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December 11, 2023 43 mins

Sisters on and off screen, Shannen and Holly recall their friendship before their days on Charmed…and how their bond grew through the trials and tribulations experienced on set.

Pushing against the producer patriarchy, and what caused a temporary wedge between the original Halliwell sisters.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
This is let's be clear with Shannon Doherty. Hi. Everyone,
This is Shannon Doherty and today I am joined by
very special guests. My friend Holly Marie comes. Hi. Holly, Hi,
how are you going? As usual? So full of energy?
What some people don't know is that we knew each

(00:26):
other before Charmed. How do people not know that? I
don't know they weren't paying attention. I know, but some
people don't know. They didn't watch TMZ very much. Correct. Wait,
this was before TMZ. It was so how did we
how did we meet? Are you saying you don't remember?

(00:47):
I'm quizzing you? Oh, but I didn't know there was
going to be a test. There's always a test. Wow,
this is this is a long string of events. So
my first husband, my first mistake, was friends with Jeffrey

(01:09):
Dean Morgan some of you may know his name, and
he was dating Lara Flynn Boyle at the time. So
Lara was actually the first friend I had in La
when I moved there to do pick offensuits, and Lara

(01:30):
knew Rox Sanna, Roxanna knew you, and Charlie was in
there in the middle somewhere. So when I was no
longer friends with Lara. Then I became friends with Rexanna,
and then I became friends with you, and then Roxanna
became upset that we became friends, and well, really the
story is like you met me and you were like,

(01:50):
I don't need any other friend, but Shannon. That was
the distinction. That was it. Thank you, really it was
the only joy. You're like, I don't need any of
these other people. With her multiple personalities, she covers all
of them. It's all good. So and so then I
became I became Charlie's daughter's godmother, and then I got

(02:15):
fired because of the first husband, my first mistake. She
in like that situation, and then you got hired as
that godmother. It's all very twisted. If you think about it,
it is. It is really twisted. So we all right,
So right, I was nineteen Oh god, that means that

(02:36):
means I was twenty. No. I that means I had
like a momentary lapse where I'm like, what am I
thirty nine now? Oh? No, forty nine? So that means
that was thirty years ago. And I just don't think
there's enough time in the day to go through all
of this. That's all. It's a long, long, long time
it's a long journey, right, So we hung out, we

(02:56):
did all of this stuff, and when when Charmed came around,
I remember seeing a lot of stuff here. By the way,
I know I'm going to get to Charmed real quick.
We can always back track. We well, yeah, I mean, okay,
hold on, no, no, right, no, because you said you
said first mistake a couple of times, which is really

(03:19):
funny because I think we paralleled with mistakes through out
our friendship. You know, you're on your third marriage, right
I am, aren't you? But so far, so good? Well, no,
I mean my third is ending, right, So okay, here's

(03:41):
here's one of my favorite stories about Holly that I
want to tell all of our listeners. It is that
hollywould often stay at my house because of my first mistake.
The first mistake was no bueno, and she needed a
little bit of safety and protection and and I supplied

(04:01):
it along with my German shepherd Elfie, who was like
shits and three trained and cray cray and loved Holly,
and she kept people away from the property. Let's just
put it like that. She had a couple of encounters
with the first mistake that didn't go so well for him.
And so Hollywoold walk around the house in overalls with

(04:26):
a tool belt and she would fix everything in the
house that needed fixing. Like I distinctly recall looking at
her and saying, it's so weird that there's not a
lock on my bathroom door, Like what if I have
a guy over and I need to use the restroom,
they could just come in, Like that's not okay. And

(04:49):
the next thing I knew, I heard like hammering and
there was a lock on the door. I was like,
this is so cool. I was handy your projects. You
were very, very very handy. Yeah you uh yeah you
you fixed everything in my house. I actually need you
to something next. Yeah, I have a couple I don't

(05:14):
need fixing. Do you have anything that needs to be
put together? And you're cheaper and funnier than a handyman,
I think. So. I mean, I jumped a Charmed and

