Talking Reboots & Robots With ‘90210’s’ Brian Austin Green
Best known for playing David Silver on the iconic ‘90s drama Beverly Hills, 90210 (or perhaps for his decades-long rollercoaster relationship with Megan Fox), Brian Austin Green can now add reality TV to his vast repertoire of projects, having competed on Season 30 of Dancing With the Stars with girlfriend Sharna Burgess in 2021, and, more recently, joining the cast of Season 2 on Special Forces: The World’s Toughest Test, which premieres Monday, September 25. The down-to-earth actor, who was inspired to join Special Forces after celebrating a milestone birthday, recently sat down to talk with us about that, but we got very sidetracked! Read some of our conversation below:
Well, this is cool. I haven’t gotten to talk to anyone in a while because of the strike. I hope that gets settled soon?
It’s a tough one, because yeah, I do obviously want things to be cleared up as quickly as possible, but then, at the same time, these are big issues that are on the table. The business model has completely become something new, and there’s just no protection for anybody contractually. So, I totally support the strike itself, but at the same time … it’s a bit convoluted sometimes what the strike entails, what it is we can and cannot do. I don’t know what the rules are. Who can I speak to, and who can’t I speak to? What can I publicize? The goalposts are continually moving.
It’s a tough situation. I absolutely hope it comes to an end at some point soon, but I hope people don’t just give up. I hope it is a hard-fought fight and at the end everybody’s happy.
I didn’t realize until I had to write an article about the strike that so much of it has to do with robots taking over. Which is sort of ironic, considering how many movies Hollywood has put out about robots taking over.
Absolutely, it is, yeah. I did the Terminator series, which is literally based on the world coming to an end because AI outsmarts humans and decides it’s going to take over.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
That’s exactly what I mean! Does AI scare you at all?
Yeah. I mean, rightfully so. I think somebody’s got to step in and put some rules and regulations to it all, and it’s obviously got to be monitored. The fact that we’re even having this conversation is beyond me. 10 years ago, I was like, “No, that’s science fiction. That’s ridiculous. That’ll never happen.” Cut to: we’re having a strike and one of the main things that we’re talking about and dealing with is the use of AI. It’s like, how did we get here? How did this happen? I didn’t think it was possible.
You didn’t think it was possible? You were on the Terminator show!
I know, but again, it seemed like sci-fi.
Robots kind of suck at writing though. I’ve been trying to use ChatGPT for the last few days to write a plot summary and it has no depth because they don’t understand humans.
That’s hysterical. I think though, the one thing that protects us artistically is that individuals are individuals and they’re accomplished for that reason, because they have a voice that nobody else has, and they have a way of sharing things that is unlike anyone else’s way. I think that’s what people enjoy. You can’t necessarily duplicate that with AI. Not right now. I’m really scared of the day when you can’t really tell the difference between something that somebody that you love has written and something that’s been copied and reproduced by AI.
I find it kind of terrifying. I get nervous about where that’s going.
Are we wasting our time though in having that emotion? Because it’s going to happen regardless. So I kind of feel like, okay, if it’s going to happen anyway, instead of wasting my time feeling how is this possible… maybe I just try to embrace it and figure out how to best allow it to serve my life, and the people around me, and then protect myself. It’s the same as how I deal with social media with my kids. I can either completely try and shield them from computers and all of it, but at what point am I doing them a disservice? Because it’s heading that way anyway, so if I’m not allowing them to start becoming familiar with technology and how it works, are they then going to step into a world where they’re Amish?
That actually sounds nice, if people could just be Amish.
It would be nice. It would be nice. But first of all, I love having air conditioning, so Amish is a little far.
So how do you feel about all these reboots and sequels to ’90s shows, including 90210?
I really enjoyed BH 90210. I thought it was an interesting way of doing it. I mean, there are definitely some things that I would’ve done differently with it, but I love the concept of a show being about the actors that played the characters. I think it could have gone further in that direction than it did.
With Shannen Doherty in BH90210
Reboots: I’m on the fence about them. I mean, there are certain ones where you absolutely want to see the characters and you want to see what they’re doing now. And then there are certain things where… We did 10 years of 90210. I honestly don’t think there’s much more people would want to know.
I talked to Ally Sheedy about this too. She said people are always asking to redo The Breakfast Club, and she doesn’t want to.
That movie was so good, like why… You can’t… that film was just so good, and it was such a snapshot of that period in time, and they would never be able to do it justice. Do another high school movie, do something else and give it a totally different title, but base it on the same thing, a bunch of kids who are serving detention on Saturday, and what the experience is for them. Don’t call it The Breakfast Club, and don’t make any sort of comparison to it. I think that could work. It was a great concept, I think, for that time, especially… I think detention was much more of a bad word at that point than it is now. People now, if you have detention, it’s like, whatever. Back then, it was like, “Oh my God, I can’t make it to wrestling practice.” It was a big deal.
Remakes are a tough one for me.
Yeah, me too. I think it’s a nostalgia thing, maybe combined with not taking as much of a risk with something new.
But it’s not nostalgia, because they then try and make these bold sorts of changes. If you’re being nostalgic, make this reboot a period thing. Make it a true reboot. Make it literally a week after the last one. Don’t say, “What are they doing now?” That’s not really a reboot. That’s a whole new thing. It’s a whole new show. It’s a whole new film.
Characters are more than just the actors. There’s so much to it; the location, the time period, the clothing. I always tell people, if 90210 was on in any other decade, there’s no way it would’ve survived. I could be wrong, but I think that show worked because of the time, because of the decade that it was on.
Catch Brian Austin Green on the new season of Special Forces: The World’s Toughest Test, premiering September 25 on FOX.