The 90210 star and mom says she's happy to leave the fame game to her hubby Peter Facinelli.
Mon Mar 22 2010
Jennie Garth certainly has come a long way from her alter ego, privileged high-school student Kelly Taylor on the iconic coming-of-age drama Beverly Hills, 90210. The veteran small-screen actress—who dabbled in dance and modeling before hitting it big in Hollywood as a teen—has worked steadily ever since, most recently reprising her seminal part in the CW Network’s 90210 revamp. But after two decades in the spotlight, she’s ready for a change. With three daughters—Luca, 12, Lola, seven, and Fiona, three, with her husband, Twilight star Peter Facinelli—Garth is choosing motherhood as her main role. She sat down with Time Out Kids to discuss her new focus, her hubby’s sudden sex symbol status and her involvement with various kid-centric causes, including Hidden Valley Salad Dressing's Love Your Veggies campaign.
As working actors, you and Peter must have incredibly demanding schedules. What’s the key to your successful 15-year marriage?
In Hollywood, 15 years is more like 150 years! We’re really proud of the fact that we’ve been together for such a long time. I think marriage is really challenging for anyone, but especially for us, since we’re apart from each other a lot. But we’re both really committed to staying together, raising our children together and growing old together. Peter and I don’t spend a lot of time out on the town and we don’t give an iota what the paparazzi does. We’re actors in the industry, but we don’t live the Hollywood lifestyle.
Is it hard giving up the spotlight to each other at different points in your career?
Right now I love taking a backseat to him and being a supportive wife. I’ve been so fortunate in my career; I’ve directed, acted and produced. At this point, I’m completely happy to be a mother and wife and if I work, that’s fine, but he’s more than capable of taking care of us. There’s no competition or jealousy. I’m happy doing what I’m doing. It’s so much more rewarding to be a mom than any acting I’ve ever done.
You have three kids...plan on having any more?
I love kids and big families, so you never know!
How has your husband’s rock-star-like Twlight status changed your lives?
Peter has worked for a very long time as an actor but Twilight definitely changed his audience. The fans who love the series are devoted to him. He gets recognized way more than I do these days, and I love the fact that I’m able to hide behind him. I’ve been in the public eye for so long. Also, Peter’s so good about it: He signs every last picture and autograph. As a family, we’re happy to wait around for him to do his thing!
You’re based in California, but when you’re in New York City, do you have any favorite family spots?
We’re in NYC a lot since Peter has family in Long Island. When we come with the girls, we like to stay close to Central Park and take in all the trees and nature. We also love to get away from the bustle of the street and duck into quiet beautiful churches and absorb the peaceful energy. We always go to Serendipity and Koi at the Bryant Park Hotel and usually end up at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Your stint on the new 90210 has come to an end. Were you ready to say goodbye to Kelly?
The show wasn’t really turning out to be something I wanted Kelly’s character to be a part of. It wasn’t appealing to me. I worked really hard for many years, and now my life is more about doing things that give back. I also want to be with my kids, to be around while they’re eating breakfast, to make them lunch; they’re my priority. I’ve seen what you can get out of this business, and Hollywood is really just a big facade. I honestly love being at home with my kids.
You’re a spokesperson for Hidden Valley Salad Dressing's Love Your Veggies campaign. Are your kids finicky eaters?
Yes! The bottom line is that our kids aren’t getting enough veggies, and as a parent it's definitely on my list of priorities. Being a part of the Garden Party Web series, I’ve learned some great tips I use at home. I’m always looking for ways to get my kids to eat greens. They’ll eat one baby carrot and then say, “I’m done!” My kids are definitely picky—I think most kids are, so I’m a big fan of sneaking veggies into their diets. I’m fine with them dipping their greens in ranch dressing or even ice cream. Whatever it takes!
In addition to being a mom, what else are you working on?
I’m still working with the American Heart Association. I’ve also got a children’s book coming out, and I’ll be working on a movie my husband wrote. As far as acting, I’ll take it project by project. I always ask myself whether I’m ready to take myself away from my family, and the answer quite honestly is usually no. My girls are at very pivotal ages and need their mom full-time.
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