'90210' Hunk Luke Perry Now a Doting Dad

Fess up. If you were a "Beverly Hills 90210" fan, you know you wanted to be the girlfriend of bad boy Dylan McKay, even if you were in cougar territory. For Luke Perry, the actor who played that incredible hunk, the role earned him a number six ranking in the 2005 "TV Guide" list of TV's Greatest Teen Idols. Today Perry has taken on new roles, including fatherhood. An edited version of our interview with him follows.

by Ilyssa Panitz • More.com Celebrity Reporter
luke perry porsche photograph
Photograph: Dan Coplan

More: What’s your greatest dad challenge?
LP: You compete with technology for your children’s attention and for your time with them. It's difficult for me to carve out quality time with them, but I do it. I make everyone, including myself, put their phones away so we can be together.

More: Do you monitor what your children do on the computer?
LP: Yes, and it forces your hand at having discussions about really mature subject matters at a time when they may or may not be ready for it.

More: Speaking of adult matters, how did you explain your divorce to your children?
LP: I don’t talk about that.

More: Would you let your kids follow in your footsteps and pursue acting?
LP: My kids are much smarter than I ever was. They are gifted and I think they could be doctors. I'm hoping they want to work in medicine.

More: Do you still get recognized for your role as Dylan?
LP: Only when I leave the house. Once you go out the front door, it's on.

More: What was life like during that era?
LP: Loud. It was very loud. It seems everywhere we went, people were screaming at us and I am more of a quiet person.

More: You left the series and then came back. Why?
LP: Yes, because I couldn’t do it anymore and play the character to the fullest. I came back because one of my closest friends—Paul Waigner, our executive producer—was dying of cancer, and I wanted to spend the last year of his life with him. There is nothing I value more than friendship and Paul taught me about all the important stuff in television, such as treating people right. It was my destiny to be with him one last time.

More: What about your feelings for Aaron Spelling?
LP: The man who lit the fuse for my career? I have strong feelings for him. We laughed, we cried and we did it all. Aaron was great to me.

More: How would you describe your offscreen relationship with Shannen Doherty, who played your girlfriend for many seasons?
LP: We didn’t hang out much, and we didn’t have that much in common.

More: Do you still keep in touch with any of your other 90210 pals?
LP: I was just on the phone with Brian Austin Green. Brian is going to be the king of the world in this business. He is so talented, so together and he is going to be a monster, in a good way. Brian is entertaining and I really miss working with him.

More: Many Hollywood famous faces are baring skin these days. Would you do it, too?
LP: I ain’t baring anything [laughs]. The only time I wouldn’t wear clothes is if that is what the scene called for in a movie I was doing.

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First Published June 10, 2011

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