Seattle Post July 9th 2003
Seattle Post July 9th 2003


Her friends will tell you she's sweet and even shy. From the public's point of view, however, Shannen Doherty's bad-girl reputation is legendary. Believe what you will about her, but one thing's undeniable -- she's a natural to host Sci Fi Channel's "Scare Tactics," a prank show that reduces its burliest victims into shrieking infants.

"It's a show for some people and not for others," she said. "You definitely have to like this sort of thing. And if you don't, I respect that."

We sat down for a chat at the Television Critics Association July Press Tour in Hollywood.

Part of the reason they recruited you for this show is your reputation.
Definitely. These guys, one of the first things that they said to me is, "You're so nice, and you kind of take this reputation that you have as tongue-in-cheek."

Do you ever play it up at all?
No. As much as I like to sort of laugh it off and say, "Oh, ho, whatever!" deep down it definitely bothers me. It definitely hurts me and I hate it. I hate the reputation that I have. There's so many parts of me that wishes I could start over. ... But for this show, it works. One hundred percent.

Plus, this would seem to be the beginning of a career as a vamp. You're almost kind of the Elvira of prank shows.
(wincing) Ooh, God.

That's not a bad thing. People like Elvira.
It's this particular show, that's what it called for. Would I turn around and do something else that was very similar? No. ... I won't follow it up with another vampy role. I can tell you that much. That's not me. I'm much more shy than that girl who's up there. I'm not as wink-wink as she is.

People know the conceit of hidden camera shows like yours. How is it you can still keep scaring people?
The key to our success is that we don't really give people too much time to think. Pranks happen really quickly. Five minutes, we're done, you know? It's all happening fast. It's that roller-coaster ride. That's the other thing I wanted to get to: We only play pranks on people that think Magic Mountain is the best place in the world, that go on roller coasters six times in a row. I'm a huge roller-coaster girl. I would probably love to have a prank like this pulled on me. Would I have nightmares later? I don't know. But I would probably love it. I would think, wow, that's so cool.

I hope you don't live to regret saying on the record that you're a roller-coaster girl.
Yeah. Me either.