“It was especially great for Donna, because Christmas was her birthday,” Spelling tells Zap2it. “It was always something special for her.”
And 12 years after the show ended, Donna remains special for Spelling: “I’ll meet 13-year-olds who say, ‘We love “90210”!’ And I’ll say, ‘The new one?’ And they’ll be like, ‘No. The one you’re in.’ They’ll watch repeats on SoapNet, and I think it’s great those still appeal to them. It may be a different generation, but the messages are still there and clear. It’s something I’m really proud of.”
Now a mother of four, Spelling has also appeared in a slew of original TV movies, including, most recently, ABC Family’s “The Mistle-Tones.”
Getting back to acting was a particular joy for Spelling after her long stretch of reality-show work with her husband. Their Oxygen series morphed from “Tori & Dean: Inn Love” to “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” and the couple is still awaiting word on a seventh-season pickup.
“We’re a little bit in the dark,” Spelling admits of “Home Sweet Hollywood’s” future. “Every day, I hear from someone, ‘When is it coming back?,’ so I hope it will for the fans’ sake. And our family loves doing stuff together.”
Moreover, Spelling enjoys defining herself for people now. “I think that from an early age, people had a notion of who I was,” she reasons, “and it wasn’t based on who I really was, but on who my dad was and how I grew up. I went from that to Donna Martin, so I was either her or ‘Aaron Spelling‘s daughter.’
“At that time, you had limited access to your fans. They read a magazine article about you or they saw you in a TV interview, but it wasn’t that full sort of access. I remember thinking, ‘I wish there was some format where I could show who I am. I’m just a normal girl.’ Then, all of a sudden, reality TV happened. It’s great that people remember Donna, but now, they get to know me. And it’s nice that they’re able to relate to me.”