Thomas Calabro Remembers Melrose Place 20 Years Later
"Going to work was always a pleasure," the actor, who played Michael Mancini, tells PEOPLE
It’s been 20 years since the small, fictional apartment complex at 4616 Melrose Place put the West Hollywood street on the map.
It’s hard to believe it’s been two whole decades since actor Thomas Calabro (who played Dr. Michael Mancini), 53, Courtney Thorne-Smith (Alison Parker), 44, Grant Show (Jake Hansen), 50, Doug Savant (Matt Fielding), 48, and Josie Bissett (Jane Andrews Mancini), 41, first assumed their roles as 20-somethings trying to make it in Los Angeles.
But while they may have been focused on getting by, seven seasons of the hit series delivered scandal, sex, kidnappings and deceit instead.
To honor the anniversary, CBS Home Entertainment has released The Final Season, Volumes 1 & 2 of Melrose Place.
“It was just so much fun,” Calabro tells PEOPLE about filming the show. “Going to work was always a pleasure. It was such a great community and cast and crew. Everybody was having a ball. I always appreciate [being recognized]. It’s symbolic of my impact on the television community.”
As the series took off, Heather Locklear (Amanda Woodward), Laura Leighton (Sydney Andrews), Marcia Cross (Dr. Kimberly Shaw) and Jack Wagner (Dr. Peter Burns) joined the cast, solidifying the show as a must-see prime time drama.
“I just remember the whole Burns-Mancini thing with Sydney as our receptionist,” Calabro says about one of his favorite storylines. “The three stooges acts we did in that office were a lot of fun. One was undercutting the other. One was lying to the other. It was a question of who would come out on top of the three of us.”
Adds the actor, “I also had a lot of good times with Kimberly, of course. We had a lot of good years together.”
His Kids Not Impressed
As for catching reruns of the show that made him a TV star, Calabro avoids them.
“Oh, that would be a never,” he says with a laugh. “I don’t even watch what’s on television now, let alone what was on 20 years ago.”
In fact, his three children, Conner, Augie and Luca, don’t consider their father a celebrity.
“They grow up in an entertainment community here, so they’re surrounded by a ton of actors 15 times more famous than their dad,” he says. “I think to them, it’s not unusual.”
“My daughter says she’s seen some of the new one,” he notes. “[My kids] got a particular thrill when they saw me on the actual billboards.”
Although he’s out of the loop when it comes to the small screen, there’s one show Calabro would be open to joining.
“I was actually set to be on the first season [of] Dancing with the Stars,” he says, adding that he’d still “consider” participating. “And then through a little contractual snafu, I had to back out. I would have won. I love dancing so much that when they first approached me, I was like, ‘Free dancing lessons? Oh, come on!’ I was a crazy disco man [in the past.]”