While Liam (Matt Lanter) may be attempting to make amends with Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord), he's momentarily distracted when Ivy (Gillian Zinser) arrives. She's a cool California chick who joins the surfing team — and the West Bev boys' club. Zinser sat down with TVGuide.com to introduce us to 90210's version of Spicoli and to dish on how Ivy will affect Naomi and Liam's rocky road to relationship recovery.
TVGuide.com: Ivy is the quintessential surfer chick who hangs out with the guys.
Gillian Zinser: I got a little Spicoli going on. [Laughs] Ivy is fun as hell. She's definitely the quintessential California girl, but she's smart. She's really smart and sassy and quick-witted. She's totally one of the guys, as she's part of the surf team and demands her respect in that manner. But a lot of that confident, bro'd out shtick is soon to be broken down when you see her vulnerable for the first time in her intimate moments with Liam. Although she joins the cast as an atypical chick, you see a lot of layers unravel and unfold the more we get to know her.
TVGuide.com: Matt Lanter told us Ivy and Liam's relationship starts out as a fight.
Zinser: Yeah, well, he's all up in my grill, giving me sh--. He's super obnoxious, so Ivy definitely throws it back in his face. She definitely doesn't tolerate that kind of crap. I think that immediate, head-butt tension becomes some strange form of attraction. Liam definitely has a lot of respect for Ivy as he gets to know her and sees that she's not going to let kids walk on her. He definitely finds something interesting about her, and that grows into some form of quick little crush and maybe a slight addiction. We've all had our thoughts about our best friends, so that will be interesting story as it unfolds.
TVGuide.com: Being the only girl in a group of guys, I would assume there's some tension there.
Zinser: It's definitely her comfort zone. She's not the kind of girl that needs makeup and mirrors to give her that ramification of confidence in the morning. She throws her sh-- on, she goes out, rips her waves, she comes to school, does her sh--, she hangs out and doesn't take life too seriously, which is definitely not the same as the other girls who are way more dramatic and girly and rightfully so. Ivy being more like guys gives her that easy-in to the group, but at the same time, she suffers that complex of being one of the dudes and not necessarily noticed as a girl when she wants to be. I relate a lot to that in real life. It's really great being able to kick it with the guys and have genderless relationships and friendships, but there are times we all kind of wish that dude didn't think I was such a dude and maybe looked at me as more of a girl sometimes. That's how Liam and I develop there.
TVGuide.com: What do we learn of Ivy's past?
Zinser: My mom is this really rad bohemian music producer, so I've been raised in a really laid back, hippy-ish bohemian household. We don't know too much about my pops quite yet; that'll be interesting. For the most part, Ivy has her sh-- together. She's cool, calm and collected. Liam is really the introduction to Ivy's vulnerable side. Outside of that, she's pretty easy-going.
TVGuide.com: How is Naomi going to feel about Ivy getting close to her man?
Zinser: How can she not help but be jealous? I'm sure there's a lot of tension there. She's definitely going to try to win him back at some point. I'm sure he's going to revisit his feelings for her, but my guess is that if he leaves Ivy, he's going to have to look back and wonder if that was the right decision. I'm sure there will be a love triangle between Naomi, Ivy and Liam inevitably.
90210 airs Tuesday at 8/7c on the CW.