'It's a Bit Surreal': Brian Austin Green Explains Life Back in 'BH90210'

Damian Holbrook
Q&A Brian Bowen Smith/FOX

Brian Austin Green has no filter. Sitting on the recreated set of the Peach Pit during filming of tonight's BH90210, the former Teen Beat staple known as the Notorious B.A.G. is a far cry from the dorky teen-turned-deejay David Silver. He's inked up, drops f-bombs like a pro, has a ton of stories (none we could run here) and knows exactly what's up when it comes to revisiting the role that put him on pillow cases. He's chill without being actor-y. And yeah, he looks good. So good that there are actual mentions in the August 28 episode about how well the guy has aged.

There are a few other notable moments in "The Table Read" — the scenes between Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Gabrielle Carteris and Shannen Doherty are shades-0f-the-sleepover heaven! — but we can't spoil much. Back when we were visiting the cast on location in Vancouver, however, Austin Green did slip us some scoop.

OK, we know that Tori and Jennie spearheaded the reunion. What did you think when they suggested returning to 90210? 

Brian Austin Green: I had actually called Jennie because of my live podcast thing. Before we decided we were gonna do the live podcast, I was like, 'Let’s start doing a monthly podcast of just the 90210 cast, cause it’s easy to do. We can literally Skype each other, everyone’s gonna wanna listen to it so we can make money and then we don’t have to do these conventions and all that s**t.' And Jennie was like, ‘Oh, have you gotten a call from CBS? They’re supposed to be calling you... we’re kicking around an idea for the reboot.'

When they did call, I said, 'I don’t want to play David Silver again.' And they were like 'Well no, this is you guys getting together to make a reboot so old-school fans get to see the behind-the-scenes of making the show and then new school fans get to watch you guys being totally self-deprecating.' And I was like ‘I’m all for being self-deprecating.’ I love that!

You have, however, briefly played your old character in the dream sequences.

We’ve done a few. And talked about that because it’s tricky. We want to honor and be faithful to the old fans of the show, but that show really worked in that era. There was no internet, there was no social media, you couldn’t verify anything, you know. It’s like we could sort of write whatever and people would just go ‘Oh, cool.’

You’re not Googling like ‘Oh, was Color Me Badd really staying in that hotel?’

Right, Google didn’t exist. It was like 'Is West Beverly High a school?' So they believed whatever we sold them. [Laughs]

Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green (Shane Harvey/FOX)

So anything that you guys would do as far as recreating that old show, you want to honor that without making these characters now look like jokes?

Right. So the reboot, the 90210 within what we’re doing, is a direct continuation of what people have seen. David and Donna are still married, they’re now in their 40s and they have kids. You and I are here, sitting in the Peach Pit set and this is not for the "making of the reboot" part of the show, it’s for the actual reboot—the show within the show.

How close is this Peach Pit to the original?

This is almost an identical replica. Yeah. The only thing we didn’t have before is we didn’t have a ceiling. But otherwise the spoons, sugar, I mean, everything’s exactly the same. Like the jukebox, the records on the wall, the pictures. 

(Shane Harvey/FOX)

And how different is it now filming a show about the show? Back then, you were doing like 30 episodes a season at some points.

Thirty-five! [Laughs] It’s alright. This first season is about getting the reboot off the ground and we spend the last two episodes finally shooting the pilot. We’re waiting to see if it gets picked up and becomes a series.

What is the dynamic now with this cast? I mean, it’s obvious that you’re all grown up now.

Yeah it’s weird. We talked about the fact that we have way more in common with each other now than when we did then. But then it was because we were so young, it was much more like high school and cliquey. We would work. We had our storylines. Tori and I spent a lot of time together because we were the two youngest on the show so we had much more in common than the others... we couldn’t travel on certain trips they went on, so we had those differences. Now, we have way more in common, but it is like going back to high school. It’s a bit surreal. It’s f***in’ weird.

'BH90210' Cast on Getting the Band Back Together & Paying Tribute to Luke Perry

'BH90210' Cast on Getting the Band Back Together & Paying Tribute to Luke Perry

Plus, find out how the actors' onscreen versions will have fun with their real-life images.

Had any of you watched the show in years past?

I didn’t even watch it when it was on. [Laughs]

Once the original show got rolling, you all did sort of fall into onscreen relationships that locked you in. You worked so much with Tori. Shannen and Jennie worked so much with Luke... was there anyone this time around that were looking forward to working with again or working with more?

I was looking forward the most to working with Shannen because I’ve known Shannen forever. We met way before 90210 was happening when she was doing Our House with Wilford Brimley and Chad Allen and I was doing, I think, Knots Landing at that time. We had known each other for a while but our characters didn’t really work together much during that first 10 years.

We had really similar tastes in comedy and movies and music. And Shann felt the same way. She said it to me 'God I can’t wait to work with you either!' Now, she could’ve been lying. I don’t think she was. Or she’s a really f***in’ good actress, way better than I thought she was! [Laughs]

(FOX)

She probably says that to everyone!

[Laughs] Right! But she is the one where I think we would be missing an opportunity if we didn’t at least do some stuff together and see if there’s actual magic and chemistry there.

Now, La La Anthony is playing playing your wife. How does your real wife, Megan Fox, feel about this alter ego?

The big thing when we were sitting down and coming up with story ideas was, 'How do I have a wife on the show?' Because Megan is so famous and followed and everything is like 'What’s her family like? And what’s her marriage like?' So it was like 'Can Brian on the show be married to a character who is different enough from his own life?'

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Ferrari North America)

Without people thinking, “Oh that’s what Megan Fox is really like!”

Right, yeah. Without them going, “Oh wait, are they having troubles in real life?” I’m so lucky. La La is great and so good at what she does.

I have heard something big develops for your version of Brian outside of the reboot storyline.

We all have our own stuff going on which is good. It’s real. We’re 46! [Laughs] So it’s a dramatic comedy. It’s not a slapstick comedy. It’s not like Joke Writing 101. Hopefully people will be entertained by it.

BH90210, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Fox