Playboy December 2003

Playboy December 2003

Shannen, Hollywood’s hottest drama queen has nothing to hide.

What the author of the article had to say:
Shannen Doherty made Beverly Hills, 90210 the hottest zip code on TV and charmed us as a wickedly sexy witch. Now the host of Scare Tactics, she’s back on our pages in a pictorial so steamy it’s scary. “I didn’t know what to expect when I interviewed her,” says Assistant Editor Robert DeSalvo. “I always liked her best on-screen when she was in megabitch mode, like in her classic role in Heathers. She’s not like that in person, thankfully. And she’s surprisingly frank— the kind of woman who will tell you war stories from her partying days and not leave out any of the juicy details. She’s zero BS and just tells it like it is.”
Shannen, Hollywood’s hottest drama queen has nothing to hide

Think about your most impetuous, hard-partying deed, the ones you thought nobody was watching. Would you have behaved the same if you knew people would still perceive you that way a decade later? That is the question we asked sultry Shannen Doherty, who at 32 is still largely thought of as a nightclubbing hellraiser even though she has long since graduated from her Beverly Hills, 90210 days. “For a little bit, I got wrapped up in that lifestyle,” she confesses. “What 19-year-old who is never carded wouldn’t? I was rolling into clubs with 10 of my friends and partying my ass off. We didn’t have to wait outside, and we’d get an amazing table and champagne sent over. The interesting thing is that once I became of legal age, it got boring. I feel more centered now and can focus on things that are really important in life.” Those things include her tight circle of friends, most of whom she’s known for more than 15 years, and her parents. “The most important factor in doing this new shoot was getting my parents’ blessing,” says Shannen, who last graced PLAYBOY’s cover in 1994. “They said, ‘There’s nothing you could do that we’d be ashamed of.’ My parents did a great job with my brother and me. We may screw up, but we fix our mistakes and do the right thing in the long run.”

Shannen, now working on the second season of her SciFi Channel series Scare Tactics, describes herself as a fairly shy and modest person who takes tabloid headlines in stride. “I have a good sense of humor most of the time,” she says. “I can laugh things off, but it crosses the line when it affects my family. The most outrageous recent story was about Ben Affleck’s birthday party. It said that I gave Ben a sloppy wet kiss on the lips and that J. Lo freaked out when I gave him sex toys as a present. Now, I worked with Ben on Mallrats, but I didn’t even say hi to him at this party because he was surrounded by a pack of people. So you think, Where would anyone get that story? It’s ridiculous.”

After exiting two hit TV series, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, due in part to conflicts on the set, Shannen says she rediscovered her love of acting with a part on the 2002 CBS television movie Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay. “There isn’t a hint of Shannen Doherty in that character,” she says. “I was incredibly proud, and I got great reviews. I cut them out and pinned them up for a week. I felt like it was a turning point and the first time in my life when it became about my acting and not me. I want to remember that feeling always.” Shortly thereafter, she returned to her old zip code for a 90210 reunion show. “I have the most amazing fans anyone could ever hope for,” she says. “They really wanted to see me in the reunion, so I did it for them to say thank you. Hell yes, it was awkward. We were so young doing that show, and there are arguments when you work with people day in and day out. You grow up and things change, though I’ve mellowed, and I actually enjoyed myself.”

Now Shannen is enjoying herself on Scare Tactics, a twisted reality show that allows her to play outrageous pranks. “In one segment, I took three of my friends to Vegas and played the prank on the last day, to catch them off guard,” she says. We jumped into a cab, which had to take a back road because there was supposedly a wreck on the main road. The cabdriver hits somebody, and the stuntman flips over the cab, falls unto the ground and looks like he’s bleeding. The cabdriver tries to take off, then the guy we hit yanks the driver out, and all the passenger doors are on a safety lock, so we can’t get out. The stuntman beats up the driver, jumps into the cab and drives it into a building, which was actually a mistake— the emergency brake didn’t work. By the end, my friends were crying and screaming in the backseat. And they’re still my friends!”

Shannen, who was recently divorced from her second husband, Internet gambling entrepreneur Richard Solomon, is so passionate about her work that she has put romance on the back burner. “Rick and I are still good friends,” she says. “We see each other. We date. We have what works right now.” Meanwhile, Shannen has a blossoming interest in sitcoms after a guest stint on The Ortegas. “I’ve always been scared of live audiences and never wanted to do a comedy,” she confesses. “Now I’ve changed my mind.” None of this leaves time for Shannen’s former nightlife ways, and she says her friends are lucky if she ventures out once every three months. “I wish I had conducted myself better on occasion and been more private, but I would rather live my life to the fullest than constantly conduct myself in a certain way to gain approval of others,” she says. “I’ve always been outspoken about my opinions, and there’s something to be said for having the courage to just live your life. I have regrets but no apologies.”

— Robert DeSalvo