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  • Gillian Zinser out and about in Venice, CA
  • New project coming: "Worthy"
  • Personal photos updated
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    Dec18

    + “Savages” movie captures

    Posted by: - Filed Under: Gallery Updates, Movies, Savages - No Comments

     

    I’ve finally added HD captures with Gillian Zinser from her scene into “Savages” movie. Check them out!

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    Gallery Links: x12 | Savages: Movie Captures

    Jan05

    + Find me at Beverly Hills, 90210

    Posted by: - Filed Under: 90210, Charity Work, Interviews, Manson Girls, Movies, News, Photoshoots, Savages - No Comments

     

    GILLIAN ZINSER, actress/artist/philanthropist and 90210 cast member tells i-D about the hills.

    Chatting with Gillian Zinser, actress/artist/philanthropist and 90210 cast member, we were pleased to discover the exhaustingly talented 26- year-old is every bit as awesome as we had imagined.

    Articulate, warm, switched on and straight-forward, the precocious performer is graduating from West Beverly Hills High to the big screen this year with high-profile parts in upcoming features Manson Girls and Oliver Stone’s Savages. A former student of NYU, Gillian continues to explore her studies off campus, which include the inter-disciplines of art, film and philanthropy. Creating self-reflexive portraits and volunteering with projects such as ‘Artists For Peace and Justice’ in Haiti, Gillian has built up a well-balanced CV and loyal following. Returning to UK screens this week as surfing tomboy Ivy Sullivan in Season 4 of 90210, Gillian Zinser speaks to i-D online about the revamped TV teen classic and her own adolescence, talks performance art and shares her top 10 artistic influences.

    What was the all-American high school experience like for you? I had an odd experience in high school – remember that movie Mean Girls? Tina Fey adapted that from a book about my school written by someone that went to it… I wasn’t exactly the most popular and I didn’t have the best experience. I was itching to get out.

    Did you watch 90210 back in the day? Yeah, of course. I wasn’t allowed to though – I used to sneak off to watch it.

    Are you a Kelly or a Brenda? I can’t really tap into my bad girl very easily, I’m going to leave the Brendas to the AnnaLynne McCords of this world. Ivy’s not like Kelly either, she’s more of an Emily Valentine, that’s the direction I would have liked to take her in but they took me on a really different path.

    What attracted you to the part of Ivy? She’s not your typical teen drama character. I think just that. I’m not one to watch soaps and, as I explained, my high school experience was very trying and tumultuous and often not a fun one. I guess, in short, I was attracted to Ivy as a character because she was more of a black sheep than anything else and even though she’s your average teenage girl who is riddled with insecurities, she’s found a way to be comfortable enough in her own skin not to conform. That’s a really fun and important thing to bring to television and our audiences in particular because we’re speaking to a large group of teenagers who for the most part are going through such a formative period of development.

    What’s working with Tristan Wilds like? Had you seen The Wire before joining the cast? Tristan is the classiest cat around. He’s an extraordinary artist whose talents are far underutilised on the show.

    Can you tell me more about your childhood growing up? I grew up in Washington, which I shy away from talking about because I feel so detached from the city because it was so devoid of artistic culture and I grew up in a family of artists. My father’s an architect and my mother’s a painter – we didn’t come from a family of politicians, and I often found that I couldn’t really relate to or associate with the city I grew up in. My Dad’s from New York and my Mom’s from Berlin so I spent a lot of time in between the city (NY) and DC, taking the $10 Chinese Fung Wah bus up every weekend just to hang out with people and seek out forms of inspiration that I could actually understand. The minute I could leave DC I did – I moved to New York for college and never looked back.

    Did you study art or acting at New York? My parents didn’t allow me to go to Tisch so I went to Gallatin, which is a tiny school within NYU. They let you choose your own major so I decided to study the relationship between fine art, the entertainment industry and philanthropy and see where we can build bridges between them.

    How did that lead into acting? All my life I’ve just wanted to be a storyteller, to share my take on the human experience and explore the consequences of what we do and why. I’ve been infatuated with the potency of film as a platform to tell stories and I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re talking through a script or the camera, I feel like I’m just here to share my perspective on things.

    Are you still making art? Yeah, I’m always itching to make and create something. We have a million moments in between takes and scenes at work so I always have a pencil, a notebook or a camera on me – I’m addicted to the process of creation.

    Have you ever done any performance art? I thought that might be a good medium for you… combining the two. A lot of people ask me that but no, I haven’t really had the desire to do that. For the moment I’m sticking to portraiture. I’m inspired by artists like Cindy Sherman… I’m on a show that takes up most of my year and I don’t get to play a lot of characters that I’d love to. Using my downtime to dress up for two seconds of a snap shot to play a character lets me sneak into the skin of someone I would one day like to be able to play but don’t have a chance to. So I guess that is a form of performance art.

