When 90210, the beloved ’90s teen soap, relaunched last fall, it was treated like chum by critics and media sharks. Only now, in its second season, is the show living up to its hype, stepping out from the shadow of Shannen and Tori, and embracing a lighter, frothier high school experience. Leading the charge is Jessica Stroup, the 23-year-old actress who plays the bipolar Erin Silver, Kelly Taylor’s half-sister.
Stroup, who skipped out on her own high school graduation to film a Target commercial (“In my mind, I was so cool,” she says), moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Los Angeles when she was 17 years old. “When I came out here,” she says, “I was a baby. I was kind of naïve and just going with it.”
Luckily, innocence is a trait directors admire, especially when it comes to horror flicks. In the last few years, Stroup has stretched her vocal cords, filling cinemas with her high-pitched screams in Prom Night, The Hills Have Eyes 2 and Homecoming (not to mention Bret Easton Ellis’ unintentionally horrifying The Informers). Although she has enjoyed the scary movie experience, she perks up as soon as the conversation turns to future roles. “A dark comedy,” she says, when asked what she’d like to do next. “Being funny. That’s the most terrifying thing for me.”
Stroup wears bra by Calvin Klein. Photo by Hellin Kay. Styling by Lia Davis. Hair Jenny Cho @ The Wall Group. Makeup Mai Quynh @ The Wall Group.