‘90210’: Jessica Stroup talks Tori Spelling’s return and Dustin Milligan’s exit


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Just when you thought things were calming down for Silver, think again. When last we saw her, Silver had an emotional, near-fatal episode at Los Angeles’ Union Station -- read: She was almost hit by a train -- and Dixon realized that his crazy-in-love girlfriend was actually manic depressive.

But things are far from settled. In tonight’s episode, an embarrassed Silver will ship off to an all-girls school to get away from her problems. (To that we say, simmer down, sister: Adrianna was a druggie who got knocked up by non-boyfriend Ty. And now? It’s all good.) Luckily, Silver’s in line for some TLC from Donna Martin – she’s back and feeling maternal – and a potential love interest from an unexpected (and yet, convenient?) place. Actress Jessica Stroup, 22, spills the beans.

Where is Silver’s head at in tonight’s episode?
Silver is at her most raw. She’s just completely shattered. When she starts her recovery, she’s going to struggle with big time with [big sis] Kelly, who wants her to go to bed at a certain time and take medication and not do too much or be influenced by outside people.


From the preview (above) it looks like Silver may be getting help from the one and only Donna Martin, now world-famous fashion designer.
Yes, Donna is like family!

Tori Spelling’s return has been a long time coming. Does she live up to the hype?
Oh, my God, yes. I just remember thinking she’s everything I thought and more. She’s such an incredible woman. When she arrived it was like, ‘Donna Martin is back on the 90210 set – Aaaaaaaaaa!’ The girls on our crew are all really young, and we all knew the importance of having Donna Martin back. I met her in the makeup trailer, and she’s got her reality show filming, and I met her husband and her kid. It was awesome. I so admire her. I mean, she’s really got a million things going on. She’s got the show, a book, a jewelry line … kids! And she still came back! We shot a scene in a car riding around Beverly Hills, and paparazzi was everywhere. That was wild, but she was an old pro handling all that.

How did she and Jennie Garth get along?
I know Jennie and Tori are lifelong friends. They will be forever be bonded. To see them together was like seeing sisters being reconnected, and I was just lucky enough to get sucked up into it.

You don’t like the Emily Valentine comparison, but it’s the first one people made when Silver went nuts on Dixon. Do you think you did enough in last week’s episode to separate Silver from the infamous Emily?
The scene where Silver breaks into Mr. Matthews’ apartment was out of a horror movie, right? [Laughs] I really didn’t want her to seem like a crazy stalker person, but she was in a manic episode when you saw all of that, and I wanted to play her extreme. I wanted the audience to know something was very, very wrong – you know, if they couldn’t tell from the tattoo, the sex tape, the burning. That was Silver on her last straw. Everything was crumbling around her.

Did Jason Priestly, who directed last week’s episode, give you any advice on going all out?
He gave me a lot of freedom. He wanted me to push it, to go to Silver’s extreme because that’s where her head was at. It was a lot of crying and monologues – they actually cut out a lot of the rants I was supposed to deliver that were in the original script – but I was really pleased with the outcome.

Did we see Silver hit rock bottom?
When someone is manic depressive, it’s a lifelong disease. I know absolutely there will still be issues with it. It’s not going away. But when the story picks back up, she’s beginning her recovery. She’s figuring out how to deal with it. Can she go back to West Beverly and be with her friends? Can she stay with Dixon? For Silver, it’s the unknown. She wants the support of everyone, but she’s feeling lonely and embarrassed.

From the looks of the preview, Dixon’s got his own mama drama coming up. What’s the future for Dixon and Silver?
He’s been by her side for a long time. Silver has not been the easiest person to date. Even while she’s trying to get better, she hasn’t found what makes her comfortable. She and Dixon will struggle because Dixon wants a normal life with her. He supports her, he loves her, but it’s hard for him to see her struggling. As the season goes along it’s going to be a lot of ups and downs for them.


And then Ethan swoops in? That’s cold.
In the next couple of episodes, you’re going to see Ethan stepping outside of his bubble. You’re going to see him as this open-minded person with a lot of potential and a lot of creativity. He’s trying to live as much life as he can. What he sees in Silver is kind of the same thing. She’s trying to figure out who she is and what life means to her. There’s going to be some bonding that goes on there. But Ethan and Dixon are best friends, so the question is, would Ethan try anything? Does he feel anything that’s real? Whether he tries anything specifically or makes a move remains to be seen. You’re going to have to watch.

So is the door still open for Ethan (played by rumored real-life boyfriend Dustin Milligan) to come back next season?
He’s not going to be regular, but will he come back? Will there be some sort of resolution? Yeah, definitely. I’m just not sure what it will be. I know how this season ends, and it’s a humongous cliffhanger. It’s crazy, but really good. I’m like begging for them to get me an advance [script] for next season.

-- Denise Martin