Gillian Zinser: It’s “A Shame” That Trevor Donovan Got Booted from 90210 (Exclusive Q+A)
Gillian Zinser may be best known for her role as Ivy on 90210, but this summer she’s headed to MTV with a new movie. And this time she’s majorly trading in the surf for the snow in The Truth Below, about a group of friends who get into a crazy scary accident while on spring break. And we caught up with Gillian who dished on the flick, working with a cast full of hotties, and why she’ll miss Trevor Donovan on 90210 oh-so-much.
Click on to catch our exclusive Q+A with Gillian!
Teen: The Truth Below is a psychological thriller and that’s very different from 90210. How did you mentally prepare for this role?
GZ: Well, I think what attracted me to the character that I play in Jenna was the fact that kind of like Ivy, she’s also a guy’s girl, she’s a bit of a tomboy, and she’s pretty tough and protective of herself. But what was so interesting was finding all these layers that at the end of the day she’s an average, normal girl who has a crush on a boy.
Teen: Cool! There were some super intense scenes in the film. Which was the hardest to shoot?
GZ: The most challenging stuff to play was once we got into the car wreck and we were stuck in this confined space of shooting everything in this one vehicle. All that was just incredibly difficult because we’re only working with three feet of space to live in.
Teen: Right. And you snowboard a lot in the flick. Have you ever snowboarded or was that a totally new experience?
GZ: I used to snowboard quite a bit. Last time I was snowboarding I remember I was with my boyfriend and we got into an ugly accident, so I had honestly been afraid to get on the slopes for quite a while. It was wonderful to be able to with this movie.
Teen: Cool. Do you prefer the snow or would you rather be in the sand like on 90210?
GZ: Yes, I’m definitely much more of a beach bunny. I prefer the sun over the snow.
Teen: So, there’s some really scary things that happen on the vacation in the movie. Have you ever had a similar scary encounter?
GZ: I think I’m fortunate that I’ve never been in a car accident. I also know better than to smoke pot and drive. So, no, I’ve never put myself in that position before, but I think all of us actors learned a few lessons about survival and safety measures after shooting.
Teen: After the whole crash happens, you start to play that game True Confessions. Do you think games like that can tear apart friendships like it did in the movie?
GZ: That’s a good question. I think when you’re put into a situation where you’re really really forced to look at yourself honestly and question who you are and who you’ve been and the things you’ve done and if you’ve regret having done, the relationships you’ve made and the things that maybe you’ve never got to do in life, when you really look at all those things, of course it’s going to bring out a lot of dark colors.
Teen: Right. So we need to ask. What was it like working with a bunch of hot guys on set? You’re the only girl in the cast…
GZ: Yeah, that was definitely part of the attraction of this film for me; to find a way to hold my weight as the only female in a cast of an all male ensemble. That was challenging but really, really fun as well. Not only were Reid, Ricky and Nick just wonderful to work with, the characters that we all played were all so so so different and I never really noticed the fact that I was the only girl on set.
Teen: Okay, so let’s do some cast superlatives. We wanna know…who was the most likely to mess up their lines?
GZ: I’d go with Reid!
Teen: Who would you say pulled the best pranks on set?
GZ: I’m gonna go with Ricky.
Teen: Who has the best abs?
GZ: Best abs? Definitely Nick!
Teen: The best smile?
GZ: Uh, Ricky.
Teen: Who would you say was the most serious?
GZ: I don’t think that applies to any of us cause we were lucky to have been blessed as a really, really comedic, light-hearted crew of actors. The script and the context of what we were shooting with was serious enough, but when there was a chance to lighten things up we had no choice but to keep ourselves sane with comedic advances.
Teen: Let’s talk 90210 for a sec. How do you feel about Trevor Donovan not coming back next season?
GZ: Trevor is one of the most fun, lovely human beings I’ve met in Los Angeles and he’s a dear friend of mine and we’re both new [to LA}. I think we moved at the same time, so we had a special connection. Not working with him will definitely change the dynamic of the set a lot for me.
Teen: But now they’re cutting out the show’s only gay character/storyline!
GZ: I know! I personally wouldn’t have cut him out myself, so I’m not sure. I think Trevor did a really great job at bringing important conversations and with the show this year and his identity crisis and coming into a more truthful self. I think he had a lot of beautiful response from fans who needed to watch somebody go through that in order to kind of be more comfortable with answering those questions in their own life and Trevor did so wonderfully and it’s a shame to cut that storyline short.
Teen: Yeah definitely. We agree, it will be hard to see him go. So, what are your summer plans this year?
GZ: I start shooting in four weeks so my summer is kind of cut off. I spent my hiatus filming three other projects and my family’s celebrating my dad’s birthday by… we’re gonna be sailing around Greece and surfing so that’s how I’m gonna be ending my summer.
Teen: Have you ever had a really memorable vacay, in the sun or the snow?
GZ: I’d have to say my freshman year of college, my best guy friend and I decided to go down and spend the month in Costa Rica learning how to surf and that’s when I first started surfing. Just to be alone with your best friend in a completely foreign place taking Spanish and surfing [is cool.] Costa Rica’s insanely gorgeous and the balmy weather – it was completely unforgettable.
Teen: Cool. Well, we can’t wait for the new season of 90210.
GZ: I’m excited, too! Hopefully it will be a lot more sunshine and less drama!
Teen: Yeah, definitely, but probably not, right?
GZ: I’m always after boys who don’t want me, I’ll tell you that much!
Us too, Gillian. Us too. The Truth Below premieres on MTV tomorrow, June 16 at 10/9c! Will you be tuning in? Are you excited for the new season of 90210? How do you feel about Trevor not coming back next season? Tell us in the comments!