'Speedway Junky' commentary / biography

1999

The following information has been found on the 'Speedway Junky' DVD.

BIOGRAPHY

It came as no surprise when Elle magazine France included Tiffani Thiessen among the international selection of film and television actresses who best portray the femme fatale and vixen. After five seasons on the FOX series, Beverly Hills 90210, Thiessen's depiction as Valerie Malone had given vixens a whole new appeal and the 26-year-old is the only American woman featured in this exclusive "it" list of bad girls. From barbie commercials to bad girl image, Thiessen's career is a patterned rise from child model to television and film performer. The Long Beach, California native began modeling at the age of eight and soon built an impressive portfolio of print and television commercial credits.

Her early teens saw the blue-eyed brunette earn her first theatrical gig with the CBS pilot, Live In, with Chris Young. Shortly thereafter, she landed the series Saved by the Bell, which aired for five seasons. During this time, she also made her feature film debut with Son in Law, opposite Pauly Shore. It was in 1993 that Aaron Spelling chose her from a plethora of actresses for the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210. During her five-year turn with the series, Thiessen also earned oustanding kudos for her movies-of-the-week including She Fought Alone (NBC) and Sweet Dreams (NBC). Since 1998 when Thiessen stepped out of the bad girl role, she has carefully focused her career toward film roles.

Currently, Thiessen is in New York shooting Woody Allen's latest film, Hollywood Ending, which also stars Deborah Messing and Tea Leoni. Her other film credits include Paramount's Ladies Man, the independent Speedway Junky with Jesse Bradford, Jonathon Taylor Thomas and Daryl Hannah, and Love Stinks, with French Stewart, Bridgett Wilson and Tyra Banks, as well as Rhino Film's horror/comedy Shriek: I know what you did last Friday the 13th, in which she co-starred opposite Tom Arnold. On television she recently had a recurring role on the ABC comedy series Two Guys and a Girl.

During the rare moments when the busy actress is free, she enjoys redecorating her new home, gardening, and kickboxing. And Thiessen's love for animals is shared among her two cats and Golden Retriever.

COMMENTARY done by the producer or director (not sure)

We're going to introduce Tiffani Amber Thiessen, which originally, I wanted to basically have known actress' for these roles, kind of a mall chick to play this part and Tiffani somehow heard about this film and did this big campaign to get this part. I guess she had never played a role like this. You know, she had the accent and believe it, or not, but I did not have any idea this time. I never seen Beverly Hills, 90210. I had no idea who Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was. I'm not a big TV watcher.

And that's why I never saw Jonathon's show and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and everybody saying, you know 'She wants to play this part' and I'm saying 'Who's Tiffani?', 'She's on Beverly Hills 90210, the biggest TV show in the world' And uh, I said 'Alright, if Tiffani comes and reads, ya know, with this accent and convinces me that's coming from this. She's a TV star and I'm like, 'I don't care, I have no idea who she is and if she can pull off this accent.' And she did! She came in and auditioned for mee and I thought she did really good. You know all these things I was really surprised. She did this thing with her accent and she was really funny as a person. I thought it would be fun working with her so I cast her and then well it's always the after thought. If Tiffani people would come see it because Tiffani is recent and all these things, which kind of messes up the whole kind of getting realism. People seeing their favorite TV stars huslers and prostitutes, but you know it's just the way Speedway Junky was, a reason why Tiffani wanted to do the movie was because there was another speech she wanted to deliver.

But I thought she was funny. She put these old crinkles in her hair. I don't know how she did it. Little crinkles, um I just thought it was really funny. Wine coolers.

Jesse Bradford told me he had a crush on Tiffani when he was a little kid. He used to watch her on that show, Saved by the Bell. I mean he had a huge crush on her and so this was kind of a special moment for him and here he is with Tiffani...his like, you know, adolescent crush sitting on his bed taking her shirt off. I created something for him so (laughs), so when this was going on, Jesse's incredibily excited. I have to let you know, but of course you know he doesn't get to do anything.

People said, 'Why don't you have Tiffani take her bra off?' Well, it's like you know I had already established the 'no-nudity' policy, whicn in retrospect, you know how much flack I got for the racy scenes in this film. Um, maybe I would have done something different, but I just literally did not have the heart to ask Tiffani to take her bra off. That's where, what it boils down to. So I just couldn't do it. You know, if it was somebody else than her, maybe yeah, but I just couldn't do it so that's why. Now I don't know if she would've, she might have done it, I don't know...maybe not. But we will never know because I didn't have the guts to ask her that, so that's why.