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Beverly Hills 90210 was all about the drama onscreen, and sometimes off screen as well. Okay, a lot of the time. Think you know all about Brandon, Brenda, Dylan and the gang? Here are some of the personal and casting dramas as well as some stories about the fan-favorite show you might not have heard before.

1. Luke Perry Wasn’t Originally a Cast Member

When 90210 first started Luke Perry as Dylan McKay supposedly wasn’t really popular with the Fox execs. The story goes that they didn’t want to hire him at all, so Aaron Spelling actually paid the actor out of his own pocket. Eventually the audience fell for him and then they officially signed him as a series cast member, even though he was only originally written into three episodes.

luke perry

2. Everyone Tried to Get Shannen Fired

It’s no longer news that Shannen Doherty is a real pain in the butt to work with, but it got so bad on 90210 that the whole cast got together and tried to get her fired. At first Tori Spelling was hesitant because she considered her a friend, but then Shannen threatened her on set and Tori agreed she had to go.

Shanned Doherty

3. Then Shannen Did Get Fired

When Shannen did get fired fans were a bit shocked to see her go. However, a new bad girl/love interest was written in to the show to keep things interesting. Apparently Drew Barrymore and Alicia Silverstone were offered the role of Valerie, which they both turned down. Then the role almost ended up going to Alyssa Milano before Tiffani Amber Thiessen ultimately was cast.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen

4. But Not for the Reasons we Thought

It’s true that everyone wanted Shannen off the show, but what was really the straw that broke that camel’s back was that she cut her hair without telling the producers, which caused all kinds of continuity issues for them. Enough was enough. She was turfed.

shannen doherty

5. The “Sharknado” Concept Sort of Started Here

This is pretty odd, but in one scene when Steve is describing someone to Brenda he says that she’s like “a mixture between a shark and a tornado,” to which she replies “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Ian Ziering now stars in the Sharknado films.


6. Jennie Garth was Cast First

Jennie Garth was the first person to officially be cast on the show as a series regular. However, she had to audition five different times to solidify her role as Kelly Taylor.

jennie garth

7. And Jason Priestley Was the Last

Jason Priestley told the New York Times that he was the last person cast at the beginning of the show and that it happened at the very last minute. “I read for Aaron on Thursday. I got the job Friday afternoon, and on Monday we started production.” We can’t imagine the show without him and his pompadour.

jason priestly

8. Supposedly Tori Spelling Tried To Be Sneaky with her First Audition

Tori Spelling is of course the daughter of Aaron Spelling, the creator of the show. The story goes that Tori tried to audition under a different name for the role of Kelly to avoid getting special treatment. However, they knew exactly who she was and wrote the role of Donna for her anyway. A little nepotism can go a long way.

tori sand aaron spelling

9. But It Was Tori Spelling’s Idea to Make Donna Funny

Donna was not originally written as a funny character. Tori suggested she add a touch of levity to the teen drama, and even ended up suggesting some of the comical scenes for her character in the script. As far as Donna losing her virginity however, that was up to pops. All the characters ended up having sex before Donna, who waited until college to do the deed.

tori spelling

10. The Peach Pit Is Based on a Real Place

The Peach Pit is where the cast hung out on the show, and the location was supposedly based on the real life Los Angeles restaurant called the Apple Pan. It is for sure that at least one episode of 90210 was shot there, and the diner has had its fair share of pop culture mentions elsewhere.

peach pit

11. Real Life Couples Made Things Complicated

When Tiffani Amber Thiessen got cast on the show, she and Brian Austin Green were a real couple, and apparently he got pissed that her character dated so many men on screen. He supposedly wasn’t happy that she got the part for that reason.

Valerie and David

12. No Series Regular Was in All of the Episodes

The show lasted for 296 episodes, and not a single regular cast member was in all of them. The show drew things out by having junior year last two seasons, as well as sending people to college and beyond. Some of the cast members dropped off along the way. In fact only, four of them were in every season: Jennie Garth (Kelly), Tori Spelling (Donna), Brian Austin Green (David) and Ian Ziering (Steve).

90210 cast

13. There’s a Reason Why the Scott Scanlon Character Died

Scott Scanlon was a quiet character during the first two seasons before he was suddenly killed off. The actor Douglas Emerson who was playing the role decided to quit to go to junior college, so they wrote it in that he accidentally shot himself. Dramatic.

scott scanlon

14. Gabrielle Carteris’ Age Was an Issue

You would think they would have considered the potential challenges of hiring a 29-year-old to play 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman upfront, but technically casting directors are not allowed to ask ages. It wasn’t possible to keep her looking young forever however, and she also got pregnant at one point which they had to write into the show. And then they wrote her right out of it.

Gabrielle Carteris

15. Hilary Swank got fired from the show.

It’s hard to imagine now, but Hilary Swank was cast on 90210 as the character Carly Reynolds, the single mom that dated Steve Sanders. It was a story arc that was supposed to last two seasons but they wrote her out after just 16 episodes. It was a bummer at the time, but then Swank booked Boys Don’t Cry so it ended up being good for her career. Hello Oscar!

hilary swank

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