Living Single

YM Magazine - March 1996 / By Linda Friedman

Find out how Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, red-hot star of Beverly Hills, 90210, got over costar Brian Austin Green and entered boyfriend-free bliss

Hey, wait a minute, where's the beef?

That's exactly what we're wondering when Tiffani-Amber Thiessen shows up for her YM cover shoot without some ultrabuff babe as an escort. After all, she is one of Hollywood's hottest glamour girls (although without makeup she totally looks like the girl next door), and along with fame and forturne come lots of hunky "perks."

But aside from all the multidisc cartridge she's carrying that's packed with the latest CDs by rock goddesses Alanis Morisette and Natalie Merchant, Tiffani's strictly solo today — and she's loving every minute of it.

You see, until recently, the actress always had a gorge guy by her side — and we do mean 24/7. By day, she was bad-news babe-magnet Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210, locking lips with Luke Perry, Jason Priestly, Ian Ziering, and just bout every other stud in the zip code. Then after work, she'd go home with real-life leading man, costar Brian Austin Green, and cuddle up with him in front of the TV.

At the beginning of this season, Tiffani and Brian were more inseperable than ever, as the 90210 plot finally hooked up their characters. But while the couple was hitting it off on camera, behind the scenes their long-term romance was hitting the skids. After dating Brian for two-and-a-half years — and living with him for one — Tiffani was suddenly single again.

But now that she's on her own, Tiffani isn't just surviving — she's totally thriving. "I don't really mind being single," says the 21-year-old actress. "I'm definitely not sad about it."

healing her heartbreak

It's difficult to imagine that any survivor of a breakup under the harsh Hollywood spotlight could be this upbeat. But when she dished the split over lunch at a down-to-earth Burbank, CA, restaurant, Tiffani is anything but bitter. In fact, while munching on a veggie burger and fries, she gushes about Brian almost as if they were still together.

"I've had a few boyfriends where the breakup wasn't mutual, and I've never seen them again," she says. "But Brian still comes over, we have dinner. That's really very important to me — especially because we work together."

Tiffani says she has a big-time bond with her ex that will never be broken. "Brian and I were friends before we started dating. We told each other that if it didn't work out, we'd stay friends, and we have. I just know a little bit more about him than most friends, that's all."

So how did they grow so far apart that she packed her bags and moved out of Brian's Hollywood Hills house last September? It wasn't like he was a rotten roommate, letthing his dirty underwear grow mold and constantly leaving the toiler seat up. "We actually lived together really well," Tiffani says.

She also squashed gossip that Brian was way jealous of her instant popularity on 90210. "Competition is definitely always there in this business, so I don't think it ever really bother me or Brian."

Despite rumours that Brian was a major party animal while Tiffani was a total homebody, in the end their problem was that they spent too much time together. They both seriously needed their space, especially at work.

trouble on the set

Brian, an original cast member, admits that he had some trouble adjusting when his girlfriend joined the show in 1994. "I had been on 90210 for so long and established my own little world there. And when someone you love comes into that world, the whole thing changes," he explains.

The biggest change — and challenge — was having to watch his girlfriend make out with Luke, Jason, Ian and crew. "I had a hard time with her doing a lot of things she did on the show the first season," confessed the 22-year-old actor. "It was a strange incestuous feeling. IT was like watching your girlfriend do love scenes with your brothers."

Tiffani tried to reassure Brian that she was only doing her job. But she was his first true love, and his inexperience ultimately hurt their romance, he says. "I wish I had been more understanding and had known how to deal with stuff like when we got into arguments."

For her part, Tiffani has no major regrets about the relationship, and having a positive attitude ahs helped her heart to heal without any permanent scars. "I always feel that everything you do in life is a learning experience and that you become a wiser person for it," she says.

Well, sure, surviving an earthquake could be considered a learning experience too, but it still sucks. So it's amazing that Tiffani was able to get over her broken heart without any ballistic brownie hinges or sick shopping sprees. "After a breakup, it's definitely hard," she admits. "But I have so many other good things in my life right now with my work and my family that I can't let myself get depressed."

There is someone who's completely bumming about the split, however - and it's not Brian. It's his dog Alik, a rottweiler who grew up with Tiffani's two golden retreivers. Bonnie and Clyde. "Alik was lonely for awhile," says Tiffani. "We were trying to keep him coming over occasionally so he could see my dogs."

on the hunk hunt

Tiffani confessed that she sometimes gets a bit lonely too in her new Hollywood Hills house — a bodacious bachelorette pad complete with two bedrooms, an office, a pool, a gym, and a huge yard for her dogs and two cats, Sadie and Savannah. But when she gets sad about living single, she can always turn to her family and close friends (including Jennie Garth and Mario Lopez from her Saved by the Bell days).

While she sometimes goes to parties and movie premieres filled with some of Hollywood's hottest hunks, Tiffani definitely isn't looking for love again just yet. "Right now I have no interest in dating at all. To seriously go out with someone would be too much for me."

When Tiffani is ready for a new romance, her dream dude will have to have a good sense of humor. "Plus, he has to be romantic and have some type of emotional substance," she says. "And he has to be a go-getter."

Mr. New Boyfriend will also have to deal with a certain small green heart she got tattooed on her lower abdomen in honor of her sweetie at the time, Brian Austin Green (get it?).

Whoever ultimately wins Tiffani's heart will be one lucky guy, says Brian. "She's an incredibly caring person. She really knows who she is, and she really knows what's going on. And she's really smart too.....So how can you not fall in love with her?"

kissing confessions

Name any hottie on 90210, and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen's probably meshed mouths with him. Just for YM, she dished her make-out partners.

1. BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN (David). Natually, it was easy smooching Brian when they were together, but even after their breakup Tiffani had no trouble twisting tongues with him for the camera, she says.

2. JASON PRIESTLY (Brandon). "He's just got this personality and sense of humor about him that made me feel really comfortable and not nervous or anything."

3. LUKE PERRY (Dylan). "Luke was my very first, so I'd have to say I was really nervous about kissing him — not because of him, but because it was the first time."

"The guys on 90210 treat me with respect. They don't try anything."