Exclusive Interview: 90210’s Jessica Lowndes (Adrianna) on kissing Rumor Willis
BY FRED TOPEL
Rumer Willis joined The CW’s drama 90210 for several episodes as Gia, a gay teen making moves on Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes). This week, Adrianna finally reciprocated those feelings with a kiss. What’s next for 90210’s new love birds? We got the scoop from Adrianna herself.
Jessica Lowndes started the series as a recurring character for the first few episodes, as “No Drama” Adrianna. She became a series regular and now stars in one of the show’s most talked about storylines. Adrianna also sings in the band The Gloria Steinems, featuring some of Lowndes’ own music.
We spoke with Lowndes by phone on April 1. 90210 airs Tuesdays on The CW.
Q: How is Adrianna’s plan of no drama going for her?
Jessica Lowndes: [Laughs] No Drama Adrianna lasted for maybe half an episode. She’s somebody that has a very addictive personality, as you guys have seen in season one and now season two. She’s addicted to the highs and the lows and essentially the drama of it all. She’s also somebody that truly needs to experience things for herself. Somebody can’t just say, “No, you shouldn’t do that.” She has to truly go through it and either hit rock bottom or learn by her mistakes by truly experiencing it. That’s another aspect to her personality. She’s also somebody that if things were just sailing smoothly and okay, she gets very bored. Yeah, there’s definitely a lot more drama to be had with her but that doesn’t mean she isn’t happy. I know a lot of people ask, “When is she going to just find her happiness.” I think she is truly happy. I think that’s just a characteristic of who she is.
Q: Do you think she’s stable to pursue a relationship with Gia for a while?
JL: Her and Gia definitely strike up a close bond and Gia helps her essentially try to get over Navid by encouraging her to make music her outlet which I think is so fantastic because instead of turning to drugs, she’s turning to a passion of hers. She almost lost that passion last year because she was under so much pressure from her mom and singing became more of a chore. The school play was really stressful on her. This year I think it’s going to be really great. There’s a lot more music involved which is so much fun because I’m a musician in real life and I’ve been able to write music towards the end of season two. It’s just like a dream come true. Gia definitely is there and this week Adrianna confides in Naomi and Silver and expresses her relationship with Gia and I’m just excited for everybody to see the next few episodes.
Q: The original 90210 was always about current teen issues, and now sexuality is really something a lot of teens are dealing with. Have you felt a big responsibility expressing that?
JL: Everything that my character has gone through is just pressing issues in society and I feel so blessed and honored to have the responsibility to tell these stories to the best of my ability. I want to do it justice so I do research and I try to make it as truthful as possible because they are important and these are things that are going on in high school. The response from the fans has been incredible. A lot of people are going through these things that I can’t even fathom and can’t even understand sometimes, what it would be like to lead a life like my character. There are people that watch every week to see my character get through it and then they feel like they can get through it themselves. They’re not feeling so alone in their situation.
Q: Will Adrianna and Gia get a few harmonious episodes before drama happens?
JL: There will definitely be harmony to be had. I think it’s just going to be really, really great and they share such a special bond. The storyline is very cute. I know I’m biased but I think it’s very special and important. I think the music thing truly keeps Adrianna level because it is her outlet and it is a healthy outlet. That’s been probably the easiest part of what my character’s gone through so I haven’t really had to do research because it’s who I am. When I’m not on camera, I’m in a recording studio so it’s very much mirrored my life which has been very fun. Then I get to write music for the show and then I get to work with such terrific actors. So it’s been fun but I think yeah, for a couple episodes it’s just sailing smoothly. Then we’ll have to see.
Q: So you do write the music that we hear you sing?
JL: I do. I do a mix of everything though. I have people that write for me as well and I have different producers that I do writing sessions with and we collaborate. The stuff that’s on the internet wasn’t even officially supposed to be out there. I did a demo CD when I was 16 up in Vancouver just with my best friend. It was just to get over a boy. Then the next thing I know, I was sitting next to this producer on a plane and happened to give him my demo CD just because he liked music and I had no idea what he did professionally. Then a few months later I get a call saying the show Moonlight for CBS wants to purchase one of my songs. So it’s kind of like this surreal like oh, okay, this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I wasn’t really prepared to put all my focus into it because I didn’t want to spread myself too thin, but now it’s kind of just happening organically. Like, I was hired originally as the singer of the school musical. I was only supposed to be in the first two or three episodes. Now that they’re incorporating more, it’s like I’ve really started pursuing it just this year. I’ve been back to recording and during hiatus I’m recording an album. I hope to have something out by the end of this year. Then in May, two of the songs that I have recorded will be on the show which is really, really exciting.
Q: Maybe you’ll knock the Glee kids off the charts for a week.
JL: That would be amazing.
Q: Will your songs be on iTunes?
JL: Yeah, it’s like a whole new career. It’s a whole new division that’s totally over my head but yes, there are talks of releasing it on iTunes and people will be able to get a hold of it.
Q: Are kids looking up who Gloria Steinem is now?
JL: Yes, they are and I think that’s great. A lot of people didn’t know that it was an actual woman, so that’s great.
Q: What’s building up to the season finale for this year?
JL: There’s a lot more drama. You’re going to see Adrianna and Gia’s relationship develop some more. You’re going to see a lot more music which is great. She tries the band thing for a little bit and then something really big happens and it’s very much a life changing thing that happens to Adrianna. There might be another love interest. You never know really. There’s a lot of other stuff that’s really exciting. I can’t wait.
Q: What’s the worst drama you have to deal with in real life?
JL: I don’t know. I guess other people would probably say paparazzi and that kind of stuff. I’ve slipped under the radar. I’ve been pretty lucky that way. I don’t lead too exciting of a life. I have board game night at my house and people don’t really follow me so it’s awesome. I don’t know, I guess sometimes it can get a little dramatic, just like the paparazzi thing but I don’t know. I just feel blessed and fortunate. I’m still the same person so I go to work and that’s that.
Q: Even just dealing with auditions and competition, isn’t that some drama?
JL: You know what, I never really look at it that way. It is truly competitive. LA is very competitive and it’s full of rejection. I just go in and do it. This is my passion. This is what I love. If I don’t get it, it wasn’t meant to be, I wasn’t right for it and that’s okay. I’m a firm believer in things happen for a reason when they’re meant to.
Q: What’s the hot board game at your board game nights?
JL: Oh my God, we switch it up. I usually do 90210 board game night where I’ll invite the cast over and friends and we’ll all get together, play board games and watch the show and eat some yummy food. I usually bake a cake. When I have people over, I love to cook.
90210’S JESSICA LOWNDES ON KISSING GIA