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.
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!