Thiessen: The New Queen of Comedy?

Friday, October 13, 2000

Tiffani Thiessen knows that Saturday Night Live skits have had a rocky history when adapted to the big screen: For every Wayne's World, there are three Coneheads. But the former Beverly Hills 90210 vixen — who plays a sex-starved housewife in Ladies Man (opening today) — has a good feeling that the Tim Meadows comedy will escape the SNL curse. "I saw the Ladies Man trailer when I went to see Mission Impossible 2 over the summer, and the audience was hysterically laughing," Thiessen tells TV Guide Online. "I'm hoping that it will do really well. I can only keep my fingers crossed."

If moviegoers have as much fun watching the movie as Thiessen did making it, then Ladies Man could be the sleeper hit of the fall. "Working with Tim Meadows and Will Ferrell was absolutely hysterical," she recalls. "It wasn't even working; it was just laughing."

In Ladies Man, Thiessen plays Ferrell's unsatisfied spouse, who longs for her ex, Leon Phelps (the title character). "She wants to leave her husband, take her money, travel all over the world and have great sex everywhere."

A woman into money and men? Sounds oddly like her 90210 alter ego, Valerie Malone. The similarities, insists the 26-year-old actress, end there. "When I left 90210, I really wanted to get back to doing comedy," says Thiessen, who got her start on Saved by the Bell and currently has a recurring gig on ABC's Two Guys and a Girl — a role that soon will go the way of the pizza place. "I'm doing three episodes, to finish off the storyline."

Thiessen also can be seen in the horror spoof Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th, which will quietly make its debut on the USA Network on Oct. 17. The comedy initially was going to be released in theaters, but distributor Lion's Gate apparently felt the film too closely resembled the summer-smash flick Scary Movie.

"People have already seen one, so they're not going to want to see another one that's almost exactly the same," concedes Thiessen, who plays the Gale Weathers character that was originated by Courteney Cox Arquette in Scream and was parodied by Cheri Oteri in Scary Movie. "We actually did our film before Scary Movie, but being that Scary Movie was made by a bigger company, Miramax, it got out first."
— Michael Ausiello