Ever since he and his perfect hairdo first appeared onscreen as Brandon Walsh in 90210, Jason Priestley has been more than just a teen idol — he’s been a Canadian icon. In the three decades since, the Vancouver-born actor and director has put together an eclectic and exciting resume, often returning to his home country for his work. This fall, he can be seen in the latest season of Private Eyes, which he’s currently filming in Toronto. We spoke to him about style, staying home and his many influences.
What have the last few months in quarantine been like for you in Los Angles?
Quarantine was a surreal experience for us, as it was for everyone I imagine. But we tried to make the best of it by catching up on all the things around the house that we’d been putting off.
IG would suggest you’ve been spending a lot of your down time in the kitchen. Who taught you how to cook? What are your go-to recipes?
Haha! That’s true. I’ve always enjoyed cooking. Completely self taught. As for go-to recipes, I have a lamb meatball recipe I’ve been making for 20 years and Tourtiere (my American friends never know what to think about this Canadian delicacy until they’ve tried it?)
You’re back in Toronto now to film Private Eyes. How does it feel to be back in Canada?
It’s really great to be back in Canada this fall to begin work on Private Eyes again. We have a really great time shooting the show and Toronto being in phase three of reopening has been a nice reminder of what life can be like if people just stick to the protocols.
What do you like most about living and working in TO?
Toronto is a beautiful city and Southern Ontario has so much to offer. I love the food scene here and I’m always excited to eat in this town. The lakes and cottage country here are magical especially at this time of year.
What will it be like on set for you?
Well it will be different, that’s for sure. We all have had to make changes to the way we do things, and the film and television business is no different. We will all have to work separately now as much as we can and there will be a lot of testing.
In the show you drive a vintage Porsche 911. Are you a big car guy?
I am a car guy. When I was younger I collected vintage cars. I was a professional race car driver for 11 years, so driving the ’69 911T on the show is fun for me.
It’s been 30 years this year since Beverly Hills 90210 premiered. Catch me up. How are you feeling about that iconic show now?
I actually just did a podcast with Chuck Rosin and Larry Mollin (two of the executive producers from the early years of the show) about this very subject. We all watched a few episodes that we had worked on together and then discussed them. We were all taken by how strong they still are, thematically and cinematically. Obviously, the show is dated now but a lot of the issues we were bravely discussing in those early episodes — racism, sexism, bigotry, substance abuse — are still relevant today.
Who were some of your heroes growing up?
Well I am a Canadian, so a lot of my heroes growing up were hockey players: Guy Lafleur, Bobby Orr, and Gordie Howe.
How has been a father changed your work or your approach to work?
Being a father has made my approach to work simpler. My first question is always “How will this affect my family”?
What’s your personal style like?
I try to dress appropriately for every situation. Sometimes casual, sometimes elegant, sometimes somewhere in-between.
What do you like about Hugo Boss suiting? What does it say about you?
I like the way it fits. The brand has always fit me perfectly and there is nothing like the feeling you get when you are wearing a perfect fitting suit.
Who are your style icons?
That’s easy: Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman.
Jason’s Style Picks
True to his iconic status, Priestley’s look is effortless, cool, and elegant all at the same time. These Hugo Boss pieces capture that energy nicely.
Double-breasted Wool Coat
Leather Bomber Jacket