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Tori Spelling returns to the '90210' zip code

LOS ANGELES -- Fans are shouting and cameras are at theready as screenwriter Diablo Cody swans her way up a red carpet.The only thing awry: ditsy Donna Martin, who has managed to snagherself in Cody's gown.

That's " Beverly Hills 90210" Donna, who is returning to herold stomping ground for two episodes of CW's second-generationversion, "90210" -- and, to Tori Spelling's delight, the charactershe played for a decade hasn't changed.

"What I love about Donna is she's never jaded," Spelling says."Donna can kind of go through anything and she still has thatgirlish quality about her. I think that's something she'd have atany age. ... That's Donna to me."

Spelling's run on "90210" starts with Tuesday's episode, whichincludes an appearance by "Juno" screenwriter Cody. Donna hascome back to her hometown as a famous fashion designer, married andwith a baby.

"I get to be a mom, which is fun. It's so crazy to think ofDonna as a mother," Spelling said, smiling. "Sometimes, I can'tbelieve that I'm a momma, too."

The actress is wed to Dean McDermott (they teamed on the "Tori& Dean" reality series), has two children, and says she can't helpbut bring her own experiences and maturity to the role.

"There's a sense of calmness, I think, to your being aftergrowing up so much, and a sense of security. ... You definitelybring that to your character, naturally," she said.

She and Jennie Garth, her fellow "Beverly Hills 90210" alumnawho plays a guidance counselor on the CW series, made waves duringthe filming of a scene in which the pair cruised Beverly Hills'famed Rodeo Drive in a convertible Rolls-Royce.

A pack of a dozen or more photographers gathered to grab shots.

"Just another day out," Spelling said later, her tone even."We all have paparazzi every day."

In her case, that's likely no exaggeration. The daughter of thelate Aaron Spelling, who produced the 1990s hit "90210" and ahost of other successful TV shows, she came of age in the spotlightafter being cast in her dad's series.

It was only faux photographers taking part in the "90210"red-carpet scene shot, and they had a willing victim in Cody.

The Oscar-winning writer had related her fascination with theoriginal and revamped versions of "90210" in Entertainment Weeklycolumns, which caught the eye of those in charge of the CW drama.

"The producers called and said, 'If you love the show so much,why don't you come on and do a cameo?"' Cody recounted. "Ithought, 'Oh my God, this is my biggest dream come true."'

Meeting Spelling and Garth -- "absolute idols to me" -- was a"huge thrill," Cody said. "Getting to be in a scene with them isbeyond my wildest dreams. And the new cast I think is tremendous."

Is there, by chance, a facetious aspect to her admiration?

"Are you kidding me?" Cody replied, aghast. "This is 100percent sincere. I love the show. I think it's great, and ifeverybody watched they would certainly agree with me."

Her passion for the original, she says, carries added emotionalweight.

"I think it's sort of egg memory. I feel so closely connectedto that show because I was watching it during my formative years,and those girls were my role models," said Cody, 30. "I thinkthey were superior to a lot of female role models you see ontelevision today."

Cody, playing herself in Tuesday's episode, runs into Donna andasks her to design a premiere-worthy dress. It's a knockout, butDonna's last-minute tinkering ends up getting her dragged with thewriter on the red carpet.

Spelling, who pronounces her work on the spinoff "a greatexperience," said she treasures Donna's gaffes.

"The story line's been great. The next episode has some greatcomedic moments in it. I love the physical comedy; that's veryDonna," she said.


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