the TV addict

Adrianna Drama! Teddy’s Outing! Jennie Garth’s Doppelganger! Michael Steger Talks 90210

If you thought the first half of Navid Shirazi’s senior year was eventful — you know, the one that saw him turn his father into the authorities while juggling his feeling for both Adriana and Silver — you ain’t seen nothing yet. Or at least that was the distinct impression we were left with following a one-on-one with his portrayer Michael Steger in which he teased what’s in store for his character as we head into the second half of 90210’s third season.

Before we get into all the upcoming drama with Navid, we wanted to first get your reaction to last week’s fairly surprising news that has your co-stars Lori Loughlin (Debbie Wilson) and Ryan Eggold (Ryan Matthews) exiting the series at the end of this season.
Michael Steger: You know I’m not really sure what went on, I don’t know if it was mutual or what the deal was so I’m kind of left in the dark. But I feel like they’re still on the show and I know they’re both very talented and very awesome to work with but I’m kind of just as curious as you are as to the details.

Moving on to your character, this season saw a pretty big falling out between Navid and his father when your character turned him into the authorities for knowingly employing underage girls in his adult videos. Is that storyline something the show is planning to revisit later this season?
Yeah they are going to readdress it. I think the whole thing with Navid is that because he’s trying to finish senior year, graduate with honors, and get to college, he’s just very very stressed. He’s going to deal with what went down between himself and his father, but the first thing on his plate is taking care of his mom, sisters and revamping the business. He turned his Dad’s porn business into Shirazi 2.0 and he’s producing music videos having turned it into a production company.

Do you have any positive news on the Navid and Silver relationship front?
While a relationship is definitely the direction Navid and Silver are going, it’s really hard right now because one of them is very reluctant about making the relationship public. Silver doesn’t want to risk losing Adrianna as a friend, betraying their friendship and possibly hurting someone so deeply that they might resort to the unthinkable.

Of course this being 90210, it’s probably isn’t much of a stretch to assume that Navid and Silver eventually take their relationship public and that Adrianna’s reaction isn’t a positive one. Right?
They do eventually go public. And yeah, Adrianna’s reaction isn’t very good. It’s actually shocking how she reacts.

And while we’re on the subject of interesting reactions, how does Navid react to finding out the truth about Teddy’s sexuality?
I think it’s pretty hilarious because Navid always has prided himself on being “in the know,” and connected, so when he finds out — I think in episode 15 — it really throws him off. He’s like, “Woah, what is this?” It’s very surprising, and I had a very good time shooting that scene. But Navid’s very supportive which I think brings the guys even closer. They don’t make it nearly as a big deal as Teddy’s making it at first which goes a long way to helping him feel more comfortable in his own skin.

Last week saw the addition of Abbie Cobb to the show as Annie and Dixon’s spotlight-hungry-boy-crazy cousin Emily. Was the cast as taken by her similarity to Jennie Garth as fans are?
I walked into the table read and I thought she was Jennie Garth’s daughter! She is Jennie Garth, it’s crazy, the resemblance is mind boggling.

After two seasons of constantly being compared to the original series, 90210 seems to have finally managed to carve out an identity of its own. Is it nice to see the show standing on its own two feet?
It is nice, we’re not relying on people from the original show and I’m actually thrilled that people are into the story, and are tuning it. It’s all about the fans, they’re the reason we’re still on, and we all really appreciate them.

And finally, really curious about what drew you to such a memorable guest spot on TRUE BLOOD last season. You played a gay prostitute who got picked up, and eventually disposed of by King of Mississippi Russell Edgington. Was part of the attraction to that role that it was completely different than your 90210 character?
When I read the script, I just thought it would be an amazing character. I’m really drawn to character and the idea of disappearing into a character is such a challenge. Plus, I just so badly wanted to collaborate with the actors on that show because I’m a huge fan and when I got the opportunity to do so I was ecstatic.

New episodes of 90210 air Monday nights at 8PM on the CW (Friday at 10PM on GlobalTV in Canada)