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
Jessica is featured in the new issue of ContentMode Magazine.
This new photoshoot is absolutely stunning!
You can find the pictures in the gallery and the interview below:
Studio Photoshoots > Photoshoots from 2013 > ContentMode Magazine
You grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. Could you tell our readers a bit about your childhood and family? What kind of little girl and teenager were you?
I grew up all over South and North Carolina. I come from a huge farm family, so I was constantly surrounded by love and southern hospitality. As a little girl, I loved to dance and put on magic shows. My older brother, David, and I would make leaf forts in our backyard or hang sheets from one chair to another by clothespins, creating little rooms within rooms. We spent our childhood exploring the woods or fishing on my grandpa’s pond or searching for little kittens hiding in his barn. By my teen years, I was fully invested in sports. My goal was to be a professional volleyball player. After my high school team (Providence High in Charlotte, NC) won the state championships, I realized I was one of the smallest players and in no universe would I be able to play on a professional level. It was time to reconsider my options.
At only 17, an age when most teenagers are still pretty much undecided about their future, you moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career in spite of the University of Georgia scholarship you had received. What sparked this precocious passion for acting?
I moved around the Carolinas throughout my childhood and knew that I loved recreating myself and meeting new people. During my senior year of high school, I was asked to spend two months modeling in Japan, but turned it down to finish school (and attend my last prom/graduation). Even though I skipped the chance to work in Japan, it opened up a world of possibilities which eventually lead me to move to L.A. a week after I graduated. There was an entire world out there waiting to be discovered, and I was not going to let it pass me by.
I’ve added 12 amazing pictures from a new photoshoot of Jessica for So’ Chic Magazine in the gallery. Check them out!
Photoshoots from 2013 > So’Chic Magazine
Jessica, AnnaLynne McCord and Shenae Grimes were spotted on the set of 90210 yesterday, on October 3. I’ve added to the gallery 79 medium quality pictures!
Candids from 2012 > October 3 – On the set of 90210
I’ve added to the gallery first stills from season 5 of 90210. Check it out!
Episode Stills > 5.1 – Til Death Do Us Part
Yesterday The CW celebrated 90210′s 100th episode. I’ve added to the gallery first photos from the party.
Events from 2012 > September 27 – The CW Celebrates “90210″ 100th Episode