(05:37):
I was obviously off of nine O two and oh.
I was very trepidacious of working with Aaron Spelling again
and getting involved because they burned me really badly on
nine O two and oh, and I was probably carrying
around a lot of resentment and anger still, but absolutely,
you know, working do mall rats like doing different projects,

(06:01):
you know, pretty chilled. And Holly, I picked you up
right and we were in my car and she saw
like this script sort of thrown in the backseat. That's
how much you looked at it. You saw spelling just
through it. Yeah, it's true. I saw Aaron spelling. And
I was like, I'm not going down that path again, no,
thank you. But you saw it and you were like,

(06:25):
have you read it? And I was like, absolutely not.
And I said, actually, this one is pretty good. You'll
you'll probably like it. And you said, no, it says
Spelling on it. And I said, I know, I understand,
but if they sent it to you, that means they
want to work with you on it and it might
be a good thing. Yeah, And I read it. And
then you had your meeting with Aaron coming to Jesus moment.

(06:49):
I mean it wasn't really a coming to Jesus moment.
It was for him. It was for him like you
just walk in and it's as if nothing happened, right,
I mean for him, that's how he how he conducted
the meeting was it was like, kiddo, let's do this
project together. It's gonna be great. And I was just like,

(07:11):
do we want to talk about everything that happened in
the past. Do we want to talk about that you
fired me and didn't even have a discussion with me,
and like all this stuff that transpired on nine o
two zero and how you know that was just an
ugly situation. But no, he didn't really want to discuss
any of it. He just wanted us to move forward.

(07:31):
He was moving on. But you know, you were right.
It was really well written. Constance Burge did an amazing job.
It was supernatural, but like it had darkness to it
as well, and it was funny to a certain extent.
And it was like the relationship between the sisters was

(07:53):
so powerful and so great. It was funny by accident,
Like it wasn't supposed to be funny. Anything funny happened
was totally my accident. That's true. Yeah, But then it
worked because you know, the circumstances were so beyond reality
that to have those moments of humor or humanizing moments

(08:14):
helped it a lot. Yeah, and you were Aaron offered
us different roles. Well, I'm jumping ahead once again. So
he wanted me for Piper for your role yep, And
I had auditioned for Phoebe, which was painful, Yes, and
we sort of were like, let's switch this around. Let

(08:36):
me be the older, let you be the middle. He
didn't believe that we were old enough to play those characters. Yeah,
it was Actually we were the appropriate ages for the
other characters that we preferred, right, And we preferred them
because they were like Proof felt more authentic to me.
She also felt like a different character than Brenda, which
was really important to me. Like Brenda on nine o

(08:58):
two and zero was such a she had so much
like teenage angst and made so many mistakes and was
kind of selfish and self serving in her own way,
and Prue was the antithesis of that. Right. She was
all about her sisters and all about self sacrifice, which

(09:19):
I really liked as far as a career move and
for me personally, I just didn't want to play a
character that seemed to look frazzled or like the Phoebe character,
which was, you know, a little on that immature cusp.
I wanted to play like a very solid, strong woman
who put her sisters above everything else. Why did you

(09:42):
want to play Piper? You know, I don't know. I
just felt I definitely couldn't be the youthful Phoebe one.
I don't think I was that youthful when I was youthful,
and so Piper was just far more appropriate for me
at the time, and she was a handful. It was
you know, it was a challenge, right, which I think

(10:04):
is the thing about the two of us always is
that we kind of like challenges. Definitely, I don't want
to be bored. That's a lot of our mistakes. All
of them were like, well that's a challenge. That one's
a challenge. We can change him. I don't see red
flag red flags everywhere, no problem, you've got a discount

(10:28):
on red flags today. Oh my god. Yeah, I mean
I think that like Piper, I just remember reading the
script and when you were like, I want to play Piper.
I thought, this actually makes sense because you would bring
your sort of you have like a dryness to you,