    What was the last exhibition you went to? I just got back from New York where I saw the Tim Burton exhibit. And did you go to the Tracey Emin show in London? At the White Cube Gallery? She’s so dirty, I love her!

    Gillian’s Top 10 Artistic Influences

    1. I’m currently obsessed with Marcel Dzama – he’s a Canadian contemporary artist.
    2. Kati Heck is an artist I found in Berlin while I was travelling over there and I’ve been infatuated with her work ever since.
    3. Goran Djurović – he’s a Serbian artist who I just discovered out at this gallery Obsolete, here in Los Angeles.
    4. Mark Whelan is a good buddy of mine I met in Australia and he does something that looks like dipping dots mixed with S&M!
    5. There’s a filmmaker, a guy named Cam Archer who just blows my mind… he made a film over here called Shit Year with Ellen Barkin and Luke Grimes and that’s definitely my favourite film of the year.
    6. Also have you heard of a guy called Robbie Basho? He’s like one of THE uncelebrated 60s acoustic guitarists.
    7. Also, a guy named Moondog – you have to look him up, he’s phenomenal. He dresses up like a Viking!
    8. Then a band called Wiseblood who just put out their first EP this year.
    9. My friend Malcolm Ford, he’ll be releasing a record later this year produced by Queens of the Stone Age.
    10. Lastly a writer, a Kenyan author whose first novel/memoir is called ‘One Day I Will Write About This Place’. His name is Binyavanga Wainaina – he writes about the kind of Africa that’s long been forgotten. It provides a better perspective than that of the Western world, looking in on what we imagine Africa to be.

    Text: Frankie Mathieson

    Nov28

    + Esquire Presents Me in My Place with Gillian Zinser

    Posted by: - Filed Under: 90210, Gallery Updates, Interviews, Movies, News, Photoshoots, Savages - No Comments

     

    The latest in a series of intimate moments with beautiful women — in their own homes, in their own clothes (most of them, anyway), and at their invitation. Come on in.

    For someone who is on 90210 — there’s a new one, and that’s perfectly fine that you didn’t know that — 26-year-old Gillian Zinser is a lot more like the “normal” women you see regularly on MeInMyPlace.com. She has one of those Tumblrs and she looks like she came out of the DVD extras of Dazed and Confused and she travels a lot for no apparent reason and she talks about things like “the responsibility of artists.” And yet: “I’ve never considered myself hip or in the know or cool by any means.” Well you should know her soon, not as your teenage cousin’s favorite hip surfer girl so much as one of those hippies in the new Oliver Stone movie about pot and guns and NAVY Seals. And because she invited us over. —The Editors

    I found myself running in a lot of circles. I was willing to pick up anything from pencils to cameras to scripts to paintbrushes and make anything with them. But as soon as I graduated, I went to Kenya to photograph these slums of Kibera. And I met someone who convinced me to move to L.A. the minute I got back. So I went from the slums of Kibera to 90210. That wasn’t exactly the path I imagined. I didn’t come out here to be a part of a soap opera. I’m very, very appreciative of this job, but I think it was more of a learning platform. And from here I’d like to get back to the reason I wanted to be a part of storytelling to begin with.
    Oliver Stone asked me to do a role in his film, Savages, and I have a tiny debut, but it was fun to be a part of his world for it. And I look back on all these experiences that I’ve had that maybe didn’t make so much sense at the time, and now I understand them as everything that I needed to give me the tools and experience to be able to now tell the stories that I want to be a part of.
    I spent the winter down in Costa Rica learning how to surf. I’m partial to warm water — to not having to wear a wet suit — and I ride a long board, so it’s a very different sport than what you see my character do on the show.
    No, I’m a water temperature snob. And the water here is insanely cold. It’s far colder than you would imagine. It’s a succulent collection back there. I mostly just like cactus because I don’t know how to care for plants — or water them, really. I’m a bad gardener.
    T-shirts. Old t-shirts. And my mom’s old sundresses from the 60s, definitely.
    I think everyone’s home is a pretty good reflection of what goes on inside their heads.

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    Gallery Links: x10 | Photoshoots: 014
    x144 | BTS: Me in My Place with Gillian Zinser

    Sep26

    + ’90210′ Star Gillian Zinser on Muumuus and ‘Manson Girls’

    Posted by: - Filed Under: 90210, Interviews, Liars All, Manson Girls, Movies, News, Savages - No Comments

     

    On “90210,” Gillian Zinser plays whip-smart, whimsical Ivy. But what happens on TV doesn’t stay on TV for this actress, who’s just as quick and quirky as her onscreen counterpart. We chatted with Gillian about her fearless fashion sense, building schools in Haiti, the status of “Manson Girls” and more.

