Ocala Star-Banner August 7th 2003

Ocala Star-Banner August 7th 2003

Shannen Doherty is getting the last laugh, but she isn't enjoying it.

"Scare Tactics," her extreme pranks series, is a hit despite the beating it took from critics when it debuted late last spring. After a summer of repeats, new episodes can now be seen Fridays on the Sci-Fi Channel.

A second season will begin in the fall.

"Do I feel validated now that it's a hit?" she asks. "No."

Come again?

"I can't feel validated because something is a hit because it can always go away the next day."

And the 32-year-old actress knows about the here today-gone tomorrow lifestyle in Hollywood. She bolted from two hit shows -- "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Charmed" -- due to conflicts.

Her reputation has been somewhat tarnished, she says. A drunken-driving charge two years ago has only made her image problem worse. In another matter, she was ordered to attend anger management sessions.

The world hasn't exactly been her oyster in recent times.

She says time and newfound success have given her perspective.

What means more to her is how she's getting along with everyone. On her last two series, she wasn't exactly known for being an all-out team player.

"Yeah, we're a hit, and it feels good. Yes, the bosses at Sci-Fi like me, and that makes me feel good," she says. "I am an ambitious girl, and when you work with me, I expect the best. I push for it."

Doherty says she hasn't read the reviews of "Tactics," which was universally panned. "I only read the good reviews," said the Memphis native with a smile.

"You know us Southern women. We avoid the bad news."

Doherty says she believes that critics take the show too seriously.

"If someone doesn't like it, they can change the channel," she says. "My job as an actress is to entertain the audience."

She says she turned down three series offers this year and a role in "Scary Movie 3." The success of "Tactics" is allowing her to say no a lot these days.

But she admits it has not been easy.

"You second-guess about whether you said 'no' to the right project," she says. "It's scary making huge career decisions on your own. There are times when I second-guess myself. At 32, I've just gotten comfortable with myself. I'm not that girl who has to be a celebrity. I'm all about the work now."