Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/WireImage
She grew up a Hollywood princess as the daughter of uber-TV producer Aaron Spelling, but Tori Spelling says she's more like the girl next door. "I was always told by the media because of who my dad was that I wasn't like everyone else. But inside I was just screaming out, 'No, I really am like everyone else. I'm totally normal,'" the former Beverly Hills, 90210 star tells iVillage in an exclusive interview. "For me, this reality experience has been amazing because people can finally see the real me. I'm like, 'See, it's me. I'm just like your neighbor.'"
In the new season of her reality show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood (which premieres April 5), the actress-entrepreneur and her husband of nearly four years, Dean McDermott, hop in an RV with their two kids -- Liam, 3, and Stella, 1 (better known by nicknames Monkey and Buggy) -- on a cross-country drive to visit the family's former baby nurse Patsy. During the road trip, the 36-year-old star even broke her "motel virginity."
iVillage spoke with Spelling about why she's afraid of camping (cue horror movie music), how her kids are just like her and if she'd ever follow in her 90210 costars' footsteps and go on Dancing with the Stars.
This season you take a road trip to visit Patsy. What were the best and worst parts?
Oh my gosh, the best part was I just always wanted to drive cross country. That was kind of a dream of mine and I was really excited to take the kids. It just felt like we had time to decompress and just all be together. And probably the worst part was just being on a time schedule. I wish we had more time to explore. It'd be great to do it again when (the kids) are a little older and can appreciate everything.
In the season premiere you say you broke your "motel virginity" on the trip. What was that night like for you?
Well, it was definitely better than going camping! We intended on going camping, which I was totally freaking out about because I've never been camping and I just have the whole horror-film-getting-killed-in-the-woods idea in my head, so that was really throwing me over the edge. So any motel creepiness was better than that. It was just one thing after another in that motel room. I mean it makes for good TV, but I was just like, "For real?" I'm already paranoid. And only I would happen to look up, and of course the one room we're in there's blood on the ceiling. I was like, "Why is this happening?"
You seem to be more of a worrier than Dean is with the kids. Has he calmed you down?
We are yin and yang. That's what I'm always wondering: Am I just more of a paranoid person and he's just a calmer person or is it a man-woman thing? I mean, part of me has to think, "Well, I carried them for nine months, and actually ten months when you think about it, so maybe I'm always just going to be more paranoid." We just have that connection that maybe men don't have with children. He does calm me down just because he always tells me I'm overreacting so I do have to step back and say, "Okay, reality check." As with any partnership, sometimes that just makes me more mad. It's my own process that I'm going through.
What parts of your personality do you see in Liam and Stella?
Liam's a lot like me. He's pretty calm and even-keeled. He's kind of like the peacemaker. He gets along with everyone. He's very sensitive. He's always asking about people, how they feel, if they're hurt. He's worried about everybody. He kind of takes that on and that's what I do. And he's already a really good storyteller. He's really animated. He has my walk. He uses his hands a lot, which I do, which is really funny. And then Stella is lot more like Dean but she definitely has my fashion sense. She's a total girly girl. She's obsessed with purses and shoes, which is me to a T. She is stubborn, which is me as well. They both have a lot of me in them.
How is Liam as a big brother?
They are so close. You can't picture Liam without Stella. Or Stella without Liam. They go together. They are best friends. I mean they obviously already are fighting. But it's usually her provoking him. They do everything together. For a little man -- he just turned 3 -- he's really giving. Like he likes to play airplanes, so if someone takes him up in the air and plays airplanes, he goes "How about Buggy now?" He wants her to have fun. It's really sweet.
Last season focused on your struggling with the consequences of being a working mom. Have you reconciled that with yourself?
That's still a daily struggle for me finding that balance. I want to be that stay-at-home mom. I want to drive carpool and know what it's like to lounge around and do yoga and pick the kids up and start dinner. I so want that world. And then on the other hand I'm a career woman. I love all my business ventures. I love creating. When I tell my friends this, they're like, "You would so not be happy being a stay-at-home mom." I guess this is what works for me. Luckily, with our reality show I get a little blend of both. I get to be with the kids a lot more than if I were on a scripted television show where I was away from them 17 hours a day on a set.
This season you and Dean talk about how making the kids a priority has prevented you from focusing on your relationship. Have you been able to set aside time for the two of you?
It's funny. When we first got together and we talked about having kids we always said, "We are never going to be those parents that just become all about the kids and lose sight of our relationship. We're going to keep the balance." And then you have kids and it just shifts. We're not perfect. We're a normal couple and we have to work on our relationship. We rarely get date nights, but we're really trying hard to try to implement them in our lives. Because me, I'm a mom, so I'm like, "Let's go to dinner... and bring the kids!"
In the previews for this season, you say that you want the old Dean back. Did you get him back?
We're working on it. I always say relationships have ebbs and flows. I think it's very normal to start a relationship at one place and then people change. When you're soulmates, you're committed to each other. All I know for sure is that Dean and I are committed to each other and committed to our family and we'll work through stuff.
Did you watch Shannen Doherty on Dancing with the Stars? Would you ever do the show?
I was kind of confused on all fronts when Shannen went home because I was like, obviously she's popular with fans and I thought she was a good dancer so now I'm confused how people are voting. Her and Pamela Anderson in the bottom two made no sense to me. You definitely don't want to be the first person to go home. So that would scare me. I always tell Dean he should do it. I think he would be the better candidate for it. He would be fantastic. And then I'd get to be there and not have to have my heart jumping out of my chest. I could go and enjoy watching him have his heart jump out of his chest.
- Tori Spelling's Kids Inspired Her Children's Books
Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood premieres Monday, April 5 at 10 pm ET on Oxygen.
Does Tori Spelling seem relatable on her reality show? Chime in below!