Photo from The CWIf you've been watching 90210, you know that Jessica Lowndes' former-drug-addict-turned-teen-mom character Adrianna Tate-Duncan is attempting to turn herself "No Drama Adrianna." But with a controversial new storyline that involves making out with Rumer Willis -- yes, Bruce and Demi's daughter -- that plan went right out the window.
We chatted with Lowndes' about life in Beverly Hills, her budding music career and stealing kisses with Willis.
Your character has dealt with drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and is now exploring a lesbian relationship. What do you draw on to play Adrianna?
Well, everything that Adrianna deals with are real, pressing issues in society -- stuff real teens are dealing with. Maybe just not all at once. But I feel so blessed and honored to have the responsibility to tell these stories to the best of my ability. I really want to do them justice, so I do a lot of research and try to make my portrayal as truthful and honest as possible. Like, with the drug addiction storyline, I talked with real addicts that battled certain addictions and watched a lot of drug movies and shows like Intervention or Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.
Do you know what to expect next with your character or is it a surprise to you?
I never know what's coming next! I learn what's going to happen to Adrianna when I open up the script and there's a new drama developing. It's so funny. Last season, I opened the script and on the last page, I was dead of a drug overdose. So I thought I was a goner. But then Adrianna managed to survive that and get pregnant and give up the baby and now she's exploring her sexuality. So I never know what's next. But that's the fun of it.
How do the fans react to your character's trials and tribulations?
The response from the fans has been incredible. I do get stopped randomly on the street, but I also get emails and letters. My character deals with a lot of real issues, and people appreciate seeing problems they're dealing with portrayed in a thoughtful manner. Just the other day, I met a guy, he was 13 and struggling with coming out. He was so appreciative that the show was exploring sexuality. It isn't something we've touched on in the past, but I'm glad I get to be involved in such responsible storytelling. There are people that watch every week to see my character get through it and then they feel like they can get through it themselves. They're not feeling so alone in their situation. It so amazing to be helping people that way. It's a dream come true.
But so much for "No Drama Adrianna," huh?
Oh, there's always drama with Adrianna. Drama follows her everywhere. But she craves it. She welcomes it. When things are in a state of panic, all she wants is peace, but when things are going fine, she gets bored. I mean, look at her life. She was a washed-up child star, with an extremely controlling stage mom who wants her to get back on top. She's faced drug addiction, she's dealt with a teen pregnancy -- by announcing it to the world no less -- and is now questioning her sexuality. In the next few episodes, you're going to see Ade and Gia's relationship really start to develop into something real. But Ade also still has feelings for Navid -- when you have that kind of history, that doesn't ever completely go away. Not to mention, she's in a band with Navid's new girlfriend, so there's that tension there. But before the end of the season, something really big happens and it's very much a life changing thing that happens to Adrianna. It's really exciting -- but I can't reveal any more!
Photo from The CWOf course not! We wouldn't want to get you in trouble. Do you think Ade's relationship with Gia (Rumer Willis) is real? Or a rebound exploration?
I think they have a very special bond. It started out as friendship, but my character is very passionate, and you see that passion developing. But there's an innocence to it. The storyline is very cute. Ade has never really gone down this path before. I feel very fortunate to be telling this story line, because I think it really is an important issue for kids today. I don't have personal experience with it, but I've tried to stay as true to the issue as I can.
What was it like working with Rumer? Were all the kissing scenes awkward?
She's amazing. She's a really good friend of mine, so we have a lot of fun. But Rumer is super-sweet and down-to-Earth. We just laughed a lot about it, so it wasn't uncomfortable. She's one of the most grounded people I've met in the industry. You would never know that she's got these celebrity parents because she's such a real person, so down-to-Earth and very professional. I had a blast working with her.
On the show, you get to explore music. And in real life, you're a singer, right?
Yeah! Adrianna just joined a girl band called the Glorious Steinems, so you'll see that throughout the next few episodes. For the character, the music is sort of a stabilizing force. It gives her a positive place to put all that angst and energy. In the next few episodes she really does find happiness and music becomes her outlet. It's cathartic, not just a distraction. It's really fun for me, because that's what I do in real life -- and that's why I was originally brought on to the show. My character was supposed to sing in just a few episodes, but the fans were really rooting for her, so I got to stay. The band is sort of jazzy, but I got to write some music that's going to be on the show, two songs that are sort of pop-rocky, which is more my style. And I'll be working on an album during our hiatus. But I don't want to rush things. I want to take my time with it and see where it goes.
You can catch Jessica in an all-new episode of 90210 tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.