Off-camera, Jessica Stroup lives in jeans, graphic tees, and leather—but you wouldn’t know it from her conservative onscreen wardrobe on Fox’s hit show The Following, now in its second season. “They are full-on Working Girl pantsuits,” Stroup jokes of the professional looks she wears as Max Hardy, Kevin Bacon’s kick-ass FBI agent niece. It’s a far cry from the barely-there SoCal threads the 27-year-old sported for six seasons in her breakout role as Erin Silver on The CW’s remake of 90210.
Stroup admits that fashion wasn’t an important part of life growing up in South Carolina, but at 17, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and settled into her own unique look. After Stroup’s Aritzia shoot in Brooklyn, we sat down to talk clothes, personal style, and her favourite item of clothing—jackets. “I need to have a cool jacket,” she explains. “I wear that and a beanie all the time, so the top layer is what’s most important. I might only show you what’s underneath for a minute!”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Athletic, boyish, and at times quirky. I went through a phase where I wanted to be Annie Hall. I wanted to look like a boy but be a girl.
WILL YOUR CHARACTER BE WEARING ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE NEUTRAL PANTSUITS ON THIS NEW SEASON OF THE FOLLOWING?
They want me to look older, but I do get to wear some plaid soon! It’s funny, because they have to sew on belt buckle loops so I can hang my badge and gun from the pants. It’s not only a pantsuit, but it’s got heavy things hanging from it.
Stroup’s favourite jacket from the shoot was a fabric-blocked floral-and-black crepe look from Wilfred. “The black paneling was a great addition,” she says. “It has a little edge to it. You can dress it up or down.”
THAT’S QUITE A CHANGE FROM YOUR WARDROBE ON 90210.
Yes, for sure. The difference between working on 90210 and The Following is the fittings. On 90210 I had a fitting almost every day, and for The Following it’s maybe once a month. I had the best wardrobe on 90210, though, because it was fitted to my body and I was always like, I’m buying this!
DID YOU GET TO KEEP ANY OF YOUR CHARACTER’S CLOTHES WHEN THE SERIES ENDED?
We did have a big sale. I got a lot of Tristan Wilds’s [who played Dixon Wilson, Stroup’s on-again-off-again boyfriend] clothes. I’m obsessed with all of the Bill Cosby-type sweatshirts he probably wore once.
THE FOLLOWING FILMS IN NEW YORK CITY, AND IT’S BEEN A ROUGH WINTER. HOW DO YOU KEEP WARM WHEN YOU’RE SHOOTING OUTSIDE?
It’s hard to get the right warm-enough jacket. I shot my first-ever scene when it was actually snowing! I need to hear “cameras rolling” before I hand my coat over. I have to wear three or four layers underneath my clothes, and I recently got a new jacket, but it’s short and my butt and legs are freezing. They need to see my legs when I’m running.
IT MUST BE FUN TO PLAY SUCH A PHYSICAL ROLE.
I jumped out of a helicopter the other day! We pop out as we land and it’s really cool and something I have never done. A huge part of this job, this craft, is being able to try everything. Since Max is a cop, we do a lot of training and choreography. I have family in South Carolina and an older brother who is real proud I can throw a punch now.
“I’m really into cuffing up pants and wearing a mid-sized boot with a leather motorcycle jacket. I have one that has a nice lapel that looks like it has shoulder pads. I like looking a bit more tailored when I’m going out, a little boyish preppy but with my own spin to it.”
Studio Photoshoots > Photoshoots from 2014 > Aritzia Magazine
FOX has picked up Golden Globe Award winner BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, along with critically acclaimed comedies THE MINDY PROJECT and NEW GIRL, for the 2014-15 season. Psychological thriller THE FOLLOWING also was renewed, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, and Joe Earley, Chief Operating Officer, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“These shows are some of the best and acclaimed series on television, with influential, culture-driving stars, and some of the best, most creative talent behind the camera,” said Reilly and Earley. “All four are core assets within our 2014-15 portfolio of content, and we’re really happy to bring them back to our FOX fans for another season.”
Edge-of-your-seat thriller THE FOLLOWING, from Kevin Williamson (“Vampire Diaries,” “Scream” franchise) and starring Golden Globe Award winner Kevin Bacon (“X-Men: First Class,” “Frost/Nixon”) and James Purefoy (“Rome”), follows a deadly cat-and-mouse chase between a former FBI agent (Bacon) and a devious and diabolical serial killer (Purefoy). THE FOLLOWING airs Mondays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The series is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The series is created, written and executive-produced by Kevin Williamson. Marcos Siega (“Dexter,” “The Vampire Diaries”) serves as an executive producer and director on the series. “Like” THE FOLLOWING on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheFollowing. Follow the series on Twitter @TheFollowingFOX and join the discussion at #thefollowing.
Don’t miss an all-new episode of The Following TONIGHT at 9/8c on FOX.
Looking for back-up and hoping to execute their plan, Ryan and Max contact the FBI. But Weston has other ideas, leading to a standoff between good and evil. Meanwhile, Joe’s new relationship escalates into uncharted territory, and Luke finds himself in a troubling situation.
Here are some HQ episode stills:
The Following > Episode Stills > 2.06 – Fly Away
The Following tied last week’s series low 1.7 adults 18-49 rating with 5.14 million viewers.
High-definition screencaps can be found in the gallery:
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.05 – Reflection (HD)
Jessica attended at the MIU MIU Tales “Sparkle and Light” held at the Paramount Hotel in NYC on February 11.
Jess was wearing MIU MIU and looked absolutely gorgeous.
Thanks to the wonderful Claire for providing the pictures!
Events 2014 > February 11 – MIU MIU Tales “Sparkle and Light”
Up until now, “The Following‘s” Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup) has been been her uncle Ryan’s (Kevin Bacon) go-to girl for info surrounding Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) followers, but strictly on an information-only basis. Ryan’s been careful to keep one of his only remaining loved ones safe from the action … until he lost Giselle (Camille De Pazzis) on a train, and Max followed her on it.
With a cliffhanger that intense, Zap2it went straight to Stroup for all the scoop she could reveal on what’s coming next for Max now that she’s smack dab in the middle of the action.
Zap2it: That was an insane cliffhanger last week, finding out that Max followed Giselle onto the train after their knock-down, drag-out fight. What’s coming next for her?
Jessica Stroup: I can definitely say that Ryan and Max are going to keep tailing Giselle. It’s been really fun for me to play as far as the physical side of this character and what she’s capable of and that continues not even just in the next episode but also the ones following. There are some pretty big moments coming up for my character. At the end of this week’s episode you can see that there’s a buildup between Max and Ryan. It’s a big episode. There are a lot of sequences and action scenes coming.
What was it like filming that big fight scene? It was pretty brutal, but Max got in a few licks of her own.
[Laughs] It was one of the most fun things I’ve done in years. I love it. I love getting to work with the stunt coordinator. It’s like choreography, like a dance. We learn how to make it look as real as possible. For me, it’s something that I’m really proud of. I have an older brother who really taught me to stand up for myself so being able to play the good guy and fight the bad guy, with that one kick move, that was really fun. It was such a huge production and I never thought I’d get to do something like it.
So Max is following Giselle straight into the lion’s den, right? Should we be worried for Max?
Giselle is going back to Lily’s, and we are trying to figure out how to find these people. We don’t even know who’s out there or who’s doing all this. But yeah, definitely, watch out Max! [Laughs] She likes a good adventure. She likes to see how far she can take it and she’s not going to let Giselle get away. She’s ready to step up and be there for Ryan, but it’s not always going to be so safe for her. It keeps building and doesn’t stop.