CW stars keep it green
'Diaries,' '90210,' 'Ringer' and 'Secret Circle' actors go eco, on set and off.
Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 03:00 PM
The CW kicked off its fall season with a Bing-sponsored party at the Warner Bros. lot, where we caught up with many of the network's green-minded stars.
"No more water bottles. We bring our own. We're all getting educated about that," said "The Vampire Diaries'" Steven R. McQueen, who is "trying to be more conscious" about eco-living off set. "I used to use paper plates but I don't anymore," he said. Briefly back in his native L.A., he shoots "Diaries" in Atlanta, where he misses the beach but is having fun playing Jeremy, who was brought back from the dead in last season's finale and is now plagued by visions of his ex-girlfriend's ghost as the season begins Sept. 15. "He went through a couple of dark periods and now with this new connection to death, he has a connection to the past that has freed him up in a sense, it's turned his fear into curiosity," noted McQueen (pictured right), the son of actress Neile Adams and grandson of screen legend Steve McQueen, who died before Steven was born. "I admire my grandfather and respect everything that he's accomplished," he said, naming "Bullitt," "Papillon" and "The Great Escape" as favorite films of his grandfather's. "Unfortunately I never got to meet him. I guess that's been my personal struggle, to make my own path and not have it carved out for me."
Acting in a supernatural show naturally makes him think about the unknown. "I'm always curious about what happens after death," said McQueen, who goes for expedience when asked about the kind of power he'd love to have: "Teleporting would be kind of cool." Kat Graham, who plays McQueen's witch girlfriend Bonnie, would prefer the power to heal. "I'd work with UNICEF," said the actress (pictured left), who recycles at home and is involved with the well-building charity The Water Project, which "builds wells for towns that need them. I built my well at a school in Uganda."
On "Diaries" this season, "everything is really heightened. There are always new things to get excited about. For my character, they're focusing on her more as a person versus being a witch and doing spells," Graham said. "What I love about Bonnie is that she's powerful but has conviction that comes from a pure place and a strength that comes out of that."
Like many sets these days, "90210" is getting with the tech-savvy program — and saving trees in the process — by eliminating paper script distribution. "It's all on iPad or online. We only get one script, at the table read. They've cut back big time. And there are no water bottles," reported Michael Steger (pictured right), who declared, "I refuse to get a new car. I have a Honda Element and I'm sticking with it. I don't see a need to get a new one. It gets good mileage."
Back for its fourth season on the CW, "90210" is now following the post-high school lives of its characters, some now in college, some working. "The overall theme is the real world. We're trying to be adults. But these are kids with a lot of money and they make a lot of irrational moves along the way," said Steger. "Money doesn't solve their problems." His character, Navid, is running a production company, aided by his girlfriend Silver (Jessica Stroup); their lives are complicated by the arrival of his younger sister Leila (Summer Bishil of "The Last Airbender" and "Towelhead"), who escaped at Swiss boarding school and moves in with the couple "in a very small space. The responsible girl I knew ends up turning wild," noted Steger, who returned to work refreshed after a summer of traveling around Europe with his wife. He enjoys playing the generally levelheaded Navid. "He's a genuine guy who sees the best in people, especially his friends."
Zoey Deutch may be only 16, but she appreciates classic styles of the past. "I love vintage," she said, noting that her bright red dress was a vintage Moschino. She accessorized it with a vintage clutch and repurposed jewelry: a pair of earrings made from fork tines. She's now on "Ringer" playing Sarah Michelle Gellar's wild child stepdaughter, for whom "every day is a catastrophe." Not surprisingly, her parents "are happy that it's on TV instead of real life." The daughter of actress Lea Thompson and producer/director Howard Deutch, she can relate to the character in at least one respect. "I'm still in high school, a senior," now completing her studies online. "I'm actually playing my age, which never happened before," said the actress. Her credits include "The Suite Life on Deck" and "Mayor Cupcake," in which she appeared with her mom and sister Madelyn, but calls "Ringer" her favorite so far. "There's so much going on. I love it."
"We use canteens. We refill our own bottles," said Shelley Hennig about the water-saving practices in place on the set of "The Secret Circle," premiering Sept. 15. Wearing a borrowed dress at the party (pictured below), Hennig shops at vintage stores and farmers markets, recycles and buys organic facial and body products. As Diana, the leader of a circle of young witches, she feels "like I've won the lottery. She's the leader of the circle and has so much responsibility and a lot of guilt when things go wrong. It's about how do you handle it, how do you keep a boyfriend and befriend the new girl in town to complete the circle and keep her from your boyfriend? There's jealousy and emotions running high and I love seeing how Diana reacts each time."
A dancer since she was small, Hennig lost her brother when she was 14 and entered the Miss Teen Louisiana pageant as a distraction. She won, went on to win Miss Teen USA, and received a two-year scholarship to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, where she "fell in love with acting on the first day. I found what truly makes me happy." The training paid off with a four-year gig on "Days of Our Lives," for which she relocated to L.A., but now shoots "Circle" in Vancouver, which according to her co-star Thomas Dekker, is a great city for walking everywhere. While the electric car he wanted to lease wasn't available, he finds that he uses his rented Suzuki just to commute to the set. An avid animal rescuer (pictured right), he has two cats, both being cared for by the woman who's also taking care of his place in L.A.
"It's kind of nice to be somewhere different for work. You get to immerse yourself," said the "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Cinema Verité" star, who seized the chance to work with "Circle" creator Kevin Williamson and responded to the show's "dark, edgy, sexy" tone. "I wanted to do something more fun, more accessible. And I get to be a witch. What's not to like?" Dekker asked. As the story unfolds, "You're going to find out a lot about all of us — myself, my father, our past generations, how that affects us. My relationship with Diana is important and affects how Cassie [Britt Robertson] and I interact, this attraction we can't control. It turns out to be more than just a crush. It's something written, it's destiny."
In December, Dekker stars as a young, single father whose son dies in "Angel's Crest," and later plays a young man on a quest to find his biological father in "Rose By Name" and has a cameo as a deceased character who leaves a video for his best friend in "Foreverland."
Natasha Henstridge was drawn to the concept, genre and character she plays in "Circle," a villain with an agenda. "She definitely has a plan, and she believes what she's doing is for the right reasons," said the actress (pictured above, right, with Hennig), who has a connection to the supernatural realm. She had a strange encounter with an outdoor barbecue that inexplicably moved, which she discussed on "Celebrity Ghost Stories." Still remembered for her breakout role in "Species," she has a cameo in the upcoming "Should Have Been Romeo" as herself, giving the protagonist advice about alien movies. At her home in L.A., she has a filtered water system, waters her garden every three days instead of daily, and changed all her light bulbs to energy-saving ones. "I stopped leaving the heat and air conditioning on, and that saves a ton of energy."
Click for photo credits
Steven McQueen: Patrick Ecclesine/The CW
Kat Graham: Andrew Eccles/The CW
Michael Steger: JSquared Photography/The CW
Zoey Deutch: Joe Magnani/The CW
Thomas Dekker: Frank Ockenfels/The CW
Shelley Hennig & Natasha Henstrige: Joe Magnani/The CW