think our 90210 fans range so much. I mean that’s the great thing is our fans range from,you know, our age to older to now teenagers…Yeah. It’s like all different generations? So I think we definitely bring that to the table. Along with ABC Family has such a huge following so we get a new audience there with them, which are teens to twenties to thirties. I think anyone from their teens to their nineties (LAUGHS…out loud).”
And the best parenting advice for all of the moms out there?
Jennie: “I mean there’s so many, there’s like two sides to every coin on that. Because I believe in structure. I believe in [how] I’m a little bit strict and a little bit structured and I protect my girls as much as I possibly can. I keep them as young as I can for as long as I can. But on the other side of that, people would say, “Oh, let them be free and run and do what they want and stay…” you know I try to blend that and let them be expressive but I do provide structure and meals together every day and set bedtimes and you know curfew for my oldest and I don’t let them control me. I’m definitely the person in charge.”
Tori: “I definitely got so much advice. I was paranoid before. I was like, [GASP] “I’m supposed to do this,” “I’m supposed to do that.” And I realize now with four kids that, just to trust your instincts and what you do, it might not be what everyone else tells you. Is it the right thing? Is it not right for your child? What’s right for their child? So I just try to go with my own instincts. I over-love probably. We definitely talk a lot about our feelings ’cause that’s not something I was accustomed to, so I really try to make that a thing in our household that if something is wrong we talk about it a lot. They’re probably sick of me talking about this. But, [LAUGHS] I believe in that. And they’re just, they’re really young now. I definitely could be a little more strict.”
Even co-star Miguel Pinzon stuck around, taking selfies and even sitting down with us for his own interview. And yes folks, he’s just as lively and bubbly as his character on-set. He tells us about his humble beginnings, thoughts on his first nomination and working with the dynamic 90210 duo. As you read this interview, imagine bright, bubbly and lots of hand motions.
How did Miguel land his unforgettable role as Nick Diaz in Mystery Girls?
“I was in San Francisco doing a job, not an acting job. Those jobs you sort of take to like make the acting jobs work and my agent sent me the info like can you please put yourself on tape and I was like oh, man like I really can’t. Like I’m doing 10 million things at once. I think like this is just one that I’m going to like let go. And he’s like please, please, please just do it. And I was like okay. And I scrambled and put it on tape and let it go as one usually does. And then like about two weeks later got a call like the producers want to see you. Oh my god you’re kidding. And then I kept presuming it would sort of stopped there. Like oh, cool. And then it just sort of happened, which was amazing.“
“This is my first big rodeo. I came from New York and had been in LA for a period of time and did a little thing on Law and Order. And then did a little bit on 30 Rock. But this is like my first series regular thing and my first time I get to do three camera comedy like just a dream. It’s so awesome.”
Miguel just heard earlier that morning about his 2014 Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice TV: Male Breakout Star. His reaction?
“I am very excited because like you know when you play that fantasy in your head about like things you want to accomplish. Like one of mine is like an EGOT. So it’s like if I can’t win a Tony at least I can win a teen choice award maybe? And then I was like playing a game like what if I can like replace a teen choice award, an Espy, and Obie, like anyway it’s fantastic. I haven’t prepared– it just happened this morning but I was just thinking how fun it is to be nominated for a character that’s queer and fun and vibrant.”
And everyone wants to know what it’s like working with THE Tori Spelling and THE Jennie Garth.
“It’s amazing to see their shorthand. There’s this ongoing joke that they have in the script of the characters which is like are you thinking what I’m thinking? And then usually Holly’s character — Tori’s character will say something completely off the mark and that’s always where the joke is. But they actually often are thinking what the other one is thinking. I just sort of love seeing how collaborative they are and the fact that they’re not only acting on it but are executive producers on it. And just seeing that relationship, that balance is inspiring because you got to make your own work. No one’s giving it to you. Something I keep trying to learn. And then at the same time on tape night the residual 90210 fan base is incredible. They are always here, so supportive and they like — their jaws hit the floor when it’s like oh my God it’s Donna and Kelly. So it’s, it’s so cool to see like — to see them and see them through their eyes, you know what I mean.”
After some really amazing and intimate interviews, we were allowed on the HOT set of Mystery Girls. As soon as my foot hit the set, I couldn’t help but grin. The bright and cheery set matched the tone of the show. Bright pinks, flashy accessories and a flair for the dramatic, I was instantly transformed into a crime solving girl!
This is totally the set that you would want your life-size Barbies to live in. Everything from the crystal chandelier to chaise lounge to pink electronics just scream girly, flirty and fun! It was surreal walking around and admiring the set in real life, especially after having seen the Mystery Girls episodes.
So was this truly a real ABC Family studio? ABSOLUTELY! A 20 year friendship, a love for laughter and a mommy bond bring Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth back to TV in the all-new show, Mystery Girls! And as they say on the show….Mystery Solved!
Tune in for a brand new Mystery Girls: High School Mystery episode tonight (7/23) at 8:30 pm ET/PT on ABC Family. Joe E. Tata (Nat of Beverly Hills 90210) will guest star in tonight’s episode!
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Disclosure ~ I attended an all-inclusive media event on behalf of Disney in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own, and the Disney giddy happiness is for real! Be sure to follow Saving Said Simply via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more reviews, giveaways and more.