Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Berkley is Saved by the...Teen Self-Help Book?

When I first heard the below deal news from Associated Press yesterday, I thought there must be some mistake:

NEW YORK – Elizabeth Berkley is ready to take your question.

The actress will be writing "Ask Elizabeth," a "a self-esteem handbook for teen girls" based on questions she has been asked over the years.

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers announced Tuesday that it expects to release the book next spring. It's an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group.

The 37-year-old Berkley is best known for the sitcom "Saved by the Bell" and for playing an exotic dancer in the movie "Showgirls." She also appeared in the films "The First Wives Club" and "Any Given Sunday."

See the article on Yahoo! HERE

My initial reaction to the news was "she's not exactly the ideal role model" or as "The Doctor," a Yahoo commentor put it a little more vividly, "Her writing a self-help book is like Linsdey Lohan filming a commercial for Partnership for a Drug Free America!!"

But what do we know? All we do is associate her with her raunchy character in Showgirls and her bit part as a call girl in Any Given Sunday. I'll admit that. We all do it all the time. Actors in particular are often associated with their roles, whether it's a fair assessment or not. No one considers Berkley for her theatre accomplishments, which are many I was suprised to find out, or for her vast involvement in the fight for animal rights. (In '97 she was part of a the "Lettuce Be Lean" PETA campaign, right; she was more recently nominated for "Sexiest Vegetarian of the Year" in 2008 and 2009.)

Little did I know, she also volunteers regularly at working with teen girls in junior high and high schools all over the globe. She helps with outreach programs including dance classes for young teens, and volunteers with the elderly, as well as for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Look at her go!

But what about the allegations that surfaced in Dustin "Screech" Diamond's memoir, Behind the Bell, not too long ago? The ones that talk about her--and the other cast members'--less than angelic behavior on and off the set of "Saved By the Bell"? Diamond's claims of drugs, sex, and even rape on the set are scandalous to say the least, but who knows if they are founded in truth or just the bitter rantings of a sad man who thinks he's, pardon my language, "the shit."

As far as I can tell, Diamond hasn't been hit with any libel lawsuits from his SBtB castmates. They have openly denounced him though, leaving him out of a reunion photo shoot for People.com last year in addition to speaking out:

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris on the original series, openly slammed his on-screen bestie in an interview [in a past] issue of Newsweek.

“What is he going to say?” Gosselaar asked sarcastically. “We were (bleeping) groupies at 14? I can’t wait to read his book, because I don’t have a memory of a lot of the shows. Maybe it was because I was doing lines off of the audience members’ a—-. I’m sure he’s going to write something crazy like that. So he’s writing a book, I’m not really afraid of what he has to say. There are not too many skeletons in my closet.”

Read the full article HERE

All this hearsey (or not) just makes me beg the question: Is Berkely someone who should be writing a self-help book for teens? Maybe we'll never know. But I'm curious to see what reviewers think when Ask Elizabeth hits the shelves.

1 comment:

  1. I think that considering her more recent accomplishments, anything that went on during SbtB should be thrown out. Hell, that was the early '90s. Berkley may not have made great career choices with "Showgirls" and "Any Given..." but girl's done some other great stuff for kids and the environment. She's also probably learned a great deal from her teen mistakes that could be invaluable to today's teens. I say: Go Elizabeth, go!