Vanity Fair (Italian version) issue 35 September 5th 2012
Shannen Doherty, the rebellious teen from Beverly Hills 90210, tells us how that character ruined her life and career.
It is not true that the sun always shines in Malibu, some days the sky may be gray and damp. With a large wool cardigan she comes in gracefully, my interviewee Shannen Doherty.
Shannen Doherty played Brenda Walsh, the rebellious adolescent character in the TV series, Beverly Hills 90210. A lot of people adored her but others were angry with her.
People confused the fictitious Brenda with the actual person and then began to resent the real Shannen. Internet was just in the beginning. The method used against her was a photocopied newsletter created by a group of young girls. It was called I Hate Brenda, I hate Brenda. Today, it might be just a hashtag on Twitter to be forgotten about in a handful of characters. But back then it was different. The hatred for Brenda ended up affecting Shannen's life, who was fired from the set of Beverly Hills 90210 and was later branded a diva.
Having been a child actress, has that had an affect on your life?
A lot. You grow up very quickly, you're surrounded by adults and I was very pampered. But knowing that you are so loved makes you very naive.
What would you say to Lindsay Lohan, a typical case of a child actress who gets into trouble?
Some years ago, I met Lindsay. I remember that I said, Right now you would not think that one day you'll regret what you're doing now, but it will happen. It will not be nice.
Is there something you regret?
I blew a lot of extraordinary opportunities because, after all, I did not feel deserving of success. Brenda was the luck of my life and at the same time, the source of so much unhappiness. It made me a self-destructive person.
There was a newsletter against Brenda. Do you ever think it was an idea to promote the series?
Sure, you think that two unknown girls could have raised all this fuss? The authors didn't have a conscious. But I do not consider myself a victim. I've done my part. Only I did not realize that all of my behavior on the set and my every word would be reported to the tabloids. The more papers were branding me a bad girl, the more I was becoming one. This poor girl has been married three times. Yeah. The first, still in Beverly Hills 90210, with a guy I barely knew. The second, a few years later: a gigantic mistake. And then there was Kurt.
The full interview can be read in Vanity Fair issue #35, on newsstands August 29 2012.