    Wonderwall: What did you do on your summer vacation?

    Gillian Zinser: We had a month off, and within that month, I worked on another project and spent the rest of my time down in Haiti working with Artists for Peace and Justice. Our mission at large is to build schools to serve the poorest areas in Haiti.

    WW: How was that?

    GZ: I loved spending time in Haiti. It is one of the most inspirational communities, and every time I get the chance to, I go down there. We just erected the only-ever public secondary school to exist in Haiti so that was incredibly exciting, so I went down to check that out and check on some kids that I have grown attached to down there.

    WW: You’re always wearing something cool and unique on the red carpet. How do you prep? Do you work with a stylist?

    GZ: No, I don’t really believe in working with a stylist. I give myself a rule of no getting ready for longer than 20 minutes. I think that that does not need to be over-thought. I put on what makes me happy, and I am inspired by my moods and what is going on in my head, and God knows there are some crazy stuff in there. I think people respond to the way I dress because it’s representative of my personality, which is eccentric and consistent to keeping myself comfortable within my own skin and not conforming to what others expect or want to see.

    WW: Have you had any favorite outfits you’re worn?

    GZ: My favorite item in my wardrobe might be my sequin muumuu. I bought that at a thrift store called One Revelation on First Avenue in the East Village in New York. That piece makes me happy.

    WW: You and Manish Dayal, who plays your husband Raj on “90210,” work with an organization called Be the Match. Tell us about it.

    GZ: BeTheMatch.org is the largest registry for bone marrow donations in the country. A huge issue right now is the fact that out of the 7 million people that are registered, 75 percent of them are Caucasian. That leaves way too many people unrepresented as minorities looking for matches. So Manish and I have done a PSA, and we are working to reach out to minority communities to get them educated and aware of the problem that people who are of minorities have 1 in a 20,000 chance of finding a bone marrow match, and try to get them registered, which costs nothing and is an important part of being a part of the community.

    WW: How did you get involved with the organization?

    GZ: Our storyline is directly related [to it]. Raj has leukemia on the show and is going through chemotherapy right now. If Raj’s [chemo] was not to work, his character would very possibly have to get a bone marrow transplant, which is why we researched and found BeTheMatch.org and became involved with them. He is Indian, so the Indian representation within the registry is so underrepresented, so if his character were to need a bone marrow transplant, the chance of him finding a match would be really unlikely, in which case he would have a hard chance of living.

    WW: Have you yourself registered?

    GZ: Yes, of course!

    WW: This season, there were big cast shakeups with Trevor Donovan, Ryan Eggold and Lori Loughlin leaving “90210.” Has the dynamic on set changed?

    GZ: It’s a shame to see friends go, to not have them with us on set as castmates, but we are also completely supportive of one another as artists, to be able to see them, their lives and careers open up to better opportunities. So I am really happy for all of them to get to move on and direct themselves in another direction.

    WW: On the movie front, you’re tapped to play Summer Sunshine in “Manson Girls.” What’s the status of the flick?

    GZ: It’s an interesting storyline and a fun piece. We haven’t started — that’s been pushed.

    WW: But you do have some movies coming up, right?

    GZ: I did an Oliver Stone flick, “Savages,” and I did do a movie with Matt Lanter called “Liars All.”

    WW: Are you and Matt completely sick of each other now after doing last season of “90210,” then the movie and now coming back for another season?

    GZ: He actually just sent me a text saying, “I miss working with you! I never get to see you anymore.” It didn’t cross my mind. I never see him on set because our storylines are so uninvolved at this point. I really do miss working with Matt. He is one of my favorites. He is a gem to be around, and probably the funniest cast member on set. I do miss Matt a lot and no longer get to see him anymore because Ivy is kind of off in her old world.

    Catch Gillian on “90210,” Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW!

    Sep14

    + On the set of “Savages”

    Posted by: - Filed Under: Gallery Updates, Movies, On the set, Savages - No Comments

     

    Oliver Stone directs “90210″ star Gillian Zinser during a beach scene for his upcoming film, “Savages”. The toned beauty is seen wearing cutoff denim shorts with a bikini top and walking by herself along the sand. Her co-star Benicio del Toro was seen having some down time on-set with British co-star, Aaron Johnson.

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    Gallery Link: x10 | “90210″ star Gillian Zinser during a beach scene for “Savages” – 14 September 2011