Gillian Amalia Zinser is an American actress, known for her appearances as Ivy Sullivan in 90210. She attended New York University in New York City, NY. Prior to 90210, she appeared in Southland, Cold Case and Cupid. She played a recurring role in 90210 during the second season from 2009 to 2010, as a young Californian surfer named Ivy Sullivan. In February 2010, she was signed as a regular cast member for the third season of the show. In 2011 Zinser starred in her first feature, The Truth Below for MTV, and in Liars All with Matt Lanter. She grew up in Washington, D.C. and now resides in Venice, California.
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In certain circles, Gillian Zinser is best known for her role as Ivy Sullivan in the recent spin-off of Darren Star’s “90210”. But to us, Zinser is a photographic storyteller whose dream like images move us out of the ordinary and into the surreal. Shooting primarily with a 35mm Yashica T5, and mostly on the road, Zinser divides her time between LA and Brooklyn – and beyond. The photos featured in this issue are from a series called PSYCHOGENIC FUGUE, from a road trip Zinser took around Iceland in the summer of 2015. The artist spoke to AWT about her process, the importance of escapism and the 30-year-path into female friendship.
AWT: You’re a contemporary storyteller. You share your process with the viewer, and it seems as if you’re not trying to be perfect with your work. Tell us about your artistic style. Gillian Zinser: I’m not sure what my style is, or if I even have one yet. It feels like it’s a lot about seeking. A sort of romantic… placelessness? Escapism. “The blessed unrest” that Martha Graham talks about. A reminder to press pause. I don’t know – I’m just waxing poetic here. Really I just take photographs to try and capture feelings and moments I wouldn’t know how to recall or share through words. To try and transform simple, mundane pieces of my life into something memorable and tender.
AWT: Legs are a recurring theme in your photos. You’ve dedicated an entire series called “Escape Routes” – what’s the story behind it? GZ: A lot of my photos are about escapism – running – not necessarily away from anything, just… the act of seeking, exposing, disappearing. “The Escape Routes” series is a visual play on the idea of falling into portals, finding secret ways out. It’s just a silly little series about disappearing acts… the desperation and curiosity to venture out of our realities and into the unknown.
AWT: You’re a traveler, a photographer and an actress. From afar, it looks like you’re doing everything you want to. Which decisions allowed you to live your life in a way that many people are too afraid of trying? GZ: For me, it was about not being afraid to let go of the comfort, safety and stability of routine jobs and income. Choosing the wild, uncomfortable and unknown over the easy and expected. Not being afraid of being broke for a second. Or lost. Or having to start over again. To make it a priority to invest in experience, knowing that adventuring outside of your little bubble can only make you a richer creative, or better at whatever your day-to-day work is. I’m lucky enough to be able to travel for work now. But even before I was acting, when I was working boring, shitty jobs in college, I would work to save up enough money to buy a plane ticket somewhere new, or spend my time off on a roadtrip with a friend, or take the train somewhere for a day by myself and just wander. It doesn’t work for me to sit still and do ONE thing. There’s too much to see. Feel. Learn. I travel to keep myself awake. To keep curious. To learn about people and cultures to better understand the human experience, to take me out of my ego and into the bigger picture. All of which only makes me a better creative, performer and human. We all need an outlet outside of our day-to-day to refuel, calibrate, inspire and keep us reaching. That’s what travel is for me. Without it, my other work would suffer.
AWT: You’re supporting a non-profit with your print sales. Tell us about my friendsplace.org GZ: My Friend’s Place is an amazing homeless youth shelter in Hollywood that serves over half of the kids living on the streets of LA, helping them build self-sufficient lives. I started a street photography program there with a bunch of kids and have been so inspired by their work so far.
AWT: Women are often the subject of your photography. Can you describe your relationship with the women in your life or the women you meet? GZ: It’s taken me a long time to find steady, inspiring, supportive, healthy female friendships. Girls weren’t always nice to me growing up, especially in high school: there was so much shit-talking, backstabbing, manipulation, competition. It always just felt easier to hang out with the guys. Less drama. Now, however, the tables have turned, and I have the most amazing tribe of women in my life and far fewer male friendships. I think the female friendships I’ve found in my later 20s age stronger because we’re all so much more comfortable in our skins and can therefore honestly support and uplift one another instead of feeling pitted against each other. I love using my girlfriends as studies and finding ways to celebrate and capture their beauty.
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”I’m half German half New Yorker- born and raised in downtown DC. Mums a crazy beautiful painter and dads a brilliant architect. My folks were the coolest – super supportive and encouraging of exploring all forms of creative expression growing up.
I first fell in love with the idea of being a performer when my folks took me to see this play ‘THE FANTASTICKS’ off Broadway when i was 7. The first scene just really got me, the curtain came up and there was this young girl my age, rocking back and forth on the floor in prayer saying ‘please god, please! don’t let me be normal!’ over and over and over again it was so weirdly powerful to me in that moment as a kid and comforting to be reminded so simply that it was okay – cool, even – to be a weirdo and an outcast in such a uncomfortable and confusing chapter of youth when there was so much pressure to ”fit in” with the crowd which i never did. So anyways, i dug that moment so much and it just made me fall madly in love with the power a performance can have to inspire others. I think it was then that i knew i wanted to act and be a part of the storytelling business so i latched onto theater quite young, but didn’t pick up my first real film camera til after college, actually. i guess its a newer hobby.
At the moment i am curating an awesome art show in LA featuring a wild group of my favorite local artists and influencers, a photography project with kids from a homeless youth shelter in downtown LA, and putting together the first film i’m directing!
Fashion to me is just passing trends. I do appreciate style, style is someones unique sense of self and the way they share that with the world. Their voice and it goes so far beyond clothing but clothing is definitely a fun form of creativity to express oneself with.”
You can see new photoshoot with Gillian and her HANDWRITTEN interview in the gallery!
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Highly addicted to road trips, I went to Iceland last summer to drive the entire circumference of the island by its Ring Road. It’s almost an impossible travel experience to describe, which is why it’s a photographer’s wet dream. I’ve never experienced anywhere with such an ethereal, spiritual, dreamy, diverse landscape. I felt like I was tripping on mushrooms on a different planet at times. If you’re searching for an unforgettable, supernatural adventure riddled with glacial lagoons, geothermal hot springs, 20 hours of daylight, rowdy volcanos, epic hiking and camping, rainbows, breathtaking waterfalls, sunshine and hailstorms, all in the same ten minutes, this is the place. There are mountain colors you didn’t even know mountains came in, electric blue icebergs, wild horses, glacial ice caves, stunning fjords, rolling hills of moss-covered lava that looks like something Dr. Seuss dreamed up—and of course, the legendary Northern Lights.
(N) How do you take your coffee in Iceland?
(GZ) Black at sunrise.
(N) Most memorable experience in Iceland?
(GZ) Going out at sunset on a boat on Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon riddled with the most beautiful electric blue icebergs that are thousands of years old. And cracking a beer in the nature baths in Myvatn at night, staring up at the Northern Lights.
