TV Squad October 22nd 2010

Shannen Doherty is used to playing the "bad girl."

But in her new movie, 'Growing the Big One' which premieres at 9PM ET, Oct. 23 on The Hallmark Channel, Doherty tackles a different kind of role, "the city girl who moves to the country."

She plays Emma, a young woman who inherits her deeply-in-debt family farm and decides to enter a pumpkin-growing contest in hopes of saving it with the winnings.

"I liked it because it's a lighter role for me," she told TV Squad. "I'm usually playing these darker roles, but I liked this one because it's lighter and fluffier. I'm an aunt and it's nice to finally do something that my brother's whole family can sit around and watch their aunt."

Though her character is a city mouse thrust into the country, Doherty said that in real life, she's actually pretty familiar with farming, gardening and the country lifestyle.

"I actually kind of have a green thumb, or I used to," Doherty said, adding that she once owned a lemon farm and still has horses in friends' stables.

And despite the Halloween theme to 'Growing the Big One,' Doherty said she doesn't particularly like the holiday and has no plans to celebrate this year.

"I think for me, I don't get excited about Halloween because as an actress that's what I'm always doing. I'm always dressing up and playing other people so I guess I don't get excited about doing it for Halloween," Doherty said. "Plus, every costume is some girl turning something innocent into a sexy costume."

Speaking of bad girls, Doherty also has a new book coming out next month titled 'Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (the Right) Attitude.' The book, she said, is meant to illustrate the difference between being a "bad girl" which she readily admits she was during her tabloid favorite days on '90210,' and being a "badass."

"A bad girl is someone who lacks compassion, who doesn't take other people's feelings into account when she does what she does," Doherty said. "The book is very personal. There are a lot of stories in there I've never shared, real and personal stories about stuff I've done, but it's not all serious. A lot of it is tongue-in-cheek."

For instance, Doherty said there's a chapter on stalking that talks about driving by guy's house to check on him after he tells you he can't hang out that night.

"I've done it," Doherty said. "We make it a game, like bring a friend and get disguises and find a car he won't recognize. But it's not serious. If you do it once, it's fine. If you're always doing it, that's not cool."

As for today's modern "bad girls" and the celebration of them in the media, Doherty said she's sad to see young girls looking up to "bad girls" (like Lindsay Lohan) rather than "badasses." TV Squad asked if Doherty felt the tendency of young people to bully was influenced by the wrong role models.

"The bullying problem right now with young kids is a tragedy. It's not too dramatic to say it's a horrible epidemic and tragedy," Doherty said, referring to the recent rash of suicides by young people after being bullied -- usually regarding their sexual orientations. "It's an absolute tragedy and I wish they'd understand that they're better than the bullies. It's just horrific. There is a lot of stuff in the book about staying true to yourself and so if it could help anyone who is being bullied, that'd be a dream come true for me."

On a much lighter note, TV Squad also talked to the former contestant about this season of 'Dancing With the Stars' -- in particular, asking her about controversial contestant, Bristol Palin, daughter of politician Sarah Palin, who made headlines for getting pregnant as a teenager during the 2008 presidential campaign.

"I haven't really watched much of this season but it was so fun to do," Doherty said. "Bristol's a beautiful girl and from what I've seen, she's had some missteps but she's doing really well on the show. She's a beautiful girl and she can come back from it."

'Growing the Big One' premieres at 9PM ET, Sat., Oct. 23 on The Hallmark Channel.