Brian Austin Green has been a consistent presence on the small screen for the last 20 years, playing David Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210, Derek Reese on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Metallo on Smallville. I recently spoke to the actor about his current gig as Desperate Housewives' Bree-Hodge-beau Keith Watson, the legacy of Smallville, and why it's silly to compare the new 90210 to the original.
How did you like shooting the intense Desperate Housewives' winter finale, "Down the Block There's A Riot"?
It was awesome because I got to do a fight scene with John Schneider [who plays his TV dad]. I got to punch Bo Duke, which was bad-ass. It was his idea for it to be two punches, not one. He was like, “Dude, I’m Bo Duke. I can’t go down in one punch.” He did so many fight scenes on [The Dukes of Hazzard], so he’s really good at taking a punch and throwing a punch. It was cool for me because as a kid, I grew up watching Dukes of Hazzard.
And the [crowd scene] was brutal. I’ve never worked on an episode of television that was as big as that. We had 400-plus extras on the set, and it was just mayhem. The fight scene took an entire day. The actual fight itself was probably a minute-and-a-half's worth of choreography. But it was like fighting Mike Tyson for a minute-and-a-half throughout the day because it was me against six guys, and we were in that wet, muddy grass. I was so just sore and dead tired by the end of that day.
Well, at least it looked good.
Yeah, I heard it looked really cool. I haven’t seen it, but they kept saying that it looked really brutal when we were shooting it. Some fight scenes look like they’re staged, where it’s like, "Hey, everybody look, he picked up a chair! He threw a punch, and the other guy ducked and threw a punch!" Fights don’t happen like that.
How long do you think Keith will last on Wisteria Lane, given Bree’s relationship track record?
That’s a good question. I have no idea. I was told when I first came on the show that you never know how long you’ll be there. Originally, Orson, Kyle MacLachlan’s character, was only supposed to be there for six episodes, and he ended up staying for two-and-a-half years. So, you never know. I think as long as it works, the character stays. And when it doesn’t, then they cut him.
Most new characters on Desperate Housewives have some sort of secret. Have we found out everything we can about Keith?
There’s more to come. You'll find out things about Keith that Keith doesn’t know about Keith!
Are all of Keith's tattoos yours as well, or are they a result of makeup-trailer magic?
Actually, there’s one of mine that they cover. It's one that I had that nobody liked. It went away. That’ll be a drinking game now. Finding that tattoo.
Were you a fan of Desperate Housewives before you started working on it?
No. I’ve still never seen an episode of it, but [that's because] I don’t watch any television. It's nothing personal against the show.
Not even the new 90210?
Yeah. You know what though? I hear about it a lot. Everybody always wants to talk about the new one compared to the old one, and I’ll say, “Oh, I don’t watch television.” And then they’ll tell me what they think of the new one compared to the old one. That ends up being the default. Tons of information from other people. And from what I’ve heard, everybody is like, “Oh, it’s just not the same.”
And of course it’s not, because right now it's not 1990. The world isn’t as cheesy as it was then. Also, the people that are all saying that it’s not the same are now in their 30s. They’re not teens anymore. It's like watching New Kids on the Block perform and going, “They just don’t have that same sparkle.” They’re in their 40s! They shouldn’t be those cute little kids anymore, and you shouldn’t like them as much as you used to because you’re grown up... If fans of the old show watch and like the new one, great. But this new one is meant for kids that are a similar age now. People are quick to compare everything and judge everything because it’s fun to talk about. I don't know. There are a million shows that a 30-year-old should be watching instead of the new 90210.
Do you have any thoughts on the end of Smallville? Can you believe the show made it to Season 10?
I knew they would. I used to say that on-set. And they were like, “Oh, we don’t know how much longer we’ll be here.” You can ask anybody from that show. I said, “You guys will go to 10.”
What made you so confident in saying that?
It’s a flagship show, and I know how [Warner Brothers president] Peter Roth is—he puts a lot of heart into everything that he does. He’s not a normal company head. He really cares about things, and for him to have a nice, rounded finish number of ten, to do an entire ten years of something, would mean something to him.
Are there any in current comedies that you'd be interested in joining?
No, not right now. The sitcom is a tough road. It's reinventing itself a little bit. I think that for a sitcom pilot to make it through and become a series, it has to be really unique and different. If I knew what that formula was, I would be doing it already. We would be doing this interview from my floating-battleship home.