These days, there is nothing quainter than the idea of being suspended from graduation ceremonies for being drunk, but it (almost) happened to poor Donna on Beverly Hills, 90210 twenty years ago today. For me, the ultimate Donna episode is almost definitely the one where she catches her mother cheating on her father on a trip with the gang to meet Color Me Badd, but this is definitely a close second.
Vulture caught up with Tori Spelling to discuss the lasting legacy of "Donna Martin graduates," among other extremely important world issues. Some highlights:
She had nothing to do with the catchphrase but people chant it at her at grocery stores and stuff.
I honestly can’t remember [what reaction the line got]. I have no idea. I wish I had some cool story to tell you, like, “It wasn’t even in [the script]!” and “Someone just said it!” And then the director was like, “Yeah, everyone say it!” But I remember when we were filming that scene, when everyone’s chanting, I just remember it being a really hot day and there were so many people and tons of extras and they all had signs. I don’t know.
I’ve been told. I mean, literally, I don’t think I can walk anywhere down the street — like, at least once a week I get “Donna Martin graduates” or someone will be like, “Can I say it around you?” I’m like, “Yes, please.” They’re like, “Can you say it back to me?” I’m like, “For sure.”
I’m still like this today, and I feel like Donna’s kind of like this: I hate having attention on me. So I remember reading the episode and being like, "Oh my gosh, it’s all about her, and they're fighting for her ... this is so embarrassing!" Too much attention.
On the joys of nepotism:
I would always try to do funny looks. You know, I was gonna make the most of my “Hey, Bren!” No joke. I wasn’t given much. And I was like, I’m well aware I’m here because of my dad, but I feel like I could do more. I know I can act, I know I can do this. I want to create a character. So Donna was pretty much created from me. I added the ditzy blonde stuff, the Lucy stuff, for comedy.
If I show [my kids] pictures of anything Donna Martin, they have no idea. I don’t think I look that different. I mean, I know I’m older. But they can’t recognize me at all. It’s devastating.
The funny thing is, on DVR, my husband [Dean McDermott] and I put our names in because we want to pick up any news shows we do and everything.