Fran Drescher Loves That 'the Millennials' Are Into 'The Nanny' Fashion

She explains how she and costume designer Brenda Cooper came up with Fran Fine's signature look, and dishes on the possibility of a reboot.
Author:
Publish date:
Fran Drescher at Edie Parker Flower’s ‘The Garden of Edie’ Party at Eric Buterbaugh Perfumery. Linnea Stephan / BFA

Fran Drescher at Edie Parker Flower’s ‘The Garden of Edie’ Party at Eric Buterbaugh Perfumery. Linnea Stephan / BFA

"The Nanny" went off the air in 1999. If you'd told me back then that 20 years later I'd be sitting down with Fran Fine, I mean Drescher, in Los Angeles next to a comically massive bong while influencers passed joints around at an event to celebrate the launch of a cannabis brand, well ... I wouldn't have known how to wrap my head around that. 

But this exact situation did happen on Tuesday night at the L.A. launch event for Edie Parker Flower, the popular handbag brand's new foray into cannabis, and I could barely wrap my head around it then, either.

Drescher has since traded in Mr. Sheffield's Upper East Side townhouse for a home in Malibu, and has become a vocal advocate for cannabis and its medicinal benefits in the wake of a battle with cancer. It's a big aspect of Cancer Schmancer, the nonprofit she created to spread alternative ways of both preventing and treating the disease. 

"I started speaking at cannabis and science conventions because I feel that it's my duty to lend my celebrity to making people realize that it was greed that forced the prohibition on this plant; we don't really have the level of efficacy that we should, but regardless it's a new frontier," she tells me. "I enjoy cannabis for a myriad of reasons — including just getting a little high, having a buzz — but I also think that it should be looked at and thought of as a supplement, like when you take your vitamins, because it really does support the body's system."

Brett Heyman, Fran Drescher, Erin Foster, Sophia Bush, Kitty Kash, Busy Philipps and Charli XCX at Edie Parker Flower’s ‘The Garden of Edie’ Party at Eric Buterbaugh Perfumery. Linnea Stephan / BFA

Brett Heyman, Fran Drescher, Erin Foster, Sophia Bush, Kitty Kash, Busy Philipps and Charli XCX at Edie Parker Flower’s ‘The Garden of Edie’ Party at Eric Buterbaugh Perfumery. Linnea Stephan / BFA

While Drescher may have found a new passion in health and cannabis education, she's far from done with show business. She's starring in the upcoming NBC series "Indebted," recently shot a pilot for Bravo and there may even be talks of a "Nanny" reboot of sorts. With a whole new generation now discovering the show — and therefore Ms. Fine's suddenly-very-relevant wardrobe of skin-tight Moschino, Todd Oldham, Isaac Mizrahi and Cynthia Rowley — the timing could not be better. (Who do we call to get Cardi B an audition to play her?)

Before indulging in the aforementioned joints, we chatted with Drescher about all of the above, as well as a few "Nanny" costume secrets. Read on for the highlights.

Your '90s costumes from "The Nanny" are suddenly the subjects of Instagram accounts and have become memes all over the internet. They feel so relevant now. How does that feel and why do you think that is?

It's a credit to Brenda Cooper, who designed the show and won an Emmy for it. She and I are very good friends. She's actually writing a book of tips on style and Penguin is doing it with her. She's brilliant, she understands color. I worked with her on a series before 'The Nanny' and she wasn't even the designer; she was working for the designer, but I knew that this girl had what it took. I told Peter, my husband and writing partner, that if we ever do a show, she's the one to get. And shortly thereafter we started 'The Nanny' and hired her. 

Seeing Cardi B posting me and wearing similar looks, it's great. It's great for my brand; its great for 'The Nanny,' I'm thrilled that the millennials are so into the series, the look of the series, it's great. Now we're working on something with it I actually can't announce yet, but I think the fans are going to be very happy. I tried to get Brenda on the new show — I'm just a gun for hire on this or she would be 'in like Flynn' — but for whatever reason they went with someone else. How many sitcoms do you know that, 25 years later, a whole new generation is going gaga over it? But not everyone's as smart as me.

Is there anything else you're working on?

I did a pilot for Bravo and that would be 'Dinner at Fran's.' It's kind of a hybrid talk show where we have dinner at my house and eat food I prepared. It's totally relaxed and we laugh and we talk and you get to see celebrities. I'm hoping it gets picked up. Brenda will not only be doing the wardrobe but she'll also be in it because it'll include a glam section where I get ready for the dinner party after I cook the dinner. It's got a little bit of everything and everything is totally Fran-tastic. We're pretty confident it's gonna get picked up.

What are some of your strongest fashion memories from 'The Nanny'?

Brenda kinda came up with that silhouette I wore a lot. Hotpants, or there was always an under layer like a black turtleneck, and mini dresses, then we'd layer on a vest or belt. Brenda knew how to build a woman's body from the undergarments out; she would put me in support hose and she'd reach in and pull up my butt and then she'd go right into the bra and pull my tit up and then she'd spread the cleavage 'cause she didn't like when it was all together. 

Was that uncomfortable while you were acting?

It was fine when I was acting, but the next day after the taping my feet were still hurting. Luckily I never had bunions.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Never miss the latest fashion industry news. Sign up for the Fashionista daily newsletter.