Luke Perry on Becoming America’s Heartthrob ‘It’s Scary’

(audience screaming) (rock music) His name is Luke Perry, and he is currently the heart-throb of American teenage girls. (audience screaming) (rock music) You are the hottest thing in America right now for teenage girls, what is that like? It's scary, it's dangerous, hot. Things that get hot and burn hot, burn out quick and they're gone, they're just so much ashes. That's not what I wanna do. It doesn't look like Perry will be burning out anytime soon. He stars on the television show, Beverly Hills 90210, a program that focuses on teenage life at the fictitious West Beverly Hills High School, and though the school building used in the show may actually be located some 15 miles from Beverly Hills, the issues addressed in the storyline are quite real. Dylan, what if I'm pregnant? I'll do everything I can do help you and support you. Brenda, it's my problem too. This is the real Beverly Hills High School and contrary to popular belief, it does not lie in the 90210 zip code area, but rather in the 90212 area. Still, the real life students who attend this Beverly Hills High say it doesn't matter that show producers have used a different school and the incorrect zip code for their program, the fact of the matter is Beverly Hills 90210 is a hit. Do you guys get together and watch it or what? Every Thursday night, we all sit by the TV and wait for it to come on. It's that good a show? Yeah. Perry is not the first teenage idol to emerge from Beverly Hills 90210. When the program first began airing last fall, lead actor Jason Priestley gathered quite a bit of attention despite poor ratings for the show and with the program being one of the few shows to air fresh segments during the normal summer of reruns, audience numbers have exploded and yet a third idol, Brian Green, has emerged. But there is no doubting the fact that Luke Perry is a virtual phenomenon when it comes to sparking the interests of teenage girls. At an appearance in Plantation, Florida, on August 10th, 21 girls were injured when a crowd of 10,000 screaming fans showed up for a Perry appearance; an appearance that lasted only 30 seconds when the actor was forced to leave for his own safety and that of others. It got a little out of control and some people were injured, and that's something that should never, ever happen, if they come to see me or anyone else. (audience screaming) Crazed mobs of female fans have been around since Sinatra first drove the girls wild. Elvis carried on the tradition until the 60s idols like Fabian came around, stirring up yet another generation of female pandemonium. I enjoyed every minute of it, you know, I had a great, great time, I have no complaints. Would you have any advice for a kid like Luke Perry who's just now experiencing this phenomenon? Enjoy yourself, I mean guys like Luke and the gals out there, enjoy yourself, have a good time, you know, get a good accountant. Thank you Fabian, I will try and do both those things. I'm not gonna have any problems keeping my head because I'm very clear on why I'm here and what I'm doing. I'm an actor doing a television show and when the show ends, I'll try to move on to something else. (crowd screaming) At his most recent appearance over the past weekend in San Francisco, 12,000 girls waited up to eight hours in line just to get a peek at Luke Perry. He's cute! I'm gonna marry Luke Perry. Whatever happened to the new kids? (disgusted screaming) (hip hop music) Inside the Moscone Center, Harry, along with fellow heart-throb Brian Green, and co-star Gabrielle Carteris, kept the fans on edge. I think every girl in America wants to know one thing, are you guys single? Mad, bad and dangerous to know, that's him. Yeah, we're single. Yes, we're single. Single guys, ladies. When we first started going out, I thought you were so sexy. With his good looks, down-to-earth smile and bad boy image on TV, it looks like Luke Perry will remain hot with the girls for as long as Beverly Hills 90210 continues to air, and with the show's ratings climbing as fast as Perry's popularity, it's a good guess that both the teen idol and the program will be more than just an overnight flash in the pan. (audience screaming) (Beverly Hills 90210 theme tune) When it first debuted in the fall of 1990, the stars of Beverly Hills 90210 were complete unknowns; a handful of hopeful actors looking for a chance to make a name for themselves. Today, several of those actors are household names; teen idols with high-dollar careers of virtual certainty. Still, the actors seem to be keeping everything in perspective. I'm an actor doing a television show and when the show ends, I'll try to move on to something else. For Luke Perry, who plays Dylan on the show, it's the big screen that he hopes to conquer; Perry is currently squeezing in time between 90210 segments to shoot a film called Buffy and the Vampire Slayers, but few people know that Perry had already made one movie before being cast on 90210. Sexy suit; it arouses my Lolita complex. It's a film called Terminal Bliss which contains a scene in which Perry's evil character rapes a woman; not exactly the image Perry would later develop on TV. Terminal Bliss, now several years old, is being released next month in theaters; producers hoping to cash in on the star's skyrocketing success on TV. Meanwhile, Perry seems to be taking his success in stride. Might if I sit down? No, go for it. For Jason Priestley, another unknown turned idol, movie deals are also in the works, but Priestley prefers to spend his time between 90210 shoots playing hockey, still amazed that his hard work on TV has paid off. Like it or not, success is definitely in the stars for the stars of Beverley Hills 90210. Of course, the ultimate sign of true success in the entertainment business these days is when the toy companies begin pumping out lookalike dolls, and yes, get ready for them, the 90210 dolls are on their way. Just imagine the Barbie-sized image of Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty or Luke Perry beside the beds of teenagers across America. Of course the fashions adorned on the dolls are a key selling point, since 90210 stars are virtually dictating what teens are wearing these days. (audience screaming) It's a very real fashion, but I think it has a lot of style about it, so from a fashion standpoint, it's a hero character that is a lot about style. 90210 star Jennie Garth expects the dolls will sell out fast. We hope the fans like them and appreciate them, you know. My niece who's five will enjoy it (laughs) (Beverly Hills 90210 theme tune) It all started with a simple idea, targeting the teen television market with characters that teens could really relate to. Where it may lead, well, no one is willing to set any limits anytime in the foreseeable future. Tune in, I think you will like it. (Beverly Hills theme tune)