“The Following” has been a much different experience than “90210” for Jessica Stroup, which is a big reason she wanted the job.
The actress had planned to take a break from TV work after her five-year run on The CW’s “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot, but the chance to play Kevin Bacon’s niece and sleuthing partner changed her mind. The dark FOX suspense drama ends its second season Monday (April 28), and while Stroup has enjoyed playing Max Hardy, she also looks back fondly on her time as “90210’s” Erin Silver.
“It was a beautiful part of my life,” she tells Zap2it. “I’d say it was endless learning. It was growth for me as my personal self. There were so many years in there when I needed to become who I am, and I’m thankful to the show for providing that platform.
“I loved every year of it, though it was difficult at times,” Stroup adds. “Shooting TV is always difficult, but it was incredible to take part in something like that. We were able to bond as a family. Those girls and those guys I spent five years with changed my life, and they’re in my life forever.”
Among them were several co-stars who also have gone on to other series, including AnnaLynne McCord (“Dallas”), Matt Lanter (“Star-Crossed”) and Ryan Eggold (“The Blacklist”).
Stroup knows “90210” also connected with its fans through social media, but she admits with a laugh, “I’m terrible at that! I forget that I have a phone most of the time, but I’m workin’ on it. It’s a long-term goal.
“I use it mainly for music and charity work and showing pictures of my dog, but things have changed. You’ve got to adapt and embrace it and become great at it, and I think I should, because the platform is so big. You can make such a difference by talking to people out there.”
At the same time, Stroup admits, “It’s scary to me. It makes me want to go change my face. It makes me paranoid at times, but it’s actually a cool tool that I should be able to use.”
Just in time for the season finale of The Following on Monday, I have added high-definition screencaps of Jessica in the past episodes to the gallery.
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.06 – Fly Away (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.07 – Sacrifice (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.08 – The Messenger (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.09 – Unmasked (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.10 – Teacher’s Pet (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.12 – Betrayal (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.13 – The Reaping (HD)
The Following > Screencaptures > 2.14 – Silence (HD)
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)