(N) What is the most important item you bring when you travel?
(GZ) My 35mm point and shoot camera
(N) Who is a role model/mentor in your life?
(GZ) I don’t really have one. Any interested applicants please apply. But my favorite photographers of the moment are: Alec Soth, Nan Goldin, Francesca Woodman, Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, Ryan McGinley, Jordan Sullivan, Max Doyle, James Nachtwey and Sebastio Salgado.
(N) Why do you make art?
(GZ) I’m not ever sure. I guess I take photographs to try and capture feelings and moments I wouldn’t know how to recall or share through words.
(N) What are you working on now?
(GZ) Shooting a short film called “End Of Babes” directed by wunderkid Jimmy Marble.
(N) Where are you going next?
(N) What was the first thing you ate when you got back?
(GZ) Probably a burrito.
– Gillian Zinser is an actress, photographer and professional wanderer living between Los Angeles and Brooklyn.
Actress, artist and devoted Somme Institute fan, Gillian Zinser, uses our Regimen for clear, glowing skin. We’re obsessed with her style (check out her recent feature on The Coveteur where she shares some of her vintage pieces and prized possessions like her hat collection) and her flawless beauty looks! Today she shares some of her best beauty tips and tricks with us.
“I’m absolutely sworn over – the products are BRILLIANT – my skin’s clearer and smoother in texture than any time I can remember before.”
What is your favorite Somme Institute product?
GZ: I especially love the Transport pads! My skin is really pale and sensitive but constantly congested, so it’s hard for me to find a gentle yet effective enough exfoliant. This product is the perfect balance for me.
What is your daily beauty routine in the AM/PM?
GZ: I wash my face and follow with a vitamin C serum and sunscreen in the am and wash, exfoliate and moisturize at night. I also drink a few ounces of aloe vera juice daily which really helps to keep my skin clear, and try not to wear makeup if I’m not working.
What are some of the best beauty tips and tricks you’ve learned?
GZ: Don’t over pluck, never pick, sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen, and keep hydrated with lots of water throughout the day!
We hear you love shopping in your mom’s closet. Any beauty tips that she has passed along to you as well?
GZ: keep it simple – less is more!
Any red carpet beauty looks that you’ve done?
GZ: I honestly never feel comfortable in a ton of makeup, so i tend to stick to a fresh, bare face with bright lips when I’m feeling fancy!
When do you feel the most beautiful?
GZ: When I’m creating!
You eat mostly whole, raw foods. What does a day of eating typically look like for you?
GZ: I’m a huge believer that we can balance our bodies, minds and moods through a simple, natural diet so i eat mostly whole, organic foods, juice a ton, and when I can i cook most of my meals at home, ‘The Esalen cookbook’ and ‘Superfoods Cookbook’ are two of my favorite sources for recipes.
The 90210 star gave us the lowdown on what inspires her.
You probably know Gillian Zinser best as 90210’s resident surfer girl, Ivy. Her character’s Cali cool style is certainly enviable, as is the actress’s own edgy look. Gillian hosted an event with Urban Outfitters and MinkPink in Los Angeles last week (“I love collaborating with movers and shakers and anyone wild enough to push the borders,” she explains), and we were able to ask her about all things fashion.
What three words would you use to describe your personal style?
Quirky, mindless, and moody.
How does your look differ from Ivy’s?
Ivy’s style is truly Californian and bohemian. My own is all over the place and doesn’t belong in a niche.
What was your favorite outfit as a teen?
I’ve always been a jeans and a T-shirt kind of kid!
Where do you like to shop?
Topshop, flea markets, vintage stores, and my mom’s closet.
Who are your style icons?
I’m inspired by anyone who’s honest in their own expression, people who truly beat to the rhythm of their own drum. I love the way little kids dress themselves! They’re completely carefree about how others perceive them.
What’s the one piece of clothing or accessory you can’t live without?
What has been your best Halloween costume?
Jem and the Holograms.
What fall trend are you most excited about?
When we asked The Company Collective (not a member yet? Find us on Facebook!) who they wanted to see on the cover, one name came up several times. Well, here she is.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Here at Company HQ, we don’t just randomly throw style ideas at you – that would be far too easy. We’d much rather get fashspiration from your street style and then give it that Company edge.
That’s why we set up The Company Collective. It’s a closed group on Facebook where you can tell us what you’re wearing, how you’re wearing it and where you’re shopping for it. So when we asked who you style-stalk the most, one name popped into the timeline over and over.
You may know 26-year-old Gillian Zinser as the all-Californian surfer ckick, Ivy, from E4’s 90210. You may know her from uber-cool Tumblr, Indelible Shadows (gillianzinser.tumblr.com) an edit of music, images and quotes. Or you might be one of her 63,200 (and rising) Twitter followers (@msGILLIANZINSER). But, probably, like us, you’ve simply style-spotted her laid0back LA look on countless blogs and indie fashion mags – and got instant beach hair envy.
About time we met her then really, isn’t it? Over to The Company Collective girls…
Gemma Kohnson: How do you get that sun-kissed glow?
I’m actually quite pale and a big advocate of using sunscreen, so I’m not often tanned. I’m a big fan of Laura Mercier moisturiser with SPF. On set, they use bronzing make-up but in real life I just wear mascara, Chapstick and a spot of blush. I’m a Chapstick whore. I think less is more.”
Elena Cristin: Do you love surfing like your 90210 characted? And what’s you beach beauty must-have?
Yes. I love long-boarding in warm water and, as I’m mad about SPF, I also use it on my hair. My hair is really dry and brittle so I started using SPF to protect it from the salt water and sun. I love the look of ruined hair. It looks cool but I’m queen of split ends and SPF has definitely preserved the lenght and quality of my hair.
Rachael Victoria Wynne: What’s your tip for a fail-safe hairdo on a bad hair day?
I have a lot of bad hair days and when they come about I just throw it up in a top knot to get it out of my face.
Molly caughlan: How would you describe your style?
What’s important to me is always expressing yourself honestly. So when it comes to fashion, I think the less seriously you take it, or the less you think about it, the more unique your look is. A lot of people ask me how I describe my style and I never know how to answer that because fashion to me is simply a daily form of expression. I’m inspired by my moods. I think things tend to be more interesting when you’re not over-thinking them or trying to look one way or another.
Georgina Fineman: How would you describe the LA look?
That’s interesting because I would normally describe the classic LA style as quite awful! Maybe we’re talking about two parts of LA. The LA Hollywood is a hyper-conscious community, so there’s little unique expression as people to dress for trends rather than for themselves. Whereas the west coast has a bohemian beach look, which is more me – and I think that’s what a lot of Californians do so well. That laid-back look where you throw on your dirty, ratty t-shirt, denim shorts and biker boots. I guess like East London.
Nathalie Ward: Whose style are you coveting for S/S12?
No two people are alike so trying to mimic somebody else’s style never seems right to me. I’m sad to say that I don’t follow catwalk trends. I’m not as in-the-know as I’d like consider myself. I’m totally out of tune but I feel more comfortable there. The less I know about what’s going on, the more I feel I can do my own thing.
