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March 14, 2001     Beverly Hills Weekly
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March 14, 2001
 

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Horace Mann, BHHS graduate Kfistin Dattilo set to star in fifth series By Steven Herbert On Kristin Dattilo's first day as a third- grader at Horace Mann School in 1978 after moving from Florida, a class'mate asked her, "Who's your agent?" That quintessential only in L.A. ques- tion would serve as an impetus for a career where she has starred in five series. Her latest, "The Chris Isaak Show," pre- mieres Monday at 10.p.m. on Showtime. Befuddled by that playground question, Dattilo repeated it to her mother that night. After being informed she did not have an agent, Dattilo responded, "We need to get one," thinking every Beverly Hills eiKht-year old had professional rep- resentation. Instead of getting her an agent, Dattilo's mother enrolled her in a Saturday acting class, whose students included future "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Shannen Doherty. Dattilo said she was not serious about pursuing an acting career until after grad- uating from Beverly Hills High School in 1988, but the question made acting a career possibility for her, because it made acting seem like a common career choice. Dattilo's television credits include guest-starring on "Friends," as Ross' (David Schwimmer) favorite pizza deliv- ery girl and "Ally McBeal." In the first season of "Beverly Hills, 90210," she guest-starred as Melissa, who had to bal- ance her aspirations to be accepted by an Ivy League university with her responsi- bilities to her baby. However, Dattilo could have had a much larger presence on "90210." Dattilo and her younger brother Bryan had both auditioned for the roles of trans- planted Minnesota twins Brenda and Brandon Walsh. Executive producer Aaron Spelling wanted the two of them to do screen tests for the role. Instead, Dattilo decided to continue to pursue a role on the NBC pilot "Hull High," believing there would be little viewer interest in a series on Beverly Hills teen-agers. Dattilo won the role of school radical D.J. Serkin, only to see "Hull High," canceled four months after its pre- miere. "90210" would run for 10 seasons. Dattilo said she does not regret that decision. "My brother and I always make jokes about it, but we're both such strong believ- ers in what's meant to be is meant to be," Dattilo said last week in a telephone inter- view from Vancouver, where "The Chris Isaak Show" is filmed.."There were so many things I learned in my lile through struggling, auditioning and getting pilots every year. I've had so many incredible experiences." (Although Jason Priestley would be cast as Brandon Walsh, Bryan Dattilo would also find television success, portraying Lucas Roberts on the NBC daytime drama, "Days of Our Lives," from 1993 until this year.) Dattilo said she considers her next series, the 1995 CBS comedy, "The Office," as her best television experience, thanks to another Beverly Hills High School alumnus, Emmy Award:Winning director Jay Sandrich. "He taught me so much," Dattilo said. "I was so inspired and lifted by that experi- ence. It was just incredible." Dattilo would then star in Fox Broadcasting's "Local Heroes," in 1996 and UPN's "Hitz," a year later. In "The Chris Isaak Show," Dattilo receives second-billing behind Isaak in the hour-long series blending fact and fic- tion in taking a behind the scenes look at Isaak's life as "The rock star next door." Dattilo portrays Isaak's manager Yola, a character the series' publicity materials describe as "savvy, but neurotic." "She's incredibly ambitions, earnest and incredibly afraid of failure," Dattilo said. "She's dysfunctional in her personal life, but she's also really loving of the people she works with and the band." Dattilo said the biggest difference between herself and Yola is that her char- acter is "Extremely stressed." "On a scale from one to 10, she func- tions at a 15, 24 hours a day," Dattilo said. However, to Dattilo, working on a cable series is much less stressful than its broad- cast network counterparts. "There is such an enormous difference," Dattilo said. "On network television, no matter where you shoot, there are always executives telling you how to shoot things, what your character is, how your wardrobe is, how your hair is, and if you forget a proposition [on the script], people lose their minds. They are so controlling of the product. I think that's why more network shows aren't more successful because there is so much control. "With ['The Chris lsaak Show'] we're kind of in a little cocoon up here. We have executives who come up here, but they are so supportive and encouraging exploring the character, what you want to see hap- pen to the character. You have so much input. There's such a freedom that you would never have on network television. As a result, I think the product is going to be a lot better." L REMODEL & REPAIR FURNITURE Appointment Suggested (310) 841-6254 8543 Venice Blvd. Just west of La Cienega The Working Professional's Best Friendl We do picbups and deliveries in a prompt, efficient and professional manner. We tailor our service to your needs. If there is a service you need performed but not listed, please ask! Other Services Include: Post Office/Mailing Grocery Shopping/Pharmacy Returns & Exchanges Courier Services Dry Cleaning Personal Organizer Monthly Rates Call Us Todayl 323-634-0672 ( 24 Hours Advance Notice Needed March 8 - 14, 2001 13