Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott's lives have been turned upside down since they started filming the Oxygen Channel reality series, Tori & Dean. The new season of this series premieres on Monday, June 17 at 10 PM ET on Oxygen. I was in on a conference call with the busy couople and here's what they had to say.
What - for both of you, what possessed you to open your lives up for everyone to see in a show like this?
Dean McDermott: Insanity. But the truth be told, you know, our lives are pretty much, you know, documented in the media on a weekly basis and we just figured since our lives are being put out there and we have no control over it, you know, why don't we put ourselves out there and have control over it - and invite the viewers and the public into our lives to really let them know and see what we're really like because, you know, as you know, there's a lot of preconceived notions about celebrities, and of course, Tori that, you know, it's an opportunity to, you know, set the record straight.
There's a pretty significant list of couples who have split up after doing couples reality shows. And not necessarily the show being to blame, but it might have created strain in a relationship that wasn't solid. And do you ever - did you ever have misgivings about doing a couples show in that context?
Tori Spelling: Well when we started this show three seasons ago, that was definitely something that we addressed. Dean actually didn't even know about...
Dean McDermott: I wasn't even aware.
Tori Spelling: ...the curse of the reality couples. But I told him. And it wasn't something we were worried about. And it's something three years later that hasn't affected our relationship one bit. It actually has made our relationship stronger. We love working together. We love - we actually are a couple that do everything together even when we're not working. So for us, this is the best venue for our relationship because we get to spend all our time together. And I think for other couples, you know, perhaps they didn't spend all their time together and then all of a sudden they were stuck together all the time, and they couldn't make it work. But for us it works.
Dean McDermott: The proof is in the pudding.
So I'm wondering, will you be covering your return to 90210 on your show? And why did you decide to do that?
Tori Spelling: Well it just happened, so we have not filmed anything for the show as of yet. But as our show covers everything that happens in our lives, I'm sure something will be in it regarding it. And I chose to go back to 90210 because it's home, you know, and we had such a loyal fan base for so many years that I owe everything to our fans. So I felt - I really felt the need to give back to them and to give then Donna again, and see where she is now. And I'm really excited to play her again.
Well that was actually one of my questions and I'm really curious to know if you guys have sort of a shorthand communication or fail safe if you're in the midst of filming your reality show and you want the camera to stop or you want to let Dean, or Dean conversely you want to let Tori know all right, I want the cameras to stop. Is there some sort of a shorthand communication that you guys have, or have developed?
Dean McDermott: It's very subtle. You can't quite pick up on it, but I have a call that I put out and it goes like this: (caw caw, caw caw). And so that means don't film.
Tori Spelling: He's kidding.
Dean McDermott: I'm totally kidding.
Tori Spelling: You know what, now that the show - and this is our first season that we're going to the hour format which is great for us and it really has allowed us to just kind of delve even deeper into our relationship. And it does explore some pretty emotional, raw feelings and at times, things that can feel a little uncomfortable because the viewers are really right there in our relationship. But we're pretty honest. We chose to do a reality show because we, you know, wanted to give the reality of our situation, not to kind of mask it if the things got kind of uncomfortable. So we pretty much put it all out there and I think the viewers will appreciate that. And they'll see when they watch it this season that there's things in there, you know, emotional things, you know, trying things on relationships that we've put in there because we just wanted to be open and honest. So we don't really shut down the cameras. We just let them go.
Tori, hi. You're due next month, I believe. Are we going to be covering that on Tori & Dean?
Tori Spelling: The pregnancy has been a big part of this season. I've been pregnant all season. So we will - I mean, we're not going to be covering the birth obviously. But it will figure into the season, the baby being born.
I just wanted to know what did you learn from your experience at your Country Inn? What have you learned?
Dean McDermott: Oh, that Bed and Breakfasts are really, really hard to run. You're the first one up and the last one to go to bed. You know, it really tested our strength. You know, we became stronger from it - the whole experience from, you know, learning about it, sort of investing wise - money-wise, business-wise and then just pushing yourself. You know, it takes a lot of work to run a Bed and Breakfast. And then with a brand new baby, it triples. So we really learned that we can really - when push comes to shove, we can really roll up our sleeves and get in there, and get the job done.
So I'm wondering since - when you guys moved to LA, Patsy didn't come with you. Are you going to have a new nanny or are you doing it alone? And if you do plan to do it all alone, how are you going to deal with acting, always having a second business and then soon to have two children?
Dean McDermott: Wow.
Tori Spelling: We are doing it without Patsy. We are doing it alone. Patsy wasn't actually a nanny. She was a baby nurse that came on and she literally came on - she was supposed to be with us for two weeks. And she stayed almost nine months because we just all fell in love with each other and she became family more than anything else. We just loved having her with us. But, you know, it was time for her to move on to do other jobs as a baby nurse. Liam was already a toddler by then. And so now, you know, it's just the three of us and soon to be the four of us.
Do you have any advice to mothers out there who have a million different things going on, about how to handle it?