Alys Penfold: Do you have any style icons?
I’d have to say Anna Karenina, Patti Smith and Audrey Hepburn. Each of those women had such a unique way of expressing themselves in their own time.
Kirsty Whittaker: How did your love for fashion begin and you make any fashion fails?
Naturally! In hindsight, very little make sence. But, luckily, I’ve never been self-conscious enough on the moment to worry about what I looked like. I try not to look back but we all have pictures of those dumpy overalls and terrible flared jeans from middle school and it never guite translates. But I don’t really believe in fashion fails because it’s about growing up and expressing yourself.
Elena Cristin: What are your favourite stores and why?
I went back to New Your last weekend and I think my favourite kind of shopping is wandering around and finding a gem in the rough of a thrift store or vintage shop. The only contemporary store I walked into was Topshop and I just fell in love with it all over again. I’m really bummed that we don’t have one on the west coast yet because it’s a brilliant go-to for quick, simple, affordable pieces that you can layer with your one-off pieces. Little black dresses, oversized cardigans, t-shirts… I went a little stir-crazy in there!
Rachael Victoria Wynne: How did you first get into acting?
I started proffesional acting only a few years ago. I did it as a kid then I started teaching theatrical courses in a local community centre for under-privileged kids. I don’t think I feel in love with perfomance and acting until I saw it from an audience perspective. THose kids really came into themselves.
Lucinda Bounsall: Your 90210 character is different from the other characters like Naomi and Adrianna. Do you see yourself as different to them, and the Hollywood set, in real life?
We’re all incredibly different girls and that’s part of the pleasure of acting. You’re never going to be cast for something that you’re not right for because you’re always bringing a huge part of yourself to every role. But I agree that there is a ‘type’ in Hollywood and I don’t see myself in that bracket. I’m simply an actor who is in Los Angeles for work, and I keep my personal life quite separate to work. I live in a small bungalow by the beach and I think there’s something to be said for not having to run around town and be on show.
Stephanie Louise Saxton: If you could date any of your co-stars who would it be and why?
I am so madly in love with my own man that I don’t even know how to answer that! I’ve been with my guy Luke for a while now. But if I had to answer, I’d have to say Jessica Stroup.
Alexa Baigent: You always know hot to wear casual pieces, but what would you wear for a night out?
When I go out at night it’s usually for business so you’re there as some form of doll and have to dress up and have your hair and make-up done accordingly. It makes me feel a little uncomfortable because I’m still a tomboy, so when I have to throw on a dress and heels I try to clash it with something that holds on to a bit of me. No matter how high the stiletto or tight the dress I’m being told to wear, I add my own edge. Whether that’s a fancy floor-lenght dress with a cowboy hat, or a tight mini dress and biker boots, or even just red lips. It creates a balance between the appopriate attire and my own comfort zone.
Anna Hussain: What’s the one item in your wardrobe you’ll keep forever?
My grandfather’s bowler hat. I wear it all the time. Probably too much. It’s like my safety blanket.
– Season 4 of 90210 is out on DVD in October. Gillian’s new movie Savages is out on 28 Sept
InStyle: Your mother is from New York, your father from Berlin. Do you speak German? Gillian: (In German) Yes, of course! I’m half German. But I have a lot to learn.
InStyle: So I guess you’ve been to Germany a lot? Gillian: Oh yes! Berlin is my absolute favorite city in the world. My younger brother Max only just moved back to the States from Berlin. We used to go there a lot. Nowadays I unfortunately don’t have the time to go.
InStyle: You grew up in New York. Gillian: Yes. But I see Berlin today, as I imagine a New York back in the 70ties and 80ties. The art scene there is unbelievably inspiring. Everyone seems to enjoy expressing themselves in their very own, unique way. I wish to have a small apartment in Berlin one day, just so I can spend more time there.
InStyle: On 90210 you play surfer girl Ivy. Were you a fan of the original series? Gillian: Oh yes, totally! Even though my parents forbid me to watch it. I was a little bit too young.
InStyle: Do you have any impact on the outfits you wear on the show? Gillian:Yes , a lot actually! We have a great costume designer, Kime Buzzelli. She is the one who organizes the most amazing clothes you could ever imagine – but never afford. From her selection of clothes I can create the outfits myself.
InStyle: It’s mostly your private style that is being copied worldwide. Gillian: I always feel very honored that I’m getting that much positive feedback. My style is just me expressing my personality. There is no concept behind it. But that’s part of the fun. Many women are taking their styling too seriously and putting too much effort in it, just to fit in the image society expects from them.
InStyle: You like to wear no-name labels just as designers and vintage. Gillian: Yes, but I have to say my passion is second hand fashion. I like the idea of recycling fashion. I used to always go through my mum’s closet. I use these basics and worn clothes to create looks which I combine with stuff I have to invest in. They last forever.
InStyle: What do you think you have to invest in? Gillian: In a perfectly fitting leather jacket. You have it you’re entire life.
InStyle: You seem to be able to always look sexy but never cheap or fake . What’s your secret? Gillian: You can only be sexy if you beat to the rhythm of your own drum. Or it always seems fake. Mostly, people dress sexy to impress others. I dress just for myself. And I only wear what I feel comfortable in. If I’m going to a red carpet event and I’m wearing a long, elegant dress I normally break it with something completely opposite, e.g. my grandfather’s bowler hat. If I’m wearing a tight, short dress I combine it with biker boots. For me, elegance and sex appeal don’t work without confidence. Even if that means biker boots and Converse on the red carpet.
InStyle: …Or a hat that you seem to wear quite often at events. Gillian: Hats are somewhat of protection for me. They’re like a security blanket. If I’m on the red carpet, it is still not a normal or totally comfortable situation for me. Even though it is a lot of fun. I then normally put on one of my vintage hats , or, my grand-dad’s and I feel safe. Just like being all cuddled up in a blanket.
InStyle: What is that one piece in your closet that you cannot spare? Gillian: My Doc Martens from the nineties. They’ll never be out of style for me. I’ve got quite a few pairs but my favorite are the ones with flower print and in dark green. Doc Martens are forever cool.
InStyle: Coachella is almost here. What are you bringing? Gillian: Definitely old, worn jeans shorts, an old band shirt, bright red lipstick, Ray Bans and my Polaroid cam.
InStyle: Who is accompanying you? Gillian: Just my boyfriend ( Luke Grimes) and my brother. I’m a light traveler. (laughs)
InStyle: You three in a camping bus? Gillian: If I’d be going all privately I would. I’m living with them at the moment, too, so we’re used to do almost everything together. But at Coachella I’m hosting a party with ‘Planet Blue’ and ‘Foam’ magazine. And they kindly booked a hotel for us.
InStyle: Camping isn’t for everyone, I guess. Gillian: I love it! My boyfriend has an Airstream, you know, this silver trailer and we spend the weekends with it in Topanga Canyon. The Airstream is only 18 ft long and like 9 ft wide and you could think it’s hell on wheels. But the truth is, it’s the exact opposite. It’s incredibly liberating. And it makes you realize how little space and comfort you actually need.
