Jason Priestley Reflects On His '90210' Days
Jason Priestley Reflects On His '90210' Days
Jason Priestley starred as good guy Brandon Walsh on the iconic “Beverly Hills, 90120.” Now, Jason chats with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Access Hollywood Live about his book, “Jason Priestley: A Memoir,” where he opens up about his whole life public and personal, including those years on the show. How did he gain the reputation of being a heavy drinker and a “hard-living” guy during the height of “90210’s” popularity? Plus, what was his relationship like with Aaron Spelling? “Jason Priestley: A Memoir” is available now.
Kelly. One of the great story lines in Aaron spelling's now iconic Beverly hills 90210. Jason Priestley starred as Brandon, he's written a book, "Jason Priestley a memoir" opens up about his life public and personal including the years on shows. We see there with Kelly, you wrote in the book, first of all, you should not have left, you should have stayed. How would you like the ending to go? I think Aaron was angling the show to end in a different way than it ended. I think that he was having the show Brandon and Kelly would have ended up together. My departure from the show ended that for him and I think that once Brandon left the show, that last linchpin of the show, was gone without a Walsh in the Walsh house the show sort of didn't have a moral center anymore and sort of careened wildly out of control that last, you know, season. As they tend to do. Yeah. We see this. Yeah. In your own case, are you feeling all along when you were, you know, when the fame hit and it hit hard, you're out there, boozing during interviews, like colin Farrell when he hit. Because you were so worried about keeping the Jason Priestley and not being known only as Brandon Walsh. Did you want to at least get out of there while you still could be Jason Priestley? No. I mean I was just -- I was worried about -- I was -- you're young and don't really understand, you know, what this is and how it works until you just try to get through it the best way you can. I was -- when the show really hit I was 22 years old and I was just trying to make sure when I did all these media things and I was talking to the press, I just wanted them to know that I wasn't really 16. I was really a 22-year-old guy and -- I'm a man. Playing a 16-year-old. So I really went out of my way to make sure when I was doing these things I met these guys in bars and, you know, I was -- you know, I would always drink beer and hang out and smoke cigarettes. I'm a man. I'm not this kid. It ended up I got this reputation this guy that was always smoking and drinking. Was I really? Not really. I had to be at work at 6:30 The tabloids always sensationalize everything. That's what they do, sell papers. It gave me this reputation that I had to live down. But you say in the book too, talk about a reputation, you were in every scene so people worked three days a week, you were six or seven days a week. Aaron spelling gave you a Jersey that said quarterback on it. What was your role among the cast and crew? The guy there all the time. Which was fine with me. You know, I was the guy who was number one on the call sheet and took that job seriously. I always worked very hard to set the tone on the set and, you know, it was a mantle that I wore very comfortably and I was very comfortable in being that guy. It's a great responsibility, but it's also a great honor to be number one on the call sheet on a TV show like that. Because it's not just the other actors that look to you, it's the crew and it's everybody. And, you know, there are a lot of people that their livelihoods revolve about what's happening on the show and if the show is successful. You must feel that somewhat here. If the show is successful all these people come to work every day and have a job. It's on you Billy and you kit. No pressure. No pressure. All on my shoulders and I got it. I got this. Spelling loved you. Love you. Aaron spelling loved you. The quarterback. He put his arm around you and said you're my eyes and ears. You directed a bunch of episodes. You loved him. Was he like a father figure to you? He was, yeah. Aaron was a great friend and a great mentor and teacher for me and he gave me my first opportunity to direct television when I was 23 years old. And I still look back at that and I still scratch my head and wonder what he was thinking. I'm glad he did. I went on to direct 15 episodes of the show by the time it was over and then I started producing the show with him and executive produced the show with him for two seasons and I really D he invited me into his inner circle and taught me the television business in a way nobody else could. He's the most prolific television producer in the history of television and he really gave me the greatest education in the business of television I ever could have received from anybody and he was -- he was a great, great man and he taught me a lot. Talk about the night in the bowling alley with you, like and Aaron. Got him liquored up and he went for the strike. He got liquored up on his own. Aaron was good at that, let's be honest. But yeah, me and Luke went back there when Aaron had just built that famous -- the manor he and candy and the kids lived in, he took us back there, so proud of that house and he took me and Luke back there, and he had a bowling alley, two-lane bowling alley in the basement and we went back there. Aaron went out there to roll the ball down and he slipped and fell and he went down really hard on his hip and, of course, me and Luke look at each other, like oh, my god he broke his hip. We thought this is all we need, you know. First season of the show and Aaron breaks his hip. So we ran out and picked him up. Dusted him off. Made sure he was okay. Put our shoes and ran out so fast. See you Monday on the set. Oh, my god. Put him in the chair. I think he's okay. Oh, my gosh. And in that house, there was four in the family but security, they had like 20 security guards, I don't know how many, but they were always around. Guys in suits. You could see their guns. And like as soon as he hit, we were running upstairs. All of a sudden guys coming down, all right, he's okay. We're going to escort him upstairs. Took him away. Me and Luke ran for the door. I love you. Kid in a candy store. So proud to show you guys everything. We are just scratching the surface. We got to talk about rolling with brad Pitt. The tightest buddies back in the day. Run around sue. And, of course I need to know the names of all of the cast members guest stars and regulars that you hooked up with. Oh, god. Priestley. Sit tight my man. There's a long list. And then, what an old girlfriend told us about what you said about her. And what type of lover you