Tori Spelling: Oh my god, they probably have better advice for me than I'd have for them. How to handle it? I mean, we just have such a great connection. A hands-on dad is really helpful. I mean, Dean is more than hands-on. He is unbelievable with Liam so that really helps, especially being this pregnant. It's really hard to do anything at this point and to carry him. So it's been really helpful. But, you know, the best thing for us is that we all get to work together. So we, you know, it's - we get to take our baby to work every day which is really helpful. I don't know if we would be able to not have help if we both had to go work somewhere else and not be with Liam every day.
Dean McDermott: And that's the best thing in the world. And I think it's rare that couples get to take their baby to work. So it's incredible.
Tori Spelling: Yeah, we know it's a unique situation and we're very lucky.
This question is about your mom, Candy. And I was wondering what your current relationship status is and will she appear on this season's show?
Tori Spelling: No, I don't have any of my family appear on the show because I didn't want to use them as tools for promoting the show, basically. And there's been so much drama played out in the press that even though, you know, if things happen and I do discuss things on the show, I felt like it would seem more of a gimmick at this point to have them appear on the show. So I chose not to.
How are you guys preparing for the new baby? Have you built a nursery and all that or will we see it on the show?
Tori Spelling: We're in the process of trying to put her nursery together. It's a work in progress. We're not finished yet, so hopefully she won't come yet.
Tori, what's the most important lesson your father ever imprinted on you, that you learned from him about television in general? And also just a follow-up, what was your favorite show that he ever put together and created in your mind?
Tori Spelling: My favorite show of his is probably a show that was his favorite and that was a show called Family. He was the most proud of that show because, you know, my dad kind of got a bad wrap, I think. A lot of times people would say oh he just makes (jiggle) TV and it's all for entertainment purposes. But he did some really amazing shows as well that he was really proud of, that people kind overlooked. And Family was one of them. It was all about family. It was a great dramatic show and I'm really proud of that show that he did. And as far as what he taught me work wise in television, I mean, I learned everything from him. I have a really, really strong work ethic and I learned that from my dad because my dad was a workaholic but he always had even more time for us. As hard as he would work, he always made the time. So it's just about balancing family, I think, and work - and giving everything 100%. And that's what he taught me.
Do you think he would enjoy your show?
Tori Spelling: Oh definitely. He would love it because my dad, as I said, was big into shows that really sent across a positive message and really strived to, you know, be entertaining for a whole family. And I really believe our show does that. There's a lot of, you know, kind of train wreck TV reality shows out there. And I think Tori & Dean is a great show that really focuses on family, focuses on couples to show that everyone can watch together and enjoy. And that's what makes me the most proud.
Do you consider yourselves to be, on any level, performing on this show or is it just kind of you don't even know the cameras are there?
Dean McDermott: Definitely, you get to a point - like when you first start, it's always kind of a bit rough, you know, having a camera crew documenting your life. And then you just kind of forget that they're there and you get into the flow of things. And away you go. Everything is real, so there's no performing involved. It's just a matter of a comfort level.
So my quick question for you is that I want to know what Liam's reactions to the cameras in your house are. Has he gotten used to it by this season or is he still a little like confused?
Tori Spelling: He's - I mean, he's been seeing cameras in our houses since he was born and so there was never any confusion.
Dean McDermott: He's a pro.
Tori Spelling: It was just kind of a way of life. And, you know, it's really different than what people would think. People think of cameras and crews, and TV shows and they think of a lot of people and a lot of setup. And, you know, we're just a small reality show, so it's a very small crew. So, you know, he has like one camera and like three people he knows. And that's it. So it's not confusing to him. It's kind of - they're like family to him.
So he's pretty comfortable with the crew and everything?
Tori Spelling: He's really comfortable and in fact, he loves the camera.
Dean McDermott: Yeah. He can find a lens like nobody.
I'm sorry to harp on 90210, but do you have any hopes for what Donna is doing now or what you ideally would like to see her in her life right now?
Tori Spelling: Well when we left her she was, you know, very into fashion and wanted to be a designer. She had her own boutique, so I'm hoping that she's kind of upped the ante and she's, you know, bigger into fashion, that her career has really taken off because then I'll get to wear some really cool clothes.
And you mentioned that you're not sure if she's still married to David. Do you think it would be good if she wasn't married to him?
Tori Spelling: I don't know. It's definitely a storyline to explore. I mean, I see her as - you know, Donna was pretty determined so I see her as pretty - a hard core, you know, career woman that's been pretty driven all these years. So it'll be interesting, at least for me, to see how that affected her marriage and where she stands with that, if they have kids and stuff. So I'm just as interested as the fans are to know where she's at.
Dean McDermott: I see her married to a Canadian and starting a family.
Tori, since you've been the subject of much gossip yourself - your private life and everything, how did you feel about playing one in Smallville - the gossip columnist?
Tori Spelling: I loved it. That was the reason I wanted to do the part when they first came to me. I thought it was a genius idea. I mean, my whole life is written about by columnists and gossip columnists. So I thought how great to turn the tables and I get to play one for once. So I just thought it was a stroke of genius.
The third season of Tori & Dean premieres on June 17 at 10 PM ET on Oxygen.