A Conversation with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen of 'Saved by the Bell' Show

Toledo Blade Newspaper

We interviewed 19-year-old actress Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who stars as Kelly in NBC's Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

Is that your real name?

Yes.

Where did you grow up?

Near Los Angeles. I am a fifth-generation Californian, which is pretty rare.

How did you get started?

I modeled when I was 8. I got an agency through my uncle, who is a photographer; my other one is a screenplay writer. I used to do a lot of Mattel commercials when I was younger. I have a milk commercial now. I began acting when I was 11. I started on the show just as I turned 14.

Are you like your character, Kelly?

I put a lot of myself into it. I think that is what acting is all about. She is very sheltered, but I've been working for a long time. I've lived alone since I was 17, so I am more independent. She is a very giving person, and so am I.

How long has the show been on?

We did the show for four years, but now we are on in prime time. We will be on for another four years.

How many children are there in your family?

I have two brothers, one is 25 and one is 16.

Who are you closest to on the show?

Probably Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Do you have a favorite episode?

I loved all the beach episodes.

Do you like your part?

I love it. I think it is a character that a lot of kids relate to. From parents standpoint, it has good morals. Parents tell me the love that their kids watch the show.

Does it take long to learn your lines?

I read it over the weekend. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we rehearse it so you are saying the words over and over. On Friday morning we tape without an audience; on Friday evening we tape with a live audience.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Yes, he is David on Beverly Hills 90210.

What are your hobbies?

I have two golden retrievers named Bonnie and Clyde, and I spend a lot of time with them. I also have a pet pig. My neighbors have complained so he is styaing with a friend right now because he has two pigs. I also play volleyball and I Rollerblade a lot.

Do you want to go to college?

Yes. I don't know when, though. I am going to major in English literature. I would like to do some writing.

Weren't you a beauty contest winner?

Yes. I was Miss Jr. America in 1987. I was 13 years old.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I want to be married, and maybe one kid. I am not rushing, anyway, I am just trying to do everything that I want to do.