Shannen Doherty, Huge Balzac Fan, Talks About BADASS

by Ross Kenneth Urken · October 28, 2010

Shannen DohertyWe caught  Shannen Doherty on the red carpet at last night's GQ Gentlemen's Ball at The Edison Ballroom. The 90210 star gave us the low-down on her tell-all book, Badass:

The book, out in November by Random House with the subtitle A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (the Right) Attitude, is billed as a memoir about Doherty's child stardom, teenage delinquency, and temper tantrums.

Doherty told us the book veers more toward practical advice:

"It's a funny book of: what do you do if you sleep with a guy on the first date? What do you do? Like nobody's really, you know, being honest about sometimes you mess up. Sometimes it gets rough. Sometimes you do the wrong thing. But you really like the guy, so how do you move it past a one-night stand? And it's how to, sort of, have inner-strength through everything and climb the ladder in life without losing your integrity. Without giving up who you are as a woman.

Doherty spoke about strategies she discovered during her rise-- hinging on tactfulness, not brazenness. She also told us you don't need to put out to succeed.

"It's also using Southern charm," she said, "so you don't have to sleep with anybody to get ahead, nor should you. But we're women, and we should embrace the fact that we're women. And that was a big lesson for me to learn, because in my 20s I thought that I had to be tough to be heard, and I made a lot of enemies and a lot of mistakes, and now in my 30s, I do it the opposite way. I'm diplomatic, and if I'm not diplomatic, I smile a lot. Turn on some Southern charm and hope it works. I use my brain. It's about being an intelligent woman."

An intellectual curiosity that, Doherty says, allowed her access to classic writers who influenced her own writing.

"I grew up reading Steinbeck, and Balzac, and The Art of War," she said. "I had a very strict upbringing where education was number one. And my parents forced the classics on me. My school did that as well. I mean , those books have had a huge influence on me."

Because Doherty's book serves (if a bit too La Comédie humaine-esque) as a how-to-guide to avoid some of the pitfalls she fell into, she offered some particular advice to Lindsay Lohan and others, who have wrestled with similar demons.

"No, I mean, the only advice that I have is that everybody should just leave them alone, because the fact of the matter is that they're young. And they deserve to be making mistakes. How many people in this world are going through the exact same thing. But they're life isn't being ripped apart in headlines. She's a great girl. She's got 100 percent of my support."

Doherty then waltzed inside the GQ ball after pontificating on what if means to be a lady, to figure out what it takes to be a gentleman.

[Image via WetPaint]