INTERVIEW: Shannen Doherty

Published in The Music (NSW) and on, Jun 2016


Why Shannen Doherty Would Follow Kevin Smith Anywhere

Having had a rough 12 months, the charming Shannen Doherty tells Daniel Cribb why she won’t let the “shitty journey called cancer” stop her from taking on challenging roles.

It’s evidence of the dedication US actor Shannen Doherty has for her craft that she’s sitting in a parking lot after a day of seeing doctors, making time to chat about her upcoming Supanova run and other projects. The first film she appears in since being diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of 2015 sees her take on one of her most challenging roles yet, as she plays Maria in an all-star Brooklyn-based boxing drama alongside Alec Baldwin, Danny Glover and more.

“Playing a Brooklyn-Italian girl was a challenge for me,” the Charmed star begins. “The character attracted me to the role. I was going to have to do a Brooklyn accent and figure out how was I going to make myself look a little bit more Italian, because it’s pretty obvious that I’m Irish. That’s what I’m doing right now — things that challenge me.”

On top of committing to play the mother of famous American poet Charles Bukowski in the James Franco-directed biographical film Bukowski, she’s been confirmed to star in the sequel to Kevin Smith’s 1995 cult hit Mallrats (titled MallBrats) and reprise her role as Rene, alongside lead Jason Lee. “I’d follow Kevin anywhere and we have a mutual love for each other, so I’m very excited. Whenever he says it’s go time, I’m there,” she tells.

Twenty years on, Doherty never expected she’d be involved in a sequel. “What a testament to Kevin Smith and his writing and how much people love him and what he does.

“Kevin really captures what a particular generation is going through; he definitely got the pulse of the people. That’s what it did, it captured a time — it’s like a time capsule of a moment and everything he does turns into a cult classic, so I think naturally people want to know where these characters ended up.”

Heading down to Australia this month, Doherty will no doubt be questioned relentlessly by adoring fans about the classic hit and its follow-up, as well as her work as Prue Halliwell on Charmed, as she tours the convention circuit with longtime pal and co-star Holly Marie Combs.

“That show was about family and that strong sisterhood where they stuck together, and meanwhile there was three very distinct, different personalities, so people could relate to one of the sisters at all times,” Doherty comments on its popularity.  “That connection and relationship felt real, and then you add supernatural into it and you’ve got a show that resonates with people and is still fun to watch. We could talk about serious family things, but then that supernatural element would add a mystery, intrigue or fantasy into it so it wasn’t quite as serious.“