(10:49):
which I love, like that's my kind of sense of
humor is a little dry, little dark, super witty, clever.
And yet they're back then not saying that it's like
this now. Back then there was like there was something
naive about you personally and very like still very trusting
regardless of your mistake, you were still very trusting and soft,

(11:10):
and it was a It was a good casting call
for you to be Piper because you were able to
bring the vulnerability to her, the negativity to her, and
along with like your dryness, your eye rolls, which you
know you're now famous for apparently, you know, you brought

(11:32):
a character that I personally felt when I read the
script was kind of two dimensional, and you really made
her three dimensional, Like you gave her so many different
layers and so many different colors. You brought her to life,
I think in a way that not even the producers
or constans could have could have seen coming. Yeah. Well,
Constance was tough too. Remember she she based the characters

(11:55):
on her sisters, and so she was trying to hold
me to what she had created. And I was like,
you got to give me little leeway here, you gotta
give me a little It was tough to make everybody happy.
You know, the network was against me, only erin, and
you wanted me blackmailed. You blackmailed the network into wanting me.
We'll go into that story. So who was the network

(12:18):
WB or CW at that point, it was still the WB. Yeah,
the WB so I was already committed to the project,
and Erin and I made a calculated decision to take
only Holly for Piper and another girl, Dana for for Phoebe.
So we go to the network. I'm sitting in with
the network. The girls come in individually and read off

(12:40):
of me, and it's really like, I love telling the story.
I hope you like it as much as me, because
I just think it's such an interesting take on Hollywood
and sometimes the closed mindedness of people and someone like you,
like persevering and proving everybody wrong, which I love. But

(13:01):
so you came in and you read, Dana came in
and read, and the network, you guys went out of
the room and the network looked at me and they said, yeah,
she just doesn't have like that it factor. And I
was like, what are you talking about? Like you know
that like charisma, that like like when you walk in
a room, Shannon, like everybody takes notice. And I went, whoa, whoa, WOA.

(13:24):
That's because I'm now who I am thanks to nine
oh two and oh thanks to a network giving me
a chance, thanks to Fox Network saying like, okay, let's
hire her for Brenda. It's because I was on the
cover Rolling Stone magazine, like, you give this girl this
part and she's going to do all of that. They
were still sitting on the fence. Erin and I walked out,

(13:44):
and I remember that you and Dana were standing in
the parking lot and Erin and I kind of like
walked away from you guys, and Aaron goes, kiddo, what
do you want to do. I'll fight for Holly. And
I said, she does it, or I don't do it,
and Aaron goes, I'll back you, and I went great.
So we had our Piper. We did not have our Phoebe. No.

(14:08):
I believe the term the actual term was star quality.
She doesn't have the star quality that you do. And
that one stuck with me for a while, and I
know exactly the person who said it, and she actually
called me years later to do another pilot after Charmed,
and it was a pilot. It was six women mistresses, right, yeah,

(14:33):
And I said, are you trying to kill me? And
she goes, no, absolutely not. She goes, I think you're
the perfect person for this project. And I was like
why and she goes, because I know you'll deal with
all of them really well. And I was like, God
damn it. But it didn't get picked up obviously anyway,

(14:54):
I think they picked up dropped a diva instead, right,
So then you know, we they to cast this girl
out in New York. Lori Rahm, who was wonderful, loved her.
She fit in perfectly. She brought some something like she
was quirky, right, like she was quirky, but took everything

(15:16):
very seriously. Yeah, I think she was primarily a stage
actress before this, and it kind of showed. Yeah, I
mean I enjoyed her, but she ended up quitting. She did,
and after we got picked up, and then they filled
her part with Elis Milana. It was actually right in

(15:37):
the middle. We found out right in the middle of
the TV Guide shoot that she wasn't coming to the
shoot and we didn't know why, And we found out
later that she was a member of a particular church
and the church didn't like that she was playing a
witch on TV and basically told her she would go