InStyle: Where have you met Luke? Gillian:In L.A. at a red light and crazy traffic. That was true fate. Our first date was in the desert.
InStyle: Red lights, rendezvous in the desert – sounds very Hollywood. Gillian: L.A. is such a surreal, artificial city, so I figured the desert is the perfect place to get to know someone. You have no choice than to expose yourself. You just shake off the business and all clichés. Especially with my job it is great to get to know someone away from the industry, in all loneliness. Then there’s no one there except for that person and yourself.
InStyle: Is it more difficult to find real friend in a city like L.A.? Gillian: I have a very small but close group of friends, they’re very grounded, wonderful people. In Los Angeles, everything is so far apart and so insanely focused on the business that you have to value the little free time you get. That is why you are basically being forced to look closer at who you want to spend this time with and who not. I spend a lot of time on set, so I enjoy just being by myself when I’m off. Or of course my boyfriend, my close friends or my brother.
InStyle: Is your brother an actor, too? Gillian: No, he’s an interior designer. He’s an absolute phenomenon! And of everyone else my favorite person in the world. He might be two years younger than me but mentally he’s much older. He protects me.
InStyle: And your friends, are they also in the business? Gillian: Jessica Stroup just moved in across from me. She’s the only cast member I see a lot off set. The rest of my friends are mostly artists.
InStyle: Years ago, there were talks about Young Hollywood , a clique including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie and Mischa Barton. You seem to live a completely different private life. Gillian: Oh yes, I’m far away from that. I’m just no Hollywood kid. I purposely chose to live by the beach in Venice. I don’t really go out a lot and go crazy. I enjoy my small, peaceful neighborhood. It is a very simple, chilled lifestyle, very quiet. I am by the beach, I go swimming. You run errands by bike or just walk. The social scene is way less crazy than the one in Hollywood, which I definitely prefer.
InStyle: Do you sometimes get homesick for NYC? Gillian: I miss the beat of the city. New York has its very own pulse that you’re never going to find anywhere else. The energy, the people – everything is just really rough and in constant motion. Every time I go back I still find it very refreshing and inspiring, but right now , for me, I’m finding my life here in L.A. way healthier. New York is like an ex-boyfriend that you visit from time to time and share some nice moments with. But the next day you’re glad to have left him because everything is just better without him.
InStyle: Speaking of healthy life style: Especially in Hollywood everyone is focusing on being skinny. You recently told People Mag that you would like to put on a few pounds. How does that fit? Gillian: That’s what they wrote? (laughs) Well, I’ve always been kind of thin. But more and more I’m coming to the point where I learn to appreciate my feminine charms. It would be nice to put on a little weight and be more chill in general. I definitely don’t think that being skinny equals being sexy.
InStyle: Still it is size zero that reigns over Hollywood. Gillian: Yeah, probably. But I just don’t think that actors have to look like runway models. Models have to look like models, you put clothes on them. For us actors, it is more important to look like normal human beings, because who and what we play should be relatable for normal people.
InStyle: And they rarely have the ideal body. Gillian: It’s probably human nature to want what you can’t have. But at the end of the day I feel quite comfortable in my skin.
InStyle: And what helps if you don’t? Gillian: Bright red lip stick and my worn-out Converse. And my lucky charms.
InStyle: And those are… Gillian: A necklace with a pendant from my boyfriend and my parents’ wedding ring.
InStyle: YOU are wearing your parents’ wedding ring? Gillian: They bought many small rings in Bali back then which they use as wedding rings. When I moved away, they gave me on of them. It’s my mojo, I never take it off.
90210 star Gillian Zinser has crossed over to the dark side.
The naturally blonde actress, 26, showed off her new brunette hair color at An Evening for Cambodian Children’s Fund in Beverly Hills on April 17. Zinser — who’s sported pink hair streaks in the past — recently spoke to Us Weekly about what’s coming up next on The CW’s 90210 (airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST).
“There are some huge changes towards the end of the season. Someone gets married, somebody passes away, there’s a ton of breakups and reconciliations and triangles,” Zinser teased. “My character in particular goes way off the deep end, which has been really interesting to play around with.”
Off camera, things are much less dramatic.
“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes,” Zinser told Us. “In fact, we always joke that it would make a really great reality show to show the behind the scenes on 90210. What goes on in hair and makeup is far more entertaining that a lot of what’s out there!”
Institute: Do you remember the first time you realised you wanted to become an actress? Gillian: My mum took me to see ‘The Fantastiks’ off broadway when I was a kid and the opening scene was a girl my age praying at the foot of her bed pleading “Please God, PLEASE! Please don’t let me be normal!” I was an awkward kid trying to figure out where I fit in, and watching that character in that moment was so comforting and inspiring at that age where I felt so much pressure to conform to the ‘norm’ but didn’t really want to or know how to. The relief and inspiration that that one simple scene gave me was probably the first time I realized how powerful, effective, and inspirational performance could be.
Institute: Could you single out an actor or performance that has had a profound impact on you in the last five years? Gillian: I dont know about five years, but some of the most influential performances in my lifetime have been…Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of a spotless mind Audrey Tattou in Amèlie Diane Keaton in Annie Hall Annette Bennington in Running with Scissors Juliette Binoche in Lovers on a Bridge Ryan Gosling in Lars and The Real Girl
Institute: What can you reveal about Liars All? Gillian: Obsession. Ego. Lust. Revenge. Murder.
Institute: You play Missy, can you tell us about the character? Gillian: Missy was a hard character to understand let alone empathize with in order to play her. She’s a dark creature, a wilted flower suffering from manic depression.
Institute: Do you like to do a lot of research into your roles? Gillian: Yes. Although I’ve yet to work a role that requires the depth of research I’m eager to challenge myself with.
Institute: Do you ever become emotionally involved with your characters? Gillian: Inevitably.
Institute: What was the most valuable lesson you learnt from being on set? Gillian: Technicality, professionalism, and the importance of being a team player. I find there’s just absolutely no room for ego in this business.
Institute: What do you look for in a character or film? Gillian: Meat. Dimension. A la ck of comfort. Something I’ve yet to fully explore within myself.
Institute: What are your thoughts on fashion today? Gillian: I wouldn’t say I take fashion very seriously. I just look at it as another daily form of self expression to have fun with. I find inspiration in my moods and throw on what makes me feel good.
Institute: As an actress do you feel more aware of the way you dress? Gillian: Perhaps less so. I get so used to people dressing me for the characters i play that when its time to take the costumes off and slip back into my own skin, i’m only left with the energy to be as comfortably myself as possible.
Institute: Where do you think trends are created? Gillian: Through the infectious confidence of those unafraid to beat to their own drum.
Institute: Do you have a favourite fashion designer? Gillian: Balmain. Zac Posen. Chloe. Kimberly Ovitz. Rick Owens.
