"I took lemons and I made Veuve Cliquot!" says Tori Spelling of the $800,000 she inherited last year from her late father, prolific television producer Aaron Spelling. Produced by queer World of Wonder duo Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye), her upcoming reality series Tori & Dean: Inn Love documents how she and hubbie Dean McDermott left Hollywood behind and invested the money into opening a bed and breakfast in California wine country. Due to give birth to her first child the last week of March, the 33-year-old Beverly Hills, 90210 star gave us the scoop on the gay-friendly oasis, her forthcoming memoir, and that unexpected $800K lemon.
By Brandon Voss
HX: Please don't go into labor while I'm on the phone with you because I'll freak out.
Tori Spelling: Oh my God, it could happen. I'm so ready. I'm cooking stuff to perfection at this point.
Do you have a name picked out?
We have two names, but we want to wait until we see him. It's like with a dog — you have to see your puppy before you really name them.
Might Mimi LaRue get jealous?
I have concerns, but it's really good we're having a boy first so she doesn't have to feel threatened that the baby's going to wear her clothes. I totally would have them both in matching outfits, so that's a little sigh of relief from her.
Do you think the press might criticize your parenting skills like they do with Britney?
Oh gosh, probably, because they watch everything I do anyway. It's like life in a fishbowl constantly. I just hope to be the best mom I can be, but the reality is that you don't know some things. My girlfriends who've had babies will tell me things daily and I'm like, "Oh my God, if you hadn't told me that I wouldn't know!" But I'm more concerned about being being obsessed and scaring him with pictures and stuff.
Do you feel gypped by your $800K inheritance?
No, I'm one of those people that feels that everything happens for a reason. You take your situation and go full-force ahead. I've never sat around waiting for anything to be handed to me. I used to get the question all the time, "Why do you work? Why wouldn't you just be like a rich heiress?" I can't even fathom that because I've always had such a strong work ethic. I grew up terribly embarrassed by everything that we had. I wanted to just be like everyone else and work had to gain stuff.
What would you've done had you gotten what you expected?
Oh, I'd be running the next gay network right now. No joke.
Who's idea was Inn Love?
Dean and I created it together, and it was born out of a real experience. This past summer we did a movie in Ottawa, Canada, and they put us up for two weeks at this little B&B in the countryside. Neither of us had ever stayed at a B&B, and I had all of these what I thought were misconceptions about B&Bs were old, dusty, musty, filled with old people's crap, and run by old people. When we stayed there, we realized those weren't misconceptions — that's the quintessential B&B. So we thought how it would be to bring back the B&B for our generations, run by young people, make it modern and kitschy and give hip boutique hotels a run for their money.
What are the Tori touches?
Well, I'm making people's beds — isn't that enough to make you check-in? [Laughs] I think breakfast is such a thing of the past, mainly because I'm not up in time for it. So my idea was to make it a "bed and bites" where you got breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the form of hors d'oeuvres. And we're going to have theme nights like Movie Night and Fondue Fridays.
So it's not quite The Simple Life.
No, and that was one of my biggest concerns when I was pitching the reality show. That's the easy out to show Tori Spelling as a fish out of water. Of couse, there is an element to that you can't escape, but we wanted it to be more about our relationship and starting a new business while trying to have our first child and dealing with our careers in Hollywood.
Gays will so flock to your B&B!
Well, they best! The woman we took over from said, "I don a lot of weddings. Are you thinking of doing weddings?" And I said, "No, I just want to do commitment ceremonies." And we're fairly close to Palm Springs, so I figure the White Party should move to our B&B each year!
As with So NoTORIous, the producers behind Inn Love are gay men. Are we the only ones who truly appreciate you?
Yes, completely! And that's not even a joke. I'm always trying to figure out why I gravitate toward me, but it is that they totally get everything I do and that I don't take myself too seriously.
When I heard you were writing a memoir I said, "Her mom is going to be so pissed." Worried?
Not at all. People say, "Oh, 'memoir,' that's a nice word for a 'tell-all'" But I'm not doing a tell-all. I just had so many more stories to tell on So NoTORIous that I didn't get to. I'm not aiming to make enemies, so I don't want anyone to look bad. If I can tell fun stories that don't trash people, that's my goal.
Will you ask people's permission?
I don't ask anyone permission for anything.
SIDEBAR: Notorious B.F.F.
According to Spelling, Sasan, the Persian-American gay confidant on So NoTORIous (available on DVD), was completely based on her real-life best friend Mehran. "He's been my best friend since we were 15, and he's also my business partner because we have a jewelry line together now," Spelling says. "That was the first character I said had to be on the show." Going gay for Spelling definitely paid off: Zachary Quinto, who played Sasan, now stars as the villainous Sylar on NBC's Heroes. "I'm so emotional now with the pregnancy that when there was a preview for Heroes on a couple of weeks ago I turned to Dean and started crying. I'm like, "I'm just so proud of Zach!"
HX, March 2007.