(15:59):
to hell. Listen. I not the decision I personally would
have made, clearly, but I do respect her for, you know,
putting her faith in her values first, and I couldn't
argue with it. You know that nobody could. They just
kind of went, Okay, that's you know, now what do

(16:20):
we do? So that's why that TV Guide shoot there's
like there's us on each side and they just dropped
to listen to the middle of the photo shirt. What
a time period mm hm and charmed. It was like
a you know, it was I sort of looked back
and think like that first season was sort of the

(16:40):
best season to shoot as far as everybody getting along.
Sure I felt, you know, I mean compared to season
two and season three for me, season one we were
all still like new working together and feeling things out.
There were obviously things that you know, we didn't necessarily

(17:02):
all agree on, Like I didn't think it was important
to move to a studio lot so that we could
have a commissary. There were just a few of those
things where you were like, okay, you know, I look
at season one a lot and say, wow, we were
getting our feet under us, Like you see the stay
improvement from season one to season three, season three being

(17:26):
my favorite season, and just like the growth like with
our writers and I think even the growth with like
our acting, and we settled into our parts a lot
more and felt a bit more of a freedom. Certainly
in season three, I can't. I'm not going to talk

(17:46):
about the other seasons because I was there, so why
would I. But like, you know, you and I had
so many arguments with the producers about our clothing, about
our hair, Like they wanted to control every single aspect
of us. We could not. We had zero freedom. Yeah yeah,

(18:11):
I mean, well that's Aaron's thing too with the hairstyles,
Like we were not allowed to change our hair for
the first I think six episodes, Like it couldn't even
they didn't even want it to be up. You had
to establish your hairstyle and keep it that way because
he felt that that's how an audience became familiar with you. Yeah,

(18:31):
that's how they identified with the character. Was a big
part of the hair, right, And listen, I maybe he's right.
It's a formula, for sure, it's a formula. I mean,
I like to think that people are identifying with the
character because of what we're bringing to it and our performances,
not in the physical all right, well one would hope,

(18:51):
but right, right, I mean, when you work that hard
and those hours you're working seventeen eighteen hour days, it's
nice to think that it's because you're talented and people
are connecting with the character as opposed to like your hairstyle. Well, yeah,
the job is to create a human, a whole human.
It was a little tighty. It was a struggle. We

(19:13):
were struggling to prove ourselves. We were struggling to prove
ourselves to the network and all of it. I mean,
we could keep talking about it where we could just
reboot the reboot. We're not talking about episodes. We're not
We're not getting any of that promise you that is
for the rebate. I want to ask a question, are

(19:44):
you excited about your new endeavor? You know, after I
recorded the first episode, I said to Chris on the phone,
I was like, who needs therapy? Like there's something very
cathartic about doing a podcast, and especially I think when

(20:09):
it's like my type of podcast, where you're you're unpacking
your life, you're basically, you know, looking at everything and
in real time going oh, you know, maybe I was
at fault, maybe I did this, maybe I did that,
or maybe this person needs to take responsibility. I think
it is giving me and going to give me in

(20:30):
the future everything that I would be spending two hundred
and fifty dollars an hour for absolutely, so I'm very
excited about that I'm saving money. Yeah, I bought a
new pair of boots today because I was like, well,
I saved saved money on therapy, So I like it
so far. I also love the fact that, like you know,
I'm in sweatpants and slippers. Absolutely can't beat it. It's

(20:54):
an interesting question. I don't think anybody's ever asked us this,
And like you and I do a lot of convince
together and fans get to ask us questions on the
panel and they're usually you know about like certain episodes
like what would you say? The similarities are between us
and the differences between us because people really look at
us as like sisters, So it's it's kind of an

(21:19):
interesting question similarities. We definitely have the same sense of humor,
Like when we did the travel show. We could entertain
each other and we don't really need other people really don't.
I don't know. We were just always terribly compatible. I
mean I basically lived with you and Rob for quite

(21:39):
a while. I don't know how Rob feels about that
still to this day, but we sort of ate the same,
We traveled the same, we hated people, the same gun
bar fights the same, made the same mistakes, right right, right, Yeah,
you know, we just had, you know, very similar personalities.