Institute: Top five fashion essentials? Gillian: Chuck Taylors. Leather biker jacket. Red lipstick. Old Levis . White Hanes t-shirts from Target.
The leading ladies of 90210 are known for their tiny frames, and Gillian Zinser is no exception.
“I guess I’m just built this way,” the svelte 26-year-old told Us Weekly at 2nd Annual Hollywood Rush Benefiting the Baby Dragon Fund in L.A. Sunday. “I’d love to put on a few pounds, so I hang out by the doughnuts [at craft service], but it hasn’t hit yet.”
Zinser joined The CW hit in 2009 as surfer chick Ivy Sullivan; she was promoted to series regular in February 2010.
“It’s a fun set and we’re all close in age and spirit,” Zinser said of costars AnnaLynne McCord, 24, Shenae Grimes, 22, Jessica Stroup, 25, Jessica Lowndes, 23, Matt Lanter, 28, Tristan Wilds, 22, and Michael Steger, 31.
“There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. In fact, we always joke that it would make a really great reality show to show the behind the scenes on 90210,” Zinser told Us. “What goes on in hair and makeup is far more entertaining that a lot of what’s out there!”
“The whole cast is a bunch of pranksters,” Zinser added. “We’re always laughing.”
We managed to snag a quick interview with 90210 star Gillian Zinser at the opening of the new Converse store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. The shop has an eclectic vibe, evoked by street-style designs and graffiti art.
We asked Zinser what her favorite part of the store was? GZ: The collaborative effort between the brand and customers through the customization station.
What are your favorite Converse? GZ:The Chuck Taylor All Star hi tops, are the only sneakers I wear.
The store offers roughly 200 different styles of footwear and the customization station gives shoppers the unique opportunity to screen-print their Converse in less than twenty minutes. You can choose from 150 pre-loaded images or you can bring in your own images to be screen-printed onto your kicks.
Gillian Zinser featured in Genlux magazine winter 2011 issue. I have added in the gallery magazine scan and high quality picture of photoshoot. Huge thanks to Melanie Doutey Web for heads up!
GENLUXSHOP STYLE I.D.
THAT’s GILLIAN WITH A ‘G’
Some girls have all the luck. Take Gillian Zinser: equal parts talent, charm, quirkiness and smarts. The beautiful, young, and successful actor, who recently graduated from NYU, has places in both New York and Los Angeles. Gillian plays Ivy, a carefree, Bohemian-spirited California girl on television’s 90210. Here, she gives us a few morsels that define her personal fashion style.
How would you describe your personal style?
Cowgirl meets Pirate. What’s your favorite item in your closet?
My grandfather’s vintage bowler hat. What’s always in your purse?
A plethora of Chapsticks, a good book, Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses, and my Polaroid camera. What’s your weekend look?
Jeans, an old t-shirt, and red lipstick. If you could wear only one designer from head to toe, who would it be?
I don’t know if I could choose just one – I’m too addicted to clash! I’d say Chloe, Acne, The Row, Kimberly Ovitz or Alexand Wang. What’s your favorite low-price secret weapon store?
Topshop. What are your earliest fashion memories?
My addiction to overalls, Doc Martens, and the “Jem and the Lolograms” cartoon in the early 90s. What do you sleep in?
An ex-boyfriend’s old, ratty band shirt What kind of watch do you wear?
I don’t own a watch. Time scares me. Who are your favorite fashion photographers?
Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. What’s your favorite scent?
My boyfriend’s Old Spice deodorant… but I wear Chloe. What’s your dream vacation destination?
I think I just got back from it! I spent the last week in Hanalei Bay up on the north shore of Kauai, and I’m just mad for it. It’s the most simple, rejuvenating, beautiful lifestyle I’ve experienced thus far. I’d like to build a tree house there someday. What are your go-to boutiques?
I love The Reformation and Opening Ceremony when I’m feeling fancy, but usually I just live at flea markets.
GILLIAN ZINSER, actress/artist/philanthropist and 90210 cast member tells i-D about the hills.
Chatting with Gillian Zinser, actress/artist/philanthropist and 90210 cast member, we were pleased to discover the exhaustingly talented 26- year-old is every bit as awesome as we had imagined.
Articulate, warm, switched on and straight-forward, the precocious performer is graduating from West Beverly Hills High to the big screen this year with high-profile parts in upcoming features Manson Girls and Oliver Stone’s Savages. A former student of NYU, Gillian continues to explore her studies off campus, which include the inter-disciplines of art, film and philanthropy. Creating self-reflexive portraits and volunteering with projects such as ‘Artists For Peace and Justice’ in Haiti, Gillian has built up a well-balanced CV and loyal following. Returning to UK screens this week as surfing tomboy Ivy Sullivan in Season 4 of 90210, Gillian Zinser speaks to i-D online about the revamped TV teen classic and her own adolescence, talks performance art and shares her top 10 artistic influences.
What was the all-American high school experience like for you? I had an odd experience in high school – remember that movie Mean Girls? Tina Fey adapted that from a book about my school written by someone that went to it… I wasn’t exactly the most popular and I didn’t have the best experience. I was itching to get out.
Did you watch 90210 back in the day? Yeah, of course. I wasn’t allowed to though – I used to sneak off to watch it.
Are you a Kelly or a Brenda? I can’t really tap into my bad girl very easily, I’m going to leave the Brendas to the AnnaLynne McCords of this world. Ivy’s not like Kelly either, she’s more of an Emily Valentine, that’s the direction I would have liked to take her in but they took me on a really different path.
What attracted you to the part of Ivy? She’s not your typical teen drama character. I think just that. I’m not one to watch soaps and, as I explained, my high school experience was very trying and tumultuous and often not a fun one. I guess, in short, I was attracted to Ivy as a character because she was more of a black sheep than anything else and even though she’s your average teenage girl who is riddled with insecurities, she’s found a way to be comfortable enough in her own skin not to conform. That’s a really fun and important thing to bring to television and our audiences in particular because we’re speaking to a large group of teenagers who for the most part are going through such a formative period of development.
What’s working with Tristan Wilds like? Had you seen The Wire before joining the cast? Tristan is the classiest cat around. He’s an extraordinary artist whose talents are far underutilised on the show.
Can you tell me more about your childhood growing up? I grew up in Washington, which I shy away from talking about because I feel so detached from the city because it was so devoid of artistic culture and I grew up in a family of artists. My father’s an architect and my mother’s a painter – we didn’t come from a family of politicians, and I often found that I couldn’t really relate to or associate with the city I grew up in. My Dad’s from New York and my Mom’s from Berlin so I spent a lot of time in between the city (NY) and DC, taking the $10 Chinese Fung Wah bus up every weekend just to hang out with people and seek out forms of inspiration that I could actually understand. The minute I could leave DC I did – I moved to New York for college and never looked back.
Did you study art or acting at New York? My parents didn’t allow me to go to Tisch so I went to Gallatin, which is a tiny school within NYU. They let you choose your own major so I decided to study the relationship between fine art, the entertainment industry and philanthropy and see where we can build bridges between them.
