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?

“I —-in’ hope so!” she says enthusiastically.

Season 4 of 90210 premieres tonight, September 13, at 8PM on The CW. Take a look at some images from the episode!

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?
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?
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?
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?
: 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?
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?
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…
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?
I’d go with Reid!

Teen: Who would you say pulled the best pranks on set?
I’m gonna go with Ricky.

Teen: Who has the best abs?
Best abs? Definitely Nick!

Teen: The best smile?
Uh, Ricky.

Teen: Who would you say was the most serious?
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?
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!
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?
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?
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.
I’m excited, too! Hopefully it will be a lot more sunshine and less drama!

Teen: Yeah, definitely, but probably not, right?
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.

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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

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.”

Can’t wait for premiere? give you a sneek peek for 3 scenes from a movie.

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.

Scan from Foam magazine also available here.

I recently had the opportunity to meet and work with the incredible Gillian Zinser from 90210. I had such a blast collaborating with her, she is so smart, funny, clever and stunningly beautiful. She came to the photo shoot with so many great ideas and brought her spirit to these images and gave them a modern, whimsical feel. I think Gillian is amazingly talented, I cannot wait to see where her career is headed!

Rachel Goodwin: Gillian is a free spirit with a real penchant for the avant garde. I loved that she wanted to experiment with neon colors and abstract shapes for our shoot. Gillian see’s make up as an opportunity to experiment with ideas versus just beautification and that’s always really challenging and fun for me as an artist. I played with geometric shapes and vivid shades on her, taking a more bare bones approach to the rest of the make up, focusing mostly on the bold shapes and color. I used professional make up palette by Kryolan to create the look which are essentially face-paints. They can be found online or at places like Namie’s or Nigel’s Beauty here in Los Angeles or Alcone in NY.

Gillian’s hair is AMAZING! I am sure her hair will do anything you want it to, but I loved the texture in her hair when she arrived in the studio so I just took a 1 1/2 inch curling iron and wrapped random sections of hair around it and then I used a small amount of Dove Frizz Control Taming Cream on her hair to give it some extra shine.

GZ: Don’t over pluck your eyebrows. You’ll miss them one day.

GZ: Grace. Confidence. Ryan Gosling. 

GZ: Chapstick. Horribly addicted. Currently on a 12-step program I found on the internet to ween myself off. Other than that, I’m pretty laissez-faire. Dermalogica and YON-KA on my skin, and Kerastase when I need to tame my wild mane.

10 Questions with Gillian Zinser

What beauty trick did you learn from your mom?
Less is more.

What drugstore product do you swear by?
Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick.

What products would we find in your teensiest red carpet clutch?
NARS The Mutliple Stick in Cadaques (this color is no longer available, but check out the other colors) and Tom Ford Black Orchid Perfume Pen.

What products do you never travel without?
Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30, Jane Iredale Magic Mitt, La Mer The Eye Concentrate, Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer and Bulgari Pour Homme Parum.

What’s your biggest beauty splurge?
My Breville Fountain Juicer.

Who is your beauty icon from the past?

Who is your current beauty icon?
Patti Smith.

Which of your red carpet beauty looks was your favorite?
This year’s Teen Vogue Young Hollywood soiree. Fewer things make me happier than a sequined muumuu.

If you could trade hair with anyone, who would it be?
Jem from the ’90s cartoon Jem and the Holograms.

The one beauty trend you’ll never embrace?
Hair extensions.

…and the one beauty trend you’d like to bring back?
The hair scarf.

Article by Mark Townsend

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