(22:01):
It's different, you know, we've come from very different childhoods,
but we're just very similar. We do holidays the same,
and there's not a lot of people I can say
that about, right, Yeah. I think one of my favorite
trips of ours that is actually not in the travel
show is when my parents, you and I went to Ireland.

(22:25):
That really should have been the travel show. I know
what we were thinking, I should have. The network didn't
want to pay for the whole you know, overseas trips.
But that was definitely one of the most fun vacations
I've ever had. Just you and I like walking around
Ireland and sneaking out of castles so that my parents
sensius sneaking out. I. Meanwhile, they were watching us from

(22:47):
like their tower room, and we were of age people,
we were still of age, and we got caught because
one of the castles was you had to take the
little the castle ferry. But we got back too late. Oops,
how did we get back? We had to call a
guy who knew a guy that had the thing that
came across the moat thing and we that were too

(23:11):
loud coming in apparently, and your mother was up and
your mother was waiting, and it still feels terrible, Yeah,
it really does. Was very upset with me, she was,
she was upset with us both. She was like, it's dangerous.
Two girls got we were And meanwhile we just went
to like the neighborhood pub. We went to the pub

(23:34):
like as one does. Yeah, and we had a blast,
like hanging out with all the Irish people and trying
to mimic their accents and getting to know them and
you know, hearing like the story of Ireland from people
who actually live there. There's some great photos from that night.
Do you have them? You have to say, I do.
I do. I actually don't have that many photos from Ireland,

(23:57):
but I need some. I recently realized that I do
not have nearly as many photos as I thought I did,
like just saved up over the years. I don't know
what happened unless unless they always included like a boyfriend
and I was mad and like break them up. They're
probably in storage somewhere. I have found like some photos
where it's like ripped in half, so I know that

(24:18):
there was a guy that I was dating next to
me in the photo, but I've now ripped him out
of the photo. But I apparently really liked how I
looked in the photos, so I didn't want to just
throw it out completely, which is hysterical. There's quite a
few of those. And then I have to like try
to backtrack and like by my outfit to figure out
who was in the photo with me, like fashion determined

(24:38):
who I was with. So, yeah, we had Ireland, so
we're similar. How are we different besides like our childhood.
You drive a lot faster than I do. I'm an
aggressive driver, Yes you are. You're a lot how do
I say, not like a neat freak. But you're much

(24:59):
more tidy then I am. Yes, I do admire your drive,
though I can see keeping things in order. Yeah, see
that that wood thing behind her has to be at
a certain diagonal on the counter, and it cannot be
five degrees this way or that way. It has to

(25:19):
be this way that one right there. Just say when
I place things, yeah, I like them, Like I take
my time placing stuff in my home and because it's
my sanctuary, right it's where I feel the safest. So
if I've spent you know, months just looking for the
right piece, and I then spend hours figuring out exactly

(25:43):
where it goes and at what angle, and somebody comes
in and moves it, it tweaks my brain a little bit.
But I'm not OCD. But I do like things very
much in order. I'm very very like you know, if
you had to look to check to see if it
was right, I did, I'm like craning my neck on
it is it right? So that that I will say,

(26:07):
you're much more okay with diagonals and angles where I
have to have everything straight or drives me insane. I
will be OCD about that this bag is crooked. I'm
gonna straighten it. So you you were happy just putting
like furnitures and desks on angles, and I'm just like,
I should do that only because everything else is straight lines.

(26:30):
Like I'm not the person that enjoys a lot of
arches and any of that. Like my house is, as
you know, it's very square or rectangular, straight straight straight lines.
So then I like to soften those straight lines by
moving furniture at like a slightly off kilter angle. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

(26:52):
that tweaks my brain I think we're both I wouldn't
say that we're germophobes, but I do think we're both
very conscious of that, trying to be sure, Oh we're
going for how we're different. I think from my point
of view, those differences have become less as you've gotten older.

