Jessica Lowndes: I Have To Win Back The Fans
From the minute I met 90210's drug & blunt-bang abusing Adrianna Tate-Duncan, I was in love. It is so rare for such a wildly unhinged addict to be let loose on network television. This is why Ade's antics were quickly reined in when actress Jessica Lowndes became a series regular during season two. An accidental pregnancy and a Sapphic storyline allowed the character to still flirt with danger, but a funny thing happened on the way to graduation: Adrianna absolutely lost her mind in season three. And not in a good way.
Sudden fame went to Ade's head, which is when she flipped the script, losing her boyfriend and gal pals, setting up the most polarizing storyline in CW history. Adrianna quickly went from delusions of grandeur to totally unrelatable as her quest to get Navid back included swapping Silver's bipolar medication and flirting with suicide. By the end of the year, I was actually hoping for my one-time favorite character to end it all.
Thankfully the recently launched season four has already gone a long way towards redeeming Adrianna. Tonight's episode takes another step towards the light as Ade picks up the mic, and in a fun case of breaking the fourth wall, performs a song that Jessica Lowndes wrote and has released as a single (now on iTunes). I caught up with Jessica to talk all about Adrianna's fall from grace, how this year will lead her to redemption and how she relates to the character's struggle.
Insider.com: Adrianna has had wild highs and crazy lows -- what was your favorite moment for her?
Jessica Lowndes: I've loved it all – I loved the element of surprise. I never knew, signing on, what I was in for with this show [laughs] and it's been more than I ever could have asked for. The role has been challenging and great and I think you see a very human side to her. In the beginning, her drug problems were challenging -- especially because I was a guest star and wanted to impress the writers [laughs]. Then the pregnancy and questioning her sexuality, those were interesting too. I felt a strong sense of responsibility in telling those stories.
Insider: If I were to ask about low points, would you cite last season?
Jessica: I didn't think many of her decisions were very ethical. I think it stemmed from her life, which is pandemonium – the one constant keeping her sane was Navid. And after she found out that her best friend was sleeping with him, it just heightened that craziness in her mind. On top of that, she was losing her fame and being slandered in the news. It doesn't make what she did right, but she was full of vengeance. This year, she's definitely realized what she did was wrong. She literally hit rock bottom last year. Now she’s going to try her best to earn everyone’s forgiveness.
Insider: Silver doesn't seem too forgiving though.
Jessica: It takes time – I know it won't be quick and Silver can never forget, but they've been friends since childhood. In time, those walls will slowly come down the more Adrianna proves herself.
Insider: Do you feel like the onus is also on you to win the audience back in the same way that Adrianna has to win Silver back?
Jessica: Definitely. You just worded it perfectly. I have to win back the viewer’s trust. Every week on Twitter they keep saying, "I don't know if I trust her yet." Changing their minds motivates me. All the fans remember is when she's mean but at the end of the day, Adrianna does have a heart, so now the challenge is not coming off conniving -- seeming genuine has been the challenge. But I like playing a nicer version of her. My eyes certainly enjoy it. No more crying.
Insider: Tonight Adrianna sings your song Fool -- should we take this to mean she's getting back in the fame game?
Jessica: No. Definitely not. If anything, the idea of being famous scares her. She wants to stay away from that, but ends up singing in a very organic way tonight. This is not about her saying, "look at me!" Adrianna's first love is performing her music but she's always hard a warped view of it because she had a stage mother or too much success too fast. This year, it's a genuine thing. You see the pain and the sadness in her song -- I can't wait for everyone to see it!
Insider: I know you're also working on an album -- what excites you about that?
Jessica: These are songs that I've written and things that I've gone through so I'm no longer saying someone else's words, like I do on the show. I'm more vulnerable. That changes everything. Throughout the season, I'm going to be singing more. Which is cool. Because Adrianna's becoming a nicer character, I really hope people are going to root for her and see that she does have a genuine remorse.
90210 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW while you can buy Fool now on iTunes.