Do not call Holly Robinson Peete on a Sunday during football season. She will hang up on you. The actress and wife of former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete is passionate about the sport. To share the love, she's written a new book, Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game! A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football. And in her "spare time," Robinson Peete, best known from her stints on 21 Jump Street and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, is costarring in Love, Inc., a new UPN sitcom (premiering Sept. 22) in which she plays the founder of a romance-consulting firm. It seems like whether she's on screen or on the page, Robinson Peete has all the answers. But we wanted a few more.
TV Guide: Per your book title, what kind of damn beer does Rodney have to get for himself?
Holly Robinson Peete: [Laughs] If he's in a domestic mood, he'll go for a Budweiser; if he's not, it's definitely Tsingtao, which is a Chinese beer. We went to Southeast Asia and tested all these beers along the way, so if you're going imported, for me it's gotta be Chinese beer.
TV Guide: How did you become such a devoted football fan?
Robinson Peete: Growing up in Philly, it was all about the Eagles. Fast-forward 25-something years later, and I'm marrying the quarterback of the Eagles, and man, I couldn't have made my dad happier. Short of, like, Dr. J, who was a little out of my age range, that was the best I could do for him.
TV Guide: And, of course, living with a quarterback helped increase your football knowledge as well.
Robinson Peete: Yeah. He just started explaining the little intricacies about his playbook. Then one day I asked him about some broken-down play and he did a brush-off answer like, "He just went the wrong way." Then I came to him with, "No, I saw the guy change the play at the line of scrimmage; he called an audible and then the wide receiver…," and the look on Rodney's face was like, "Oh, s---, I have really created a monster."
TV Guide: What's the worst thing a woman can say during a game?
Robinson Peete: Anything that seems girly and trivial. For instance, when you're in the fourth quarter, your team is down by three and you've got 30 seconds left, that wouldn't be a time to say, "Can you look at these fabric swatches? I'm thinking about buying new drapes."
TV Guide: Is there a phrase a wife/girlfriend can say, even if she doesn't understand what's going on, that will make it seem like she does?
Robinson Peete: If a receiver drops a ball that the quarterback threw, just say, "He hit him right between the numbers with that ball!" and watch the look on your man's face. If you really want to throw him off his feet, you gotta say something like, "Hey, honey! You think the team will be going back to the 3-4 defense since the Patriots have had such success with it?" He'll look at you like you're a bit insane.
TV Guide: You certainly know your stuff.
Robinson Peete: I enjoy talking about it more than I do talking about what most women my age like to talk about — shoes, or a sale, or something like that.
TV Guide: But for the benefit of those women, are there any shoes you bought recently that you were really psyched about?
Robinson Peete: [Laughs] Actually, yes. There was a pair of Marc Jacobs shoes I really loved. They're fantastic. But I couldn't wear them to a game.
TV Guide: In the many awards shows you have done, what has been your most surreal experience?
Robinson Peete: I hosted the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards before they became really popular. It was on some back lot, and there was barely anybody there. I remember going, "God, I don't even know why they're having an awards show; no one showed up to collect the awards...." And then I tried to get my kids into the Kids' Choice Awards this last time and it was like pulling teeth. I was like, "Remember me? I hosted this show for you guys years ago. With Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green?" But it's all cool. It's all cool.
TV Guide: After the pilot was shot for Love, Inc., your costar Shannen Doherty was replaced. What were your thoughts when you heard about it?
Robinson Peete: I had a great time working with her, and I really dug her and I was looking forward to sort of hanging out with her. [But] you never know. I never know if the call is going to be for me next or what, so I'm very practical about it.
TV Guide: Are you at the point in your career where you just wait and see before you get all excited about a new project?
Robinson Peete: Oh, yeah. I'm so mellow about it. Now when I shoot a pilot, I look at it as a nice chunk of change and maybe a fun week that I had. I never, ever look at it like it's something that's going to go five years, because I was spoiled [before]. My first three series went a total of 15 years and then when I did a pilot and it didn't get picked up, I was like, "What? Wait a second! That's not how it's supposed to go!" And then I did another pilot; that didn't go. Then I did a show for a year [WB's Like Family] and it didn't get picked up, so I thought, "OK, my little dream sequence is over. Now it's about the real world."