(27:13):
Oh yeah, No, I blame you for everything exactly when
I tell people to fuck off. Now, I'm like, that's shit,
is fult. I don't know where that came from. You know,
you're one of many who blame me for everything, So
it's all good. I've heard it a lot lately. Yeah,
I mean, I think like in the beginning with Charm,

(27:35):
for instance, you were much more of a people pleaser,
a producer pleaser. You had your thoughts, you had your opinions,
but you were far quicker to acquiesce than I was.
Oh definitely. I mean I barely made it there, so
I had to be like, okay, sure. But then you

(27:57):
started finding your voice for me. Your voice really started
becoming much more strong in the third season, like you
were gaining it in the second season, but by the
third season, I felt like you had your voice and
you were willing to use it, you know, for the
good of the show, like it was always about improving

(28:18):
and better scripts or you know, people actually showing up
and doing their job and not complaining about it. I mean,
it was very important to me and I don't know how.
I mean, it always was to both of us. It
was always very important and even to elstit in the beginning,
because here we were these like you know, these child
performers coming out of those trenches, trying to have some

(28:41):
sense of normalcy as grown ups and wanting this not
to fail. You know, we had that in common in
the beginning that we all wanted this to be good
and wanted this to be sort of like our foray
and to being grown up actors and to be taken seriously.
And that's you know, that's a tough jump for kid
actors to suddenly, you know, be able to do this

(29:04):
and be suddenly women. You know, because we were still young.
We were surrounded by a team of men aside from Connie.
Really in the beginning, yeah, you know, we had something
to prove for sure, and so by season three it's
like you have to believe in yourself. You have to
find your footing or you're going to just constantly look
like you don't know what you're doing. And we cared

(29:25):
like we cared about the work. We cared about what
we were putting out there, and we cared about like
you and I were always like towards the beginning, we
were like, yeah, well we'll stay here. We may be exhausted,
we may be tired. The crew wants to go home.
We want to go home, but listen, if we don't
have it, we don't have it, We'll like stay and
we'll get it because we cared about what was going
on that screen. Yeah, you know, and very dedicated. And

(29:48):
I don't know where that came from necessarily, but it
was just, you know, a dedication to making it right
and making it well. And it's a work ethic that
I I don't think you can really manufacture. It is
work ethic, and it's it's work ethic along with being grateful,
right right, I think that we were both always very grateful.

(30:10):
Gratefulness does not equate to not having an opinion. You
can still be grateful and look and say, you know what,
this script is not great, let's do a polish on it,
or you know, this doesn't feel natural to me, this
relationship on this show, like between these two characters, isn't working. Like,
you can still have an opinion, but be grateful for

(30:32):
being there. You just want your opinion valued and heard
right and respected, even if it gets rejected at the
end of the day. As long as it's respected and heard,
it's okay. Now. Many times, you know, and I've been
I've been accused of taking the show too seriously at times,
and I've been accused of being too involved at times.

(30:52):
You know. There were times that I watched dailies every
day and I would call the editors and go, why
did you use that take and not that take? Like
I was overly involved at a certain point, but it
just made because it mattered to me. I didn't want
it to suck. Yeah, And I mean we both always
talked about like the Comparison, a sort of practical magic,

(31:15):
which was one of our favorite movies. Yeah, it was
a great book. It was my one of my first
favorite books. I remember we referenced that movie a lot
on occasion, a lot, and on occasion to our producers
and to our writers, like, okay, look at how they
did this. Particularly I think with the like CGI. Yeah,

(31:36):
because our CGI was it was limited, limited, rid of
time it was what we could afford at the time,
for sure. Yeah it was. It was not great, but
I mean it was pretty successful. Like I think everybody
was kind of I think the network and spelling people,
they were all like, wow, this actually like premiered well,

