April 1, 2014 12:01 pm
Updated: April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

Actor, director Jason Priestley in no hurry to slow down

ABOVE: Watch Jason Priestley on Global’s The Morning Show.

TORONTO — Jason Priestley is arguably the hardest-working man in Canadian show business.

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Global News

The Vancouver-born actor, who became a huge star playing Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills 90210 in the ’90s, directed the film Cas & Dylan (out April 4) and an episode of Global’s Working the Engels (airing April 9) and recently completed a memoir (out May 6).

Of course, Priestley still acts — on television in Call Me Fitz and on stage last year in a Toronto production of Race.

Tuesday, Priestley appeared on Global’s The Morning Show to promote a water purification program for developing countries.

Of course, the 44-year-old married father of two also reflected on his early days — including a period when he shared an apartment with a fellow struggling actor named Brad Pitt.

“There was all sorts of craziness that happened back then,” he said.

Priestley paid tribute to 90210 creator Aaron Spelling.

“Aaron taught me a lot of great things,” he said. “Aaron was a great mentor for me and taught me a lot about the way the industry works and about how to make television.

“The lessons he taught me are still lessons I use today.”

One of those lessons is how to be a director. Spelling allowed him to call the shots for episodes of 90210.

“I somehow convinced him at 23 years old to hand over the keys to that Maserati, and he did,” Priestley recalled. “I still scratch my head. What was that old man thinking? Because I was a punk-ass kid [and] Aaron was a serious older guy and liked things done a certain way.”

In the episode of Working the Engels, Priestley not only directed series star Andrea Martin but her former SCTV co-star Eugene Levy.

“There was so much talent on the set at the same time,” he said.

“It was really my job to get out of the way and watch the magic happen between those two.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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