Elizabeth Berkley Reminisces About Her Saved By The Bell Days

The role of Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell didn’t just fall into Elizabeth Berkley’s lap. She started honing her many talents at the age of 13 as an Elite model, while dancing and performing. When she landed the role in the late '80s, she was 15, with an incredibly strong work ethic she maintains to this day. Whether it's running after her 2-year-old son Sky, supporting her designer husband, Greg Lauren, auditioning, traveling between Los Angeles and New York, or spending time guiding and supporting adolescent girls through her foundation, Ask Elizabeth, she does it all with devotion and an unfaltering focus.
After being in front of a camera for a good portion of her life, Berkley also knows what skin care, makeup, and hairstyles work best for her. Ahead, she shares thoughts on dealing with fame at a young age, her go-to beauty products, and why things are even tougher for stars today.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tina Turnbow.
Would you say becoming famous at a young age through Saved by the Bell was challenging at times?
"I grew up with amazing parents and an older brother who took my dreams seriously. I had been training for years before I got the role of Jessie — doing theatre, modeling with Elite, TV guest spots — so when I got the role it felt like the next organic step. It wasn't like it just fell in my lap and certainly no one handed it to me. I think because I know how I earned it — with hard work — I felt grateful and not entitled or unworthy. The time our show became so popular was a more innocent time in our culture, as well. The pressures of paparazzi following your every move, or having things blasted on the web, were luckily not something we had to deal with. We became famous together as a cast, and we were so young our parents were still on set."
What are some of your fondest memories from that time?
"I loved when we had special episodes where we got to sing or dance. I loved that after Friday night live tapings, we went to dinner together with our families, and I loved the moments where we got to just experience real teen moments off set, chatting in each other's dressing rooms."Your skin always looks so glowing and fresh. What are your go-to cosmetics?
"I am absolutely obsessed with a Senna Cosmetics tinted moisturizer called Barely Base — it gives the perfect coverage but allows your skin to breathe and reflect light. I use their cream blush called Coy every day and for special events; it creates a fresh, dewy glow. As a mama to a 2-year-old, you've got to make it look good super fast. I call it my 'presto' look. Just enough to look polished but not like you tried too hard."
What skin-care product is your absolute hero?
"I would have to say the BioMagic Mask by Biologique Recherche. I love using this mask whenever I want an extra-brightening, refreshed feeling. It is amazing before a special event. Perfect even before makeup application."
What are your skin issues, and how do you resolve them?
"I remember I was doing a play once and I was using an oil-based foundation that didn't agree with my skin. Now, I only use oil-free foundations when I work."
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Photo: Courtesy of Tina Turnbow.
As a new mom, have you been incorporating more natural, organic products and food into your life?
"I've always been super aware — since I grew up with an environmentalist mama — but, of course, as more information is revealed, I try to stay as conscious as possible. I was already eating organic, and all of Sky's food is organic whenever possible. I'm also highly aware of the toxins in children's furniture, paint, and toys. We have so much information now and it is time for real change, for companies to start taking responsibility when there are other options. There really is no excuse and there are things we can do."You have a cool, eclectic style. Does being married to Greg Lauren, a very talented designer and artist, influence you?
"I'm definitely into silhouettes that are feminine and I know my body well being a dancer my whole life, so cuts and shapes that work well, I stick with. I can tell looking at a piece of clothing on a hanger if it will work or not. Of course, I know how lucky I am to have an extraordinarily talented husband who happens to be a fashion designer. I always feel my best when I'm wrapped in anything Greg Lauren. His recent first runway show was beyond inspiring. I am in love with his gorgeous fragrance for men and women he did exclusively for Barneys — all hand-painted bottles he made in Paris."
Can you catch us up on some of your latest work or personal projects?
"My foundation for adolescent girls' self esteem, Ask Elizabeth, is about to move into an exciting new level of digital content. After a New York Times bestselling book, my website, and in-person workshops with hundreds of thousands of girls, I'm thrilled to offer them a sustainable way to continue getting support from me. Acting and producing are of course still my passions. I love creating and wearing these different hats: TV, Broadway, film — all mediums... It was a real gift to do my secret fantasy, Dancing with the Stars. It was quite a challenge to take that on physically, as a new mama, and it had been so many years since I had done any dancing of any kind. But, within that vulnerability, as I tell my girls, is sometimes when opportunities come."
Hair by Kristan Serafino / Exclusive Artists Mgmt; Photographed by Tina Turnbow.


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