(31:57):
and it kind of kicked off well, and then like
the audience fell in love with the concept and fell
in love with the characters and the sisters, and we
were able to connect people in a way that they
weren't connecting before. Yeah, it was a big It was
a big premiere for the WB at the time, and

(32:17):
I remember Aaron saying it was the first time they
had gotten a full season pickup so early. The first
season went pretty well, and that was the only time
that that happened, because every season after that they sort
of made us wait for it and we never knew
if we were going to be canceled or not. For me,

(32:39):
the way that things were on nine O two one
zero and like standing up for myself against all the men,
and I think that got carried over into Charm to
a certain extent because it was still the same group
of producers, right, and it was still producers who they
started getting a little bit better about pretending to listen,

(33:01):
but they weren't really listening. And whenever I would say
something that was constructive about trying to improve the show
or about my character, they would kind of like go
uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh and then
smile and walk away. And then I remember that like
my attorney or my agent or my manager would always

(33:23):
get a phone call being like, you know, Shannon needs
to stay in her lane, and you know, she's an
actress and that's her job, and she can't tell us
how to run a show. And I was always like,
my god, like when when do things become collaborative? Things
were very collaborative with like Kevin Smith and Maul Ratz
and a bunch of the other other things that I did.
So going back into this situation was spelling, it was like,

(33:45):
so things haven't really changed that much, like they're not
evolving with the times. And and I will say again
that we were We were definitely ahead of the time
of like the women's movement that has happened in the business.
We were sort of pushing for our voices to be heard.
We were you know, rebelling against like the patriarchy, if

(34:07):
you will, like the men who just wanted us to
stay in a box and wear skin tight clothes with
our boobs hanging out and you know, keeping our hair
a certain way and all of that stuff. Like we
were sort of already pushing up against that and saying no, no, no,
we have a little bit more to offer than all
of that, So let us bring everything that's within us

(34:29):
to the show, Like, let us be the creatives and
the talent that you hired. You need to trust us
at some point. Yeah, which wasn't by design though, it
just happened organically, and I think the fact that we
knew each other from before and we kind of stuck
together and creatively we wanted more, and we wanted better,
and we wanted more realistic portrayals of women. You know,

(34:52):
there were just sometimes where like the dialogue just didn't
sound right. It didn't sound like a person our age
would talk like that, so it needed to Well it
was because you know, I'm forty five year old, fifty
year old guy was writing it. So it was like,
you know, it had all of that happened organically. I

(35:12):
don't remember ever feeling like we were being a pain
in the ass. You know, it's it's I couldn't have
done it any other way. I couldn't have just been
a puppet, like that's just not in me. But I
definitely looked back on all of that and think, you know,
we we were some of the very first trailblazers in

(35:35):
sort of petitioning, if you will, for women to have
a voice that actually mattered in a male dominated business
and certainly in a very male dominated set with producers
who were used to things being done a certain way
and keeping their actresses, you know, sort of in a box.

(36:00):
We were show ponies for sure. We were show companies.
And I think people get confused when they see so
many women writers un charmed and say, well, there were
women behind the scene, but there wasn't for us. The
only producers we got to see were spelling producers, which
were all men. And you know, the writers had a

(36:22):
writer's room that was all the way in Hollywood, very
far removed from us, and they didn't get to visit,
They didn't get out much. That room stayed in the
erin spelling building by design, and you know, there wasn't
you know, women writers on set aside from Connie. And
you know, eventually we saw how that went too you know,

(36:42):
she was pushed out creatively, financially and in all the
ways of the show that she created based on her
own sisters by the group of guys. I also don't
remember that many female writers in the first three seasons.
That's because they never got out of the building and
you know, they just didn't get to visit a lot.
And also the problem was is that Brad did a

(37:06):
polish on every script, so it didn't matter if we
had like a great script from Daniel or Zach and Chris.
It came out feeling hearing sounding the same because Brad
did a polish on every script. And I was like,
how many times am I going to say, We're screwed?

