Fans of '80s television are going to have to settle for the upcoming Facts of Life and Growing Pains reunion movies because ex-thirtysomething star Polly Draper tells TV Guide Online that the aging yuppies will not be reteaming for a trip down memory lane.
"It is not going to happen," says the now-fortysomething Draper, who recently caught up with her former co-stars when the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences hosted a panel discussion on the acclaimed drama. "Originally they wanted to do a movie, but then [producer Ed Zwick] decided he wanted to end it on a nice 'everybody wants more' note, instead of everybody saying 'Melissa got fat' or 'Ellyn didn't age well.' "
Since the show's 1991 cancellation, Draper has avoided the "Where are they now?" rut by acting in TV-movies and appearing on Broadway in Closer. Her labor of love, however, has been writing, producing and starring in The Tic Code, a new film about a mother whose son has Tourette's syndrome. Draper has been intrigued by the neurological disorder since her first date with husband and former Arsenio Hall Show bandleader Michael Wolff, who lives with Tourette's.
"I thought he was on drugs," she says of their initial encounter. "First, I thought he was laughing at all my jokes. I thought I was being particularly amusing that night. Then I'd say things that weren't funny and I'd think, that wasn't funny, why is he laughing? I waited a little while before I asked him."
Draper was "relieved" to learn that it was the disorder causing Wolff's unusual behavior. The experience inspired her to make The Tic Code, although several studios weren't as enthusiastic about the project and even asked her to cut out the interracial romance element. She refused and eventually found financing after Gregory Hines came on board to co-star. But it was a difficult journey, as Wolff himself explains: "What we've gone through for seven years making the film was definitely as hard as having Tourette's."