Tori Spelling's had quite a morning. Before chatting with us about her VH1 series, So NoTORIous, based on her real life, the former 90210-er shot a scene opposite Charo. “We got her to play the guitar and go ‘Coochie-coochie-coo,’” boasts the eternally game actress. Sounds like our kind of show. “Just wait,” Spelling promises. “There's also a scene of me at an all-black church singing with the choir.” Tori Hallelujah!
How did you decide which elements of your life would be fair game and which wouldn’t?
The first meeting with the creators, I said, “Nothing is off-limits.” After years of trying to prove myself and be taken seriously, I just thought, What am I doing? My life’s really funny. Why not do a show based on that? I got to a point where I was able to laugh at myself.
Loni Anderson plays your eBay-obsessed mother, Kiki, while your father only turns up on speakerphone. What do your real-life parents think of the show?
They’ve seen the pilot and thought it was very brave. I said to my mom, “This is not you. There’s a little bit from you.” She gets it.
There’s a flashback of you as a little girl on the set of Charlie’s Angels. How about Dynasty? Any memories?
I used to sit in the dressing room and watch Linda Evans do her Krystle ’do. And then Joan Collins would whisk by with her hair and all this makeup. It was just fabulous.
Your fashion-forward pug, Mimi LaRue, plays herself. Has the attention gone to her head?
She has become a bit of a diva, I have to say. She has almost as big a wardrobe as I do. She earns it, though, because she's really good.
You have a gay Persian best friend in the show, Sasan, played by Zachary Quinto. Does he have a real counterpart?
He’s loosely based on my best friend, Mehran, who I've known since I was 15. My real Mehran and my TV Mehran have actually become friends.
Complete this sentence: If there were no gay men in my life ...
Oh, my God, I wouldn’t exist.
You appeared in the popular movie Trick in 1999. Do gay guys still mention it?
Yes. When they do, I just beam. Trick is like the crowning moment in my career. [Trick director] Jim Fall is directing two of our episodes.
So NoTORIous pokes fun of your oeuvre of Lifetime-type women-in-jeopardy movies. Which is your favorite title?
Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?
I knew you were going to say that. It’s a classic title.
It’s my favorite of my TV movies too.
If you were recording a DVD commentary for a 90210 boxed set and we gave you a few drinks first, what would you talk about?
The horrendous ’90s clothing, my million and one hair colors, and — if you got me really drunk — I’d probably tell you who slept with each other off-camera. [Laughs]
If Lifetime were to cast you as a lesbian in prison, whom would you want to play your cellmate?
Angelina Jolie. She’s really tough, so she’d protect me, and she's really hot, so I could make out with her. Either way, I win.