Jessica Lowndes Jessica Lowndes

Jessica Lowndes has spun what was scripted as a guest spot in the pilot of CW's 90210 remake (Tuesdays, 8 pm/ET, moves to 9 pm March 3) into a full-time gig. Since then, her character, Adrianna, has been the girl who has had everything: the child-star complex, the drug addiction, the stage mom, the HIV scare and now... the unplanned pregnancy! While Lowndes is grateful for the experience, it has meant a lot of new challenges, including uglifying makeup, one painful prosthetic and her "controversial" haircut. Lowndes tells us her favorite drug flick, why she's obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor, and who might adopt Adrianna's baby. How did you turn a guest spot into a full-time gig?
Jessica Lowndes: All I knew was that Adrianna was a singer in the school musical, and I'm a singer, so I was excited to sing on TV. Next thing I knew they chopped my hair off, and wrote this amazing material for me in which I had a drug addiction and I was dying. I honestly didn't know where it was going. The day after I filmed the scene where Adrianna overdoses and dies I was offered series-regular status. Once you read the scripts and realized Adrianna was a drug addict, did you do any research?
Lowndes: I did a lot of research. I talked to real recovering addicts in Vancouver and over the phone. It was an annoying period for my friends. I'd invite them over and make them watch drug flicks on a Friday night — Requiem for a Dream is one of my favorites. I didn't want to make light of it since I didn't have those experiences myself. And now she's pregnant! Is Adrianna going to keep the baby?
Lowndes: The fate of the baby is still undecided. I think Adrianna wants to; she's getting attached. But there might be a twist. People are saying that Brenda is going to adopt her baby, but I don't think it's going to be that predictable. Did you always know who the father was? Were you surprised it turned out to be Ty? Their interaction seemed so minimal beforehand.
Lowndes: When I got the script saying it was Ty, I was completely shocked. However, I think it was implied that they had been sleeping together before that night at the hotel. Is Adrianna going to work things out with Navid?
Lowndes: I hope so because I love Michael Steger. I can say that Navid is going to be in and out of the picture. And in. And out. Adrianna started off looking kind of rough. Are you relieved to get rid of the red eyes?
Lowndes: It was an hour of intense white makeup on my face and red and gray under my eyes to create broken capillaries. It looked much worse in person than on camera. And then, right when I thought I could start wearing some pretty makeup, I have this huge pregnancy belly I have to put on. It's heavy and makes you feel like you're wearing 10 layers of clothes because it's hot. By the end of the day my back and feet are killing, so I feel like a real pregnant lady. Who would you say Adrianna is comparable to from the original? I say somewhere between Brenda and Valerie.
Lowndes: That's what a lot of people have told me. I don't know; I think Adrianna is even more extreme. Brenda was the nice girl... Are you saying that Adrianna isn't the nice girl?
Lowndes: I never know what they're going to write, but I think drugs made her who you saw at the beginning. I think she's a good person who has a good heart. Overall, how has the response to Adrianna been?
Lowndes: I think at the beginning it was a little negative — people loved to hate me, and my haircut. Now it's more positive. Recovering addicts have told me that I depicted it in a real way, and that's the best I can do as an actress. People relate to what she's going through. I think people are going to like her even more as we go on. You've had more scenes with Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty than any of the other cast members.
Lowndes: Yeah, I feel really fortunate. It's been amazing. The reason our show is doing so well is because of that original fan base. Speaking of, how did you like working with Jason Priestley [who directed an episode recently]?
Lowndes: He's so cool. We're both from Vancouver, you know? He's totally down to earth. It was great. Tell us about your scenes with Tori Spelling.
Lowndes: Donna has opened a store; she's still a clothing designer, and Adrianna goes to the opening. And you met the Jonas Brothers!!! OMG!!!
Lowndes: Yes, I filmed four promo spots [for CW's Tuesday-night programming] with them, and they were very sweet and polite and humble. My little sister was very jealous because she has such a crush on Nick Jonas. I really admire their success, especially for their age. Are you a fan?
Lowndes: Yes, I am a fan. I don't care if I'm older, I'm not ashamed. Miley Cyrus is my ringtone. What else is coming up for Adrianna?
Lowndes: You'll see her play the lead in Cleopatra, I hope, because I filmed a long monologue from it and I was obsessed. Cleopatra is a dream role for me because I'm a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan. When they chopped my hair, I was like, "That's fine; I look like Cleopatra."