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Jennie Garth Talks Revisiting ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ and the Advice She’d Give Her Younger Self

Learn about her latest project — and the '90s trends she still loves!

Few actresses had as much of an impact on ’90s pop culture as Jennie Garth. Portraying Kelly Taylor on Beverly Hills, 90210, she perfected the role of the popular, pretty blonde who reveals layers of emotional complexity. And if you grew up during the era, chances are you were tuned in to all of her character developments from week to week. Garth played the character for the duration of the show’s 10-year run from 1990 to 2000, taking her from her high school years to adulthood. From there, she went on to act in the charming ’00s series What I Like About You as well as in a variety of TV movies ranging from cute rom-coms to intense dramas.

More than 30 years after the show premiered, Jennie Garth is keeping busy with a 90210 podcast, hosted with her friend and former costar Tori Spelling. The two actresses also have a line of stylish home goods, and Garth recently launched a collection of ’90s-inspired apparel.

Garth’s latest project is a partnership with Planet Oat, promoting the brand’s “Better Reset” pop-up coming to New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, DC on March 11. Its aim is to help people adjust to pesky Daylight Savings time change with tasty free coffees and breakfasts.

Garth spoke to FIRST for Women about the lessons she’s learned after growing up onscreen and what it’s been like revisiting her signature show from a new perspective.

FIRST for Women: What does it feel like when you look back at the start of your career and your journey as an actress?

Jennie Garth: It’s been a long time. I feel so fortunate to have had a career with this staying power. A lot of times that’s not the case for actors, like you’re a one-hit wonder where you do well for a minute and then it sort of fades. Having a solid foundation for my career with 10 years on Beverly Hills, 90210 was a really big gift for me, and it’s helped me go down so many different avenues of the creative world. I really enjoy that. 

Jennie Garth poses for a portrait in 1993
Jennie Garth strikes a pose in 1993Harry Langdon/Getty

When I think about getting started in the ’90s, I don’t feel like I’d have wanted to grow up onscreen now. It’s so different. There was no social media and there wasn’t really any internet. I lucked out getting to experience it in the ’90s, and I think that it’s actually helped me for the rest of my career.  

FFW: How do you stay grounded in such a difficult industry?

Jennie Garth: I’m a creative person. I’m always coming up with ideas of things that I want to do or produce and I think that it’s helpful to focus on things other than when I’m going to get my next job as an actress. Instead of using up that time to be worried, I use that time to create and try to make things happen in a different way. So for me, that’s been a lifesaver.

Jennie Garth and her husband, Dave Abrams, in 2023
Jennie Garth and her husband, Dave Abrams, in 2023Tristar Media/WireImage/Getty

I’m just super blessed to be from the Midwest and be able to have my family with me all the time. I’ve always had both of my feet on the ground, and my husband is a great source of grounding for me. Whenever I start to spiral off into what-ifs, he’s very helpful in getting me back, like, “Just be here now. Everything’s going to be okay.”

FFW: Do you have certain self-care rituals you follow?

Jennie Garth: It’s important for me to block out an hour on my calendar for myself three days a week. Usually that hour is filled with a workout to keep my endorphins flowing. For me, it’s just mind, body and spirit — everything lifts when I work out.

Jennie Garth in 2023
Jennie Garth in 2023Emily Assiran/Getty for 90’s Con

I think it’s really important that other women take that time for themselves. Just block it out on your calendar and really have respect for that time, because we need it. We need time to rejuvenate ourselves and it can be very challenging to take that time.  

FFW: Have your introduced your kids to your work?

Jennie Garth: My daughters are 26, 21 and 17. They watched Beverly Hills, 90210. I think it was a lot. Watching 10 seasons is a big commitment! They would come out of their rooms in a daze. They’re more into What I Like About You, honestly. That was more fun for them to watch because it was comedy, and they love Amanda Bynes and they liked seeing that fun comedy side of me.

FFW: How has it been revisiting Beverly Hills, 90210 for your podcast, 90210MG?

