Details: You were on the original Beverly Hills 90210 for 10 years—a show that defined America to the world.
Brian Austin Green: In a bright, flashy, horrible-hair kind of way. Let's be honest.
Details: The hair didn't seem as horrible at the time.
Brian Austin Green: I was just talking to the guy behind the bar, who said, "I used to love the original 90210 . . . the new one is not so good." And my response is, "Of course not." 90210 only worked because of that time period—because the world didn't have access to a lifestyle like that. The Internet wasn't what it is now. With TMZ and Paris Hilton wrecking cars and people being chased on freeways, there's nothing interesting about Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills is nothing anymore.
Details: Do the paparazzi hound you?
Brian Austin Green: It wasn't so much of a problem before Megan, but once Transformers hit, that was it. I had never experienced paparazzi on that level, because during 90210 they were still developing pictures and selling them by hand. It was a whole different experience.
Details: Some of the glamour and magic of Hollywood has been eroded.
Brian Austin Green: As someone who still loves movies and television, I honestly don't want to know what Mel Gibson is like at home. I want to watch Braveheart. I don't want any of the personal stuff. I'm not saying Mel's choices are the best—obviously not—but it's a shame that no one will enjoy a Mel Gibson film in the same way again. Mel made a business out of being nuts on camera, out of his fucking mind. And it's like, what, do you expect him to be totally normal at home? It's not possible.
Details: So the less you know, the better when it comes to actors?
Brian Austin Green: I think the most interesting people in television, film, and music are the ones we know the least about. I mean, Prince—it took years for me to know what his actual voice sounded like. Because I never saw him do an interview. I remember—I don't know if it was Arsenio Hall that I saw him on—but the first thing he did was talk in this really high voice. And then he laughed and said, "No, I'm kidding." He's got that deep voice! And we were like, "Prince got me!" Because we had no idea.
Details: What was it like to be famous in the nineties?
Brian Austin Green: Car shows. Mall appearances. And Grad Nite at Disneyland. Times were simple then. But now—just today we had a guy in the grocery store with his camera phone videotaping us walking down the aisles. And there's nothing I can do about it, other than take the guy's phone and drive off with it. Then there'd be a video with a headline: STEALING CAMERAS? WHAT'S BECOME OF BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN? THE MARRIAGE MUST NOT BE GOING WELL. AND HE'S NOT WORKING MUCH LATELY.
Details: You're on the new season of Desperate
Housewives. How did you land that?
Brian Austin Green: I was in Hawaii on my honeymoon, and I got a call from my manager saying, "Marc Cherry wants to sit down with you. He'd like to have you read. Just a couple scenes." I said, "Of course." I'm not against auditioning. I audition for everything. The best parts you have to audition for. The ones that I'm offered are the ones like Megalodon 2: This Time It's Personal.
Details: You play a buff contractor.
Brian Austin Green: Sweaty guy with a hammer. A lot of tank tops. I've got to say it's a whole new world for me. I've never played a hunky guy. There was one day when I had to take my shirt off. I must have done 400 push-ups. I feel like I understand the pressure that women go through. I feel, like, all-woman at times.
Details: I hear that you're actually pretty good with a hammer.
Brian Austin Green: I built a theater with a friend in Los Angeles, yeah. I spent months hanging drywall. I own a level, and I know how to use it. And I have a chalk line also. You might want to throw that in there.
Details: Does Megan tease you about this new ab-conscious role?
Brian Austin Green: She does. She busts my balls just enough to make me laugh and not feel self-conscious about what I'm doing. She's good about it.
Details: You released a rap album in 1996 called One Stop Carnival. Did you ever think you could actually rap as a career?
Brian Austin Green: I went to junior high for music, because my father is a drummer and I grew up playing. Hip-hop started, and everyone was break dancing, and that was kind of a big thing for me. I started doing commercials, but acting wasn't anything I ever considered doing as a career. I had every intention of being a musician. After 90210 started, I started to miss music and wanted to get back into it. So I got a bunch of equipment and started producing and writing songs on my own. I had a group with Damon Elliott at one point, Dionne Warwick's son. And because I was so into it personally, the writers on the show thought, "Oh, this is something we can add to the character."
Details: So David Silver became a musician.
Brian Austin Green: I was really against it. To me, it was kind of making a mockery of what I had outside of the show. But I thought, "If you guys really are running out of ideas and it's going to give you more to work with, go for it." I was still making music for fun, and a friend of mine who was a serious songwriter had a meeting with Babyface, who was king of the world at the time. On the cassette he played for Babyface were two songs that I had done. And those were the ones that he loved. I didn't even know they were on the tape. So probably three nights later, I'm sitting down having dinner with Babyface. He was like, "Yeah, do you want to make an album or anything? I said, "I'd never thought about it, but okay. Why not? I guess."