Clearing the air. Joel Feigenbaum, who directed Jessica Alba during her season 8 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210, spoke out following the actress’s claims that she was told she’d be “thrown off the set” if she made “eye contact with any one of the cast members.”
The Golden Globe nominee, 39, guest-starred on the teen soap as Leanne, a teen mother who asked Kelly (Jennie Garth) to help her at a clinic.
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“I had not [heard that rule about no eye contact]. I had not, but I’m not saying … it’s very possible someone could have said that to her, either seriously or not,” Feigenbaum said on the Monday, October 12, episode of the “Beverly Hills, 90210 Show” podcast. “I can’t imagine who it would have been. It certainly wasn’t one of the cast and I can’t even imagine — the only other people it might have been, an AD (assistant director) or maybe somebody in the makeup and hair trailer. I don’t doubt that she heard that somehow, but I certainly was never aware of it and you certainly never saw that on the set anyway.”
The producer, who directed five episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210, also explained that he was surprised to hear the claim Alba made, because he knew the main cast very well.
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“She may have heard that somehow. Who knows? It could have been maybe even before she ever came to 90210, before she was even cast in the part. For all I know, somebody else was messing with her, but to my knowledge, that certainly wasn’t a rule on the set by any means,” he added. “All of the regular cast was extremely friendly and really open to the guest stars. … All of them are very easy [to work with].”
Many cast members have responded to the L.A. Finest star’s claims, including Garth, who “had all the scenes with her” and had no recollection.
“If anybody didn’t want to have their eyes looked into, it would’ve been me, but I don’t remember ‘cause I have the world’s worst memory,” the What I Like About You alum, 48, said on a teaser for her new “9021OMG” podcast.
Jason Priestley, who portrayed Brandon Walsh for more than 200 episodes of the hit show, also denied the claim. “‘Don’t look at the stars of the show’ was never an edict that came down on our show. I don’t know who told Jessica Alba not to look at us. We never thought we were MC Hammer,” the former Private Eyes actor, 51, recently said on KiSS 92.5’s The Roz & Mocha Show. “I’m sorry that that happened to her. It seems really incongruous with everything else that happened on our show, so I don’t know what her experience was.”
Feigenbaum, who went on to direct multiple episodes of Touched by an Angel, Charmed and 7th Heaven, ultimately remembered Alba for being such a pro at such a young age.
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“She was about 16 I believe at the time and the character was a 16-year-old, and she came in and her reading was, her audition was unbelievable. She was light years beyond anybody else that came in to read for that part,” he recalled. “I was just amazed that at age 16, how good she was already, so it was a relief because it was a tough role that was relatively small on the show, yet to come in and immediately know who that character was … she just nailed it.”
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