How did that lead into acting? All my life I’ve just wanted to be a storyteller, to share my take on the human experience and explore the consequences of what we do and why. I’ve been infatuated with the potency of film as a platform to tell stories and I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking through a script or the camera, I feel like I’m just here to share my perspective on things.
Are you still making art? Yeah, I’m always itching to make and create something. We have a million moments in between takes and scenes at work so I always have a pencil, a notebook or a camera on me – I’m addicted to the process of creation.
Have you ever done any performance art? I thought that might be a good medium for you… combining the two. A lot of people ask me that but no, I haven’t really had the desire to do that. For the moment I’m sticking to portraiture. I’m inspired by artists like Cindy Sherman… I’m on a show that takes up most of my year and I don’t get to play a lot of characters that I’d love to. Using my downtime to dress up for two seconds of a snap shot to play a character lets me sneak into the skin of someone I would one day like to be able to play but don’t have a chance to. So I guess that is a form of performance art.
What was the last exhibition you went to? I just got back from New York where I saw the Tim Burton exhibit. And did you go to the Tracey Emin show in London? At the White Cube Gallery? She’s so dirty, I love her!
Gillian’s Top 10 Artistic Influences
1. I’m currently obsessed with Marcel Dzama – he’s a Canadian contemporary artist.
2. Kati Heck is an artist I found in Berlin while I was travelling over there and I’ve been infatuated with her work ever since.
3. Goran Djurović – he’s a Serbian artist who I just discovered out at this gallery Obsolete, here in Los Angeles.
4. Mark Whelan is a good buddy of mine I met in Australia and he does something that looks like dipping dots mixed with S&M!
5. There’s a filmmaker, a guy named Cam Archer who just blows my mind… he made a film over here called Shit Year with Ellen Barkin and Luke Grimes and that’s definitely my favourite film of the year.
6. Also have you heard of a guy called Robbie Basho? He’s like one of THE uncelebrated 60s acoustic guitarists.
7. Also, a guy named Moondog – you have to look him up, he’s phenomenal. He dresses up like a Viking!
8. Then a band called Wiseblood who just put out their first EP this year.
9. My friend Malcolm Ford, he’ll be releasing a record later this year produced by Queens of the Stone Age.
10. Lastly a writer, a Kenyan author whose first novel/memoir is called ‘One Day I Will Write About This Place’. His name is Binyavanga Wainaina – he writes about the kind of Africa that’s long been forgotten. It provides a better perspective than that of the Western world, looking in on what we imagine Africa to be.
The latest in a series of intimate moments with beautiful women — in their own homes, in their own clothes (most of them, anyway), and at their invitation. Come on in.
For someone who is on 90210 — there’s a new one, and that’s perfectly fine that you didn’t know that — 26-year-old Gillian Zinser is a lot more like the “normal” women you see regularly on MeInMyPlace.com. She has one of those Tumblrs and she looks like she came out of the DVD extras of Dazed and Confused and she travels a lot for no apparent reason and she talks about things like “the responsibility of artists.” And yet: “I’ve never considered myself hip or in the know or cool by any means.” Well you should know her soon, not as your teenage cousin’s favorite hip surfer girl so much as one of those hippies in the new Oliver Stone movie about pot and guns and NAVY Seals. And because she invited us over. —The Editors
I found myself running in a lot of circles. I was willing to pick up anything from pencils to cameras to scripts to paintbrushes and make anything with them. But as soon as I graduated, I went to Kenya to photograph these slums of Kibera. And I met someone who convinced me to move to L.A. the minute I got back. So I went from the slums of Kibera to 90210. That wasn’t exactly the path I imagined. I didn’t come out here to be a part of a soap opera. I’m very, very appreciative of this job, but I think it was more of a learning platform. And from here I’d like to get back to the reason I wanted to be a part of storytelling to begin with.
Oliver Stone asked me to do a role in his film, Savages, and I have a tiny debut, but it was fun to be a part of his world for it. And I look back on all these experiences that I’ve had that maybe didn’t make so much sense at the time, and now I understand them as everything that I needed to give me the tools and experience to be able to now tell the stories that I want to be a part of.
I spent the winter down in Costa Rica learning how to surf. I’m partial to warm water — to not having to wear a wet suit — and I ride a long board, so it’s a very different sport than what you see my character do on the show.
No, I’m a water temperature snob. And the water here is insanely cold. It’s far colder than you would imagine. It’s a succulent collection back there. I mostly just like cactus because I don’t know how to care for plants — or water them, really. I’m a bad gardener.
T-shirts. Old t-shirts. And my mom’s old sundresses from the 60s, definitely.
I think everyone’s home is a pretty good reflection of what goes on inside their heads.
Gallery Links: x10 | Photoshoots: 014 x144 | BTS: Me in My Place with Gillian Zinser
Season four of 90210 is all about “transitions,” Gillian Zinser says, as the characters we’ve followed for years are growing into themselves, taking on various adventures in the world, figuring out where their lives will take them next.
Except for Zinser’s Ivy, that is. She has already established her position in life, dedicating it to taking care of husband Raj.
“Ivy is in a completely different world from everyone else,” Zinser told me over the phone. “She’s struggling between finding a balance between her marriage and living for herself. What makes her happy? What does she truly want to do?”
Those questions do seem a bit more pressing than what kind of party Naomi will next throw.
When Ivy and Raj got married, they did so with an understanding that an “expiration date” was attached to the relationship, Zinser explains. He was sick. The concept of forever was actually not abstract. But now Raj’s cancer is in remission and Ivy is questioning whether she fell in love with who Ray brought out in her, as opposed to Raj himself.
“There’s a bit of romantic confusion,” Zinser says and 90210 viewers know why: Ivy seemed taken with photographer Nick last episode.
What can we expect to go down between these two? The actress teased:
“A triangle will form that will test Ivy’s devotion and dedication to Raj. They will re-examine their relationship.”
Starting tonight? Tune in and find out. The gang heads to Las Vegas this evening.
What’s next for “90210” star Gillian Zinser? The actress dishes to Ben Lyons about what to expect this year! Check it out.
Lyons Den Rising Star: Gillian Zinser
What started out as a guest spot on the CW’s 90210 has now turned into a steady gig for actress Gillian Zinser. She plays Ivy Sullivan on the popular show which is now embarking on the college years.
Gillian opened up about her character when she came by our newsroom the other day, as well as the charity work she does with Artists for Peace and Justice. You can be sure to expect big things in the near future from this stylish young talent.
Gallery Link:x482 | Screen Captures > Interviews and Shows > Star on the Rise: Gillian Zinser
I have added new-old scan from Star magazine. It was one issue from June and they chat with Gillian about her movie “The Truth Below”. Check out the scan and article below!
How well do you really know your friends? In the new made-for-MTV movie The Truth Below, college freshmen Jenna (Gillian Zinser), Ethan (Reid Ewing), Dante (Nick Thurston) and Liam (Ricky Mabe) set out for a spring break snowboarding trip but wind up in a fight for survival – from the elements and each other!
