Tiffani Talks 'White Collar,' 'Saved By The Bell' And Party-Planning (April 18, 2013)
Tiffani Thiessen not only plays an event planner on USA's "White Collar"; the actress knows how to throw a party in real life, too. In honor of Earth Day, Thiessen teamed with Glad to host a bash celebrating its "One Bag" initiative, after which only one bag of trash was sent to landfill and the rest went to compost and recycling.
We caught up with Thiessen, 39, to talk about her environmental efforts, bizarre fan mail and the many memorable storylines of "Saved By The Bell."
Why did you want to work with Glad on this campaign?
I can genuinely say that I've tried to live a very green life. When I was younger, my father, who was a landscape architect who worked for the city, taught me how to care for the earth, and I think I just moved that into my life as I got older. Now having a child, I think it's even more important to teach our children how to care for the earth, so we can be here longer and make sure that we're living the healthy life.
When Glad told me about this initiative, I totally jumped to it, for many reasons. One, to show people that you can throw a beautiful, amazing party in a way where we're only throwing one bag of trash into our landfill. It's an ongoing problem that all of us, as a society, are constantly consuming and throwing things away. It's just years and years of millions of people putting so much pressure on our earth.
What's your No. 1 tip for throwing an eco-friendly party?
One of the neatest things people can try to do, if they're able to over the years, is collect good serving ware and not use paper and plastic so much. Linens, you can wash and use over and over. And your decor — using things you can make as gifts for your guests to take home, such as beautiful little potted plants or flowers that they can put back into the earth.
You play an event planner on "White Collar." Are you into hosting parties?
Absolutely, yes. I've said this quite a few times, but if I wasn't an actress I'd probably love to be an event planner.
Any hosting horror stories?
For me, the important thing is, you want your guests to have a good time. But last year, we had two mishaps. I catered all the food myself and one of my ovens did not work, so that was a disaster. I was trying to do everything with the one smaller oven that I had. And then we had a station where kids were painting their own birdhouses and using very kid-friendly paint. But a kid just doused himself all over with paint and I don't think the parent was very happy with me.
Do you have any eco-friendly beauty secrets?
Because I have to wear so much makeup and hair products when I'm working, I'm a pretty natural girl. I seldom put anything on my face, except for eco-friendly, not too chemically driven sunblock. But I try not to use so much stuff on my face; it gets so worn out by having to wear so much of it when I'm on camera. And I'm a believer in not washing your hair every day, so that saves water. And I think it's better for your hair.
You've been on some iconic TV shows, including "Saved By The Bell" and "Beverly Hills, 90210." What attracted you to "White Collar"?
I loved the script. I loved the whole premise of the show. I loved some of the actors who had already signed on. And I loved that I was finally playing a role that was close to home for me. I feel that I have a lot in common with Elizabeth. And probably most important, the relationship between Elizabeth and Peter was a good relationship. You don't see a lot of healthy, working marriages on TV and I love that they have a lot of respect for each other and have fun with each other and love each other. I wanted to be a part of that.
There's been a surge of nostalgia for '90s pop culture, including "Saved By the Bell." What do you miss most about the '90s?
There's not a lot. I thought the music was terrible, the fashions weren't that great. I miss the kind of carefree life that I had. I had no worries, really. I had a little worry, but it wasn't a lot. It was mostly homework and tests, and not as much responsibility. Just being a teenager — that's what I miss. Being able to go to the beach after school.
Are you going to let your daughter Harper [born in 2010] watch "Saved By the Bell" when she's older?
If she wants to. I'm sure she'll get a good laugh out of it.
"Saved by the Bell" had some pretty ridiculous plots. What do you think was the silliest episode?
The one of us girls singing and making a music video was pretty darn funny. I just remember wearing those leotards. And then Kelly goes to Paris because she got a modeling gig — yeah, right. It's hard to pick one.
What's always on your DVR now?
It would have to be "Curious George" and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse."
What's one thing from your teen wardrobe that you wish you could wear now?
I wish I could wear those bra tube tops and still look good in them.
What's your hidden talent?
I'm a pretty mean cook, and not everybody knows that.
What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Red wine and chocolate.
What's on your nightstand?
My monitor to listen to my daughter when she's sleeping; a phone, of course, to be close to my loved ones anytime I need to get a hold of them; diapers, wipes, an eco-friendly diaper cream, my lip balm and a glass of water.
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Don't sweat the small stuff.
What's the strangest thing you've ever received from a fan?
A naked picture of some guy who thought that was a cool thing and I'd want to go out with him because he asked me out and wrote it on the picture. That would be the strangest one. It kind of scarred my brain a little bit.
What question are you most tired of being asked?
Why didn't I marry Zack Morris?
What movie/song are you embarrassed to say you like?
I would probably say the Disney movies with those cute kids that are older now ... "High School Musical." I used to watch them and love them.
What would people be surprised to know you've never done?
I've never been to London. Can you believe that?
Who have you been jealous of lately?
I don't believe in jealousy. Especially having a daughter, I think it's a bad thing to have. But I could say I'm envious of seeing my girlfriend Naomi, who's been working out like mad and going through this crazy diet. I just got the lowdown on how to do it and I'm going to do it. She's got rock-hard abs right now and I'm very envious of those abs.