(37:27):
Every time there was a We're screwed, it was Brad Kern.
I was like, I know, we're talking about the showrunner, producer,
Brad Kern, who was an interesting fella, illustrious. Yeah, I
was such a fascinating letter from him that at some

(37:48):
point I'm going to read on this podcast. It's just fantastic.
It was after I was gone from the show and
him experiencing that show without me and a deep, deep
apology letter of like oh my god, which you know,

(38:08):
is great. You're like, okay, but you don't want to
hear it after the fact. You want to hear it,
you know, you want to be protected in that moment.
So going back to like us as women, I think
it was also, you know, three women on a show
supposed to, you know, in its own way being ensemble,
but I was cast. You know, first, the show was

(38:29):
originally sold to the WB based on me, so obviously
that's all that's going to be there. That's just natural.
But once those like magazine covers started happening, and you know,
one person is being asked and the other one isn't
or you're And I experienced this on nine in two

(38:50):
zero as well, with like the cover Rolling Stone, and
everybody was super mad at me because I did the
cover Rolling Stone and didn't request everybody else. And I
was like, okay, it's cover of Rolling Stone. I'm not
saying no to it. And I kind of felt that
it didn't kind of feel it was happening of the

(39:14):
the competitiveness was kicking in. And I'm not saying with you,
I'm saying with Alyssa and myself that there was a
lack of female support. Oh yeah, And I personally was

(39:34):
never you know, I've had the same publicis for I
don't even know how long Leslie Sloan and you know,
she could come on the podcast and be like Shannon
never cared about somebody else getting a cover, Like it
just wasn't like in my wheelhouse. And I actually, even
though it was supposedly good for my career, I we
were working so hard. I was like, like, to then

(39:54):
go on your weekend and do a photo shoot was
kind of a nightmare to begin to with. But there
was a competitiveness with Alyssa. I heard that she addressed
it in her book. Obviously I'm never reading her book
because it's sorry, not sorry, so right there, you know,
it tells me like you're not freaking sorry, like why
have you mentioned something in that case? And there was

(40:16):
also competitiveness about you, which was really interesting of you know,
trying to pull you away from me, and that you
know transpired in that second season, and it was I know,
for me, it was an incredibly rough season. You know,
you were going through health stuff. You were in the hospital,

(40:37):
and my dad had been as you know, in and
out of the hospital NonStop, and hospitals scared me to death,
and I, you know, waited twenty four hours after your
surgery to go and then it wasn't even easy for
me to get in. I was like being told I
couldn't even get it by like Alyssa and her mom,

(41:01):
like they were blocking people from seeing you. And at
the time you didn't know. And I remember you texted
me and were like, dude, are you gonna come to
see me? And I could feel like you're you know,
your pain of feeling like I had abandoned you, but
I also felt like my anger at the situation of

(41:23):
not being allowed to come see you, and like how
a sort of family had like swooped in and caused
like this sort of weird divide between the two of
us that then continued throughout season two where I think
I cried every single night of season two. What is
your take on season two? Because it was really interesting

(41:46):
and even go like broad strokes watching season two. I
like season two because I feel like we were more
ourselves than anything. I agree, but you know, there was
a lot going on behind the scenes. I think it
was pretty obvious that you know, I was raised by
teenage parents. I didn't have a big family, and so

(42:08):
you're right when a family swooped in and tried to be,
you know, basically adopt me. It was very seductive for me,
and I also wanted, you know, I wanted everybody to
get along. I wanted the show to be successful, and
that was part of that. There were no angels, there
were no demons. We all had bad days, we all
had good days. We all could have behaved better at

(42:32):
certain points, but there was a lack of awareness of
a bigger, broader picture of just being, like you said,
grateful to have a job and to be doing something
that we liked, and to be in a position of
power to do something that we liked was not something
that happens easily or normally or routinely. Well, we are

(42:56):
out of time for today, but there is so much
more I want to talk to you guys about, So everyone,
please join me next week for part two of my
interview with Holly Maray Combs. Until next time,
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