“Their car gets buried under an avalanche on the ride home,” Gillian, whom you might know as Ivy on 90210, tells Star. “As they wait to be rescued they begin to reveal secrets from their pasts – sex, violence, betrayal, lies. It gets ugly!”
Faced with the fear of not making it out alive, the crew begins unburdening themselves of the guilt they’ve held on to for years. But what start out as innocent confessions – Jenna was once expelled from school; Dante stole money from his little brother – soon turn into confessions of lurid affairs, secret crushes and murderous thoughts. Soon it’s obvious: Some of the people trapped here are pretty shady, and not everyone is getting out alive.
“This project reminded me of the importance of being honest in the moment and not looking back and regretting the things we never got to do,” says Gillian, 25. That may seem heavy for an MTV movie, but at least she walked away with some avalanche survival tips, right? ‘No!” says Gillian. “I can’t say we did anything right when it came to figuring out how to escape that vehicle!”
In MTV’s first psychological thriller, The Truth Below, four college pals get buried alive – and that’s when the fun really starts!
“She wears all sorts of masks,” says Gillian of her character, Jenna. “She’s toughened herself up to stand the pain from the past.”
On “90210,” Gillian Zinser plays whip-smart, whimsical Ivy. But what happens on TV doesn’t stay on TV for this actress, who’s just as quick and quirky as her onscreen counterpart. We chatted with Gillian about her fearless fashion sense, building schools in Haiti, the status of “Manson Girls” and more.
Wonderwall: What did you do on your summer vacation?
Gillian Zinser: We had a month off, and within that month, I worked on another project and spent the rest of my time down in Haiti working with Artists for Peace and Justice. Our mission at large is to build schools to serve the poorest areas in Haiti.
WW: How was that?
GZ: I loved spending time in Haiti. It is one of the most inspirational communities, and every time I get the chance to, I go down there. We just erected the only-ever public secondary school to exist in Haiti so that was incredibly exciting, so I went down to check that out and check on some kids that I have grown attached to down there.
WW: You’re always wearing something cool and unique on the red carpet. How do you prep? Do you work with a stylist?
GZ: No, I don’t really believe in working with a stylist. I give myself a rule of no getting ready for longer than 20 minutes. I think that that does not need to be over-thought. I put on what makes me happy, and I am inspired by my moods and what is going on in my head, and God knows there are some crazy stuff in there. I think people respond to the way I dress because it’s representative of my personality, which is eccentric and consistent to keeping myself comfortable within my own skin and not conforming to what others expect or want to see.
WW: Have you had any favorite outfits you’re worn?
GZ: My favorite item in my wardrobe might be my sequin muumuu. I bought that at a thrift store called One Revelation on First Avenue in the East Village in New York. That piece makes me happy.
WW: You and Manish Dayal, who plays your husband Raj on “90210,” work with an organization called Be the Match. Tell us about it.
GZ: BeTheMatch.org is the largest registry for bone marrow donations in the country. A huge issue right now is the fact that out of the 7 million people that are registered, 75 percent of them are Caucasian. That leaves way too many people unrepresented as minorities looking for matches. So Manish and I have done a PSA, and we are working to reach out to minority communities to get them educated and aware of the problem that people who are of minorities have 1 in a 20,000 chance of finding a bone marrow match, and try to get them registered, which costs nothing and is an important part of being a part of the community.
WW: How did you get involved with the organization?
GZ: Our storyline is directly related [to it]. Raj has leukemia on the show and is going through chemotherapy right now. If Raj’s [chemo] was not to work, his character would very possibly have to get a bone marrow transplant, which is why we researched and found BeTheMatch.org and became involved with them. He is Indian, so the Indian representation within the registry is so underrepresented, so if his character were to need a bone marrow transplant, the chance of him finding a match would be really unlikely, in which case he would have a hard chance of living.
WW: Have you yourself registered?
GZ: Yes, of course!
WW: This season, there were big cast shakeups with Trevor Donovan, Ryan Eggold and Lori Loughlin leaving “90210.” Has the dynamic on set changed?
GZ: It’s a shame to see friends go, to not have them with us on set as castmates, but we are also completely supportive of one another as artists, to be able to see them, their lives and careers open up to better opportunities. So I am really happy for all of them to get to move on and direct themselves in another direction.
WW: On the movie front, you’re tapped to play Summer Sunshine in “Manson Girls.” What’s the status of the flick?
GZ: It’s an interesting storyline and a fun piece. We haven’t started — that’s been pushed.
WW: But you do have some movies coming up, right?
GZ: I did an Oliver Stone flick, “Savages,” and I did do a movie with Matt Lanter called “Liars All.”
WW: Are you and Matt completely sick of each other now after doing last season of “90210,” then the movie and now coming back for another season?
GZ: He actually just sent me a text saying, “I miss working with you! I never get to see you anymore.” It didn’t cross my mind. I never see him on set because our storylines are so uninvolved at this point. I really do miss working with Matt. He is one of my favorites. He is a gem to be around, and probably the funniest cast member on set. I do miss Matt a lot and no longer get to see him anymore because Ivy is kind of off in her old world.
Catch Gillian on “90210,” Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW!
At Saturday’s CW Premiere Party, we briefly caught up with actress Gillian Zinser to get the 411 on Season 4 of 90210, which begins at 8PM tonight on The CW.
We also asked her about what’s coming up between her and Raj (Manish Dayal) in the coming season.
“In short, everyone’s transitioning from high school to college. This season is concentrated on that formative period of growth and development from the community that you come from into your own personal understanding of self. While everyone else is exploring themselves through the stereotypical partying that goes on at college, Ivy finds herself having to deal with Raj’s cancer, and then being married, and then finding the balance between being caretaker and also living her life for herself, enjoying herself and having fun,” she says.
But for the scoop we really want to know the answer to – will Ivy actually smile this year?
The CW’s 90210 kicks off its fourth season this Tuesday at 8/7c, and while a lot has changed (showrunners, cast members, college), new executive producer Patti Carr (Life Unexpected) tells TVLine that fans need not fret — it’s still the same emotionally-heightened coming-of-age sudser you know and love.
TVLINE | Welcome to 90210! Is this season going to be an example of new showrunners, new show?
Not at all. It was an exciting challenge to come in and decide how we were going to take these kids from childhood to adulthood. The kids will start to define themselves and confront who they are.
TVLINE | Season 3 ended on an ambiguous note as to who was actually going to college. That said, how will everyone still interact if they are all in separate locations?
We’re using college the way that kids want college to be — it’s all about the parties and the social life, things that everyone can be involved in whether they’re at the college or not. Our approach was really to take all of the characters who had plans for their lives and screw it all up and make them go through a whole lot of stuff to realize that their friends are their new family. Everybody is back in the premiere episode and you’ll see where they’ve been over the summer, what they thought their lives were going to be, and then how everything changed for them. And we take it from there.
TVLINE | Where do things stand with newlyweds Ivy & Raj when the show picks up?