Jennie Garth: It’s been really exciting, because I’d actually never watched the show. We started at episode one and committed to only watching one episode a week. We’re not allowed to binge. We watch it in real time, like it used to be in the ’90s.

Jennie Garth and Jason Priestley in 'Beverly Hills, 90210' 1992
Jason Priestley and Jennie Garth in Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1992mikel roberts/Sygma via Getty

I’ve learned so much that I didn’t know about the show, since when I was filming it I was only focused on my parts of the script, and I wasn’t even around when they were filming other scenes. I didn’t always know what was happening. Watching it now, I’m like a fan. I get so invested and I want to know what’s happening. It’s really hard not to go right to the next episode.

Related: ‘Melrose Place’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With the Stars of the Hit ’90s Drama

FFW: You rocked some fabulous ’90s looks on the show. Looking back, what do you think about all the onscreen fashion?

Jennie Garth: I love high-waisted jeans, and I’m glad they’re back. I never let go of maxi dresses or babydoll dresses with combat boots. That’s another favorite look of mine. Beverly Hills, 90210 was one of the first times we really saw young women wearing menswear-inspired outfits. There were lots of blazers and vests, and I love that, too.

Jennie Garth in 1992
Jennie Garth in 1992Robin Platzer/Images/Getty

Watching the show from the beginning is interesting, since the fashion in 1990 is so different than it is in 1993, and then in 1995 it’s so different again. And it’s not just the fashion, but the makeup and the hair and all the trends. We had bushy eyebrows and then we had super skinny eyebrows. We had long hair and then we had short hair. It’s really fun to watch the evolution of all the ’90s trends, and the show was setting a lot of them. People around the world were looking to the show to see what to wear and how to do their hair and makeup.

Related: These 90s Outfits Are Back — And We’re Not Sure If We Should Cheer. . .Or Cringe

FFW: What is your approach to beauty like now?

Jennie Garth: I don’t wear much makeup anymore. I’m happy with lipstick and a little highlight, and that’s my daily routine. I’ve even stopped wearing mascara. My skin is so much happier for it. 

The actress posing with Planet Oat oat milk and coffee in kitchen
Jennie Garth partners with Planet Oat for their “Better Reset” pop-up Dustin Downing for Planet Oat

FFW: You’ve been in a lot of TV movies, including ones on Hallmark and Lifetime. What is it like working on those?

Jennie Garth: They’re usually done in Canada, so you have to be there for about a month, and it’s always a pretty cool experience to go to a different country and film there and kind of live there. We spent a lot of time in Vancouver and my kids loved it.

The production is always very fast and it’s rain or shine. It can be like guerrilla filmmaking, and it’s often not very light subject matter, so you’ll be dressed in ripped clothes or have blood on you or something traumatic happened in the storyline so you have to get used to that.  

FFW: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Jennie Garth: Get ready for a lot of rejection. Just know it’s coming, so it doesn’t hurt as bad, and hold your head up high, no matter what, because it’s a rollercoaster.  

FFW: How do you feel like you’ve changed over the years?

Jennie Garth: I’m a completely different person than I was. I’m much more patient and more thoughtful. I try to control how I say things a lot more than I used to.

The actress in 2023
Jennie Garth in 2023Rick Kern/WireImage/Getty

I think every decade of a woman’s life represents something different, and turning 50 really gave me confidence in myself. It’s not about how I look. It’s more of an internal confidence that goes with me wherever I go. It’s not that I don’t care as much what other people think, I just don’t put so much weight on it.

Read on for more FIRST interviews with actresses we love!

Sarah Michelle Gellar Talks Unplugging, Knowing Your Worth and What She *Really* Thinks About the ’90s Fashion Comeback

Melissa Joan Hart Opens Up About Her Favorite Role, Learning to Say ‘No’ and the Cause Close to Her Heart (EXCLUSIVE)

‘The Young and The Restless’ Star Colleen Zenk Talks Villainous Jordan & Her Newman Vendetta (EXCLUSIVE)

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