Ivy and Raj (Gillian Zinser and Manish Dayal) are back [in town] and we’re going to follow the progression of his cancer, as well as their marriage. It’s interesting because they took that step into marriage and really thrust themselves into their adult lives, more so than everyone else.
TVLINE | That was a beautiful little arc in Season 3. Do you plan to maintain his “three years to live” cancer prognosis?
There are actually not only different obstacles for Raj and Ivy, but a really interesting twist on their story regarding what happens with Raj’s cancer. We fell in love with it and when we pitched it to the studio, there were audible gasps.
TVLINE | A remission story, perhaps?
There may be some elements of that. [Laughs]
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?
The californian blond girl still can catch. The 25 years old girl, born in Washington, hit with grace in the serie 90210, the new version of Beverly Hills. She just had to guest for few episodes, but her character of the blond surfist did incredibly become all of a sudden necessary. She’s going to be on cinemas with Manson Girls, the story of young girls following the madness of Charles Manson, like the MTV productions.
How did it start for you?
I gave some theater class to some disadvantage children in Washington, where I grew up. Many came from difficult quarters, it was difficult for them to express their emotions. Thanks to imagination, they opened, they fought their fears and learnt to communicate. It’s then I realized I wanted to do this for my life: give people the will to feel the things. And I fell in love with this art that can share the experiences and tell a story.
Who did discover you?
I was on a trip in Africa, an island on the coasts of Kenya, and I met a director of casting who convinced me to move to Los Angeles. And it’s there I live and work since then.
It was a lot of pressuring to become glamour?
Of course it was. But the glamour, depends on each one to define it. For me, my ideal of sensuality, is jogging trousers and high heels.
How do you define your style?
Voluntary, impulsive and conflicting. With a touch of magic…
You were quoted by many fashion blogs…
I guess this mean mostly that people react in a good way to my expression of fashion.
What would it be your dream?
Make a french movie
Scans from Be magazine April issue also available in the gallery.
Gallery Link:x4 | Magazine Scans : BE #56 – 15 – 21 April 2011
What happens when four college kids are stuck in their car after an avalanche hits?
“The Truth Below is about the emotional unraveling of these four kids who become vulnerable and have no choice but to shed a bunch of layers,” star Gillian Zinser tells TVGuide.com.
The MTV film follows Jenna (Zinser), Ethan (Reid Ewing), Dante (Nick Thurston) and Liam (Ricky Mabe), who go on a snowboarding trip during spring break. After an avalanche hits, leaving them trapped, the movie takes a psychological turn that Zinser says “examines the themes of truth, the relationship between truth and fear, and all the consequences of living dishonestly.”
Although the thriller seems a far cry from the actress’ role on 90210, she was drawn to this character for some similarities Jenna has to Ivy.
“They’re both layered individuals who present themselves in a singular tough façade and with moxie, but the pleasure in playing this role is watching those tougher exterior layers unravel.”
Jenna breaks down throughout the movie when she learns one friend is in love with her and another is a complete jerk. As the hours go by, the group fights to survive the deteriorating temperatures as well as each other.
While The Truth Below isn’t typical MTV fare, Zinser believes it will appeal to the network’s audience.
“It’s a really interesting developmental period of the characters’ lives, freshman year, something that we can all relate to,” she says. “You’re meeting so many new people and forming new friendships and relationships and really getting to know other people, but digging deep into who you are as a person.”
90210 star Gillian Zinser spills all the details on her new MTV movie, The Truth Below. Here’s what she had to say about everything from being a tomboy to making real friends.
You might know Gillian Zinser as 90210 surfer-chick-turned-teen-bride Ivy, but this month, she’s starring in a new movie called The Truth Below, on MTV (June 16, at 10 PM). In the movie, Gillian and three guy friends (including her crush) get trapped in a car in an avalanche, on a snowboarding trip. Things spiral out of control as they start freaking out and sharing their deepest, darkest secrets. The whole things seems pretty intense (and scary in a very real way), so we sat down with Gillian to get the scoop on her character Jenna, what it’s like to have mostly guy friends, and how well she thinks her friends actually know her.
17: What’s your favorite thing about your character Jenna?
GZ: Jenna is a guy’s girl. She’s a tomboy, but what I found interesting was how protective she is of herself. Underneath all these tough layers, she’s still your average, vulnerable girl with a crush on a boy.
17: In your own life are you more of a guy’s girl or a girl’s girl.
GZ: I grew up not having very many girl friends. Girls tend to be competitive. I actually went to the school Mean Girls was written about, so you can only imagine what my high school experience was like! I was more comfortable with guys growing up, but now I find myself more comfortable in my own skin and open to people, regardless of their gender or popularity or any other label, as a result.
17: This movie is all about letting down your defenses, and figuring out how well you really know your friends. How many of your friends do you think really know you?
GZ: That’s been a pretty relevant theme in my life lately! I moved from DC to NY and then from NY to LA. The most interesting part of my move was the social part. It was kind of a social detox. In NY you’re always around people, but in LA you can go days without seeing anyone. The people in my life are friends I have by choice. I’ve made a conscious effort to have them in life. I only have the time and energy for so many people, which has cut down my friend group to a handful, but I’m so much happier with fewer good people, who really do know me.
You might know actress Gillian Zinser as 90210’s surf goddess Ivy, who—ever the SoCal poster child—is perpetually shown in cutoffs with her board in tow. So what does this Venice Beach transplant do when she isn’t playing a surfer girl on TV? She surfs. And that’s not the only similarity between the actress and her alter ego.
“I share a lot of Ivy’s free-spirited attitude, her joie de vivre,” says Zinser—and we saw plenty of evidence of that when we sat the actress down to talk about healthy living, perfect days on the water, and her trip to Haiti working with Artists for Peace and Justice.
Foam: We hear you’re really into surfing. What do you love most about being out on the water?
Gillian Zinser: The humbling effect of being alone in the ocean. I love the peaceful feeling of being away from everything and everyone.
F: What motivated you to learn how to surf, having grown up on the East Coast? GZ: I was in search of adventure. I learned in Costa Rica when I was 17. Warm waters, empty beaches, balmy rains and Caribbean sunsets—it was pretty magical.
F: You’re obviously really thoughtful about the way you live and treat your body. Do you have any rules, when it comes to food? GZ: I eat mostly raw, whole foods. I won’t touch anything with ingredients I can’t pronounce.
F: And apart from the physical stuff, what else do you do to stay healthy?
GZ: I laugh, appreciate everything I have, keep my priorities straight, and remember to slow down and enjoy the hell outta this life.
F: Why is relief in Haiti so important to you? GZ: I believe it’s part of my responsibility to do what I can to better the lives of others—so whether that’s through inspiring someone to feel something by sharing the human experience through a story, or through building a school in a refugee camp in Haiti, that’s always my goal. And as an artist, I feel it’s part of my job to actively seek out and understand the human condition, so instead of just donating money to support Haiti’s relief efforts, I wanted to go down there to understand it myself. Haiti’s disaster is ongoing, and we have to help keep their story alive until real change has been made.