'90210' interview: Matt Lanter previews the end of the show and bringing happiness to Liam

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After five seasons of high drama, "90210" ends its run on Monday (May 13) with its series finale, "We All Fall Down." We recently spoke to Matt Lanter (Liam) about what was coming and about how it felt to bring this character to an end.


Is Liam really going to run off to Australia? Because I don't know if that's going to be okay with people.

Matt Lanter: [laughs] Yeah, I don't think it would be okay with people. But I guess that would be a big spoiler if I said I did run off. Let's just put it this way: I just want Liam to be happy, whatever he does. And I think fans should be cool with that. I mean, this kid has gone through so much strife in the past five years -- like his dad, his relationships, women have taken advantage of him in every way possible. I feel like he deserves to be happy.


What can you say about coming to the end of "90210" and about what might happen with your character?

Matt Lanter: I feel people should definitely tune in. There is a wrap-up to this specific arc. Plus, there's also a wrap-up to the series itself.
 
It was very odd the way it all went down. It was a very last-minute change for the writers, because we had written a completely different episode. In fact, we had a table-read for it. It was much, much different. By the end of the episode, it took place five years in the future, so we would have been 25 years old. But it all got changed. It was last-minute, and they tried to wrap up the series as much as they could with these bigger plot points.

I think if you've ever seen an episode or a few episodes of the show, then you might want to watch the finale. It kind of wraps things up and it's a send-off.


Is it hard even for you to keep track of everything that needs to get wrapped up?

Matt Lanter: Yeah. We had a wrap party, and some of the network [people], they came out and they sort of went through a run-down of everything that's happened to each character. And it was really funny, because it took about two minutes for each character. They were like, "Liam started with the mom and the step-dad who treated him badly. He punched the step-dad. He got a bar. He became a celebrity. He became a model. He hated being a model, which led to him being fired as a model." You know, it just went on and on and on and on with all this great stuff, and it was hilarious. To actually put it all in one paragraph, it's so ridiculous and overwhelming and fun and just ludicrous. But that's what made it great.


Over the course of five seasons, was there any one plot or character arc that was your favorite or even the most unexpected?

Matt Lanter: More than one specific thing, I really loved when we had the cast all together. It was really fun, and we enjoyed that too. Any time when we got to get together for some event or whatever that was going on in the show, that was fun for us, because we liked to be there together.

I liked the whole "Liam becoming a movie star" thing. Because he's had such bad luck and he always gets the short end of the straw, and for once he's kind of having cool stuff happening to him. He got into this movie and he had some money and he kind of was on top of the world -- for a minute. This was before he, in fact, hated it. That was kind of fun. But I guess they stayed true to the character and, in the end, he didn't like it.


Do you think there was any point in the show -- or with any person -- when Liam actually achieved some form of happiness?

Matt Lanter: No. It's really funny that that's a serious question. "In the last five years, has he ever been happy?" I don't know! I mean, I can certainly tell you he's been not happy a lot more than he's been happy. I guess that's kind of where I was going with the movie-star thing is that he got a gig and he had money and he was kind of living it up. You know, he was on a huge poster out in Hollywood and he was a big-time model. And of course he ended up hating it, but for a minute there, it was good. He had money and things were looking up. He's always had bad luck with his romances.

But who knows? Hopefully that changes in the finale!


Over the course of the series, how do you think Liam has changed as a person?

Matt Lanter: I think that he's changed in a lot of ways. When we first introduced him, he was very brooding, very angry and took that out in a physical way. From time to time, he still does that, but now he's calmed that down a little bit. With the acquisition of the bar, he kind of had to grow up and learn responsibility. And of course when we introduced him, he kind of was a loner -- he didn't have a lot of friends. He grew in that way and got very tight with Dixon and Navid and some of the other gang. So he definitely grew as a character. It was kind of cool.

I felt like we got to see these kids grow at a time in their life where they deal with real human issues, whether it's Liam with his family or real financial issues, trying to stay afloat in the bar. Or Silver and her cancer stuff. Or Teddy and his sexuality.


What was it like making that finale episode of "90210"?

Matt Lanter: A lot of mixed emotions. It was sad. But at the same time, there's an excitement of wrapping up and just putting a cap on the last five years of your life and on these characters. It's kind of like the end of high school. You've been comfortable for four years in high school, you know your friends and you know your day-to-day routine. But it's over. And it's sad, but you look back, and I'm blessed I had the opportunity to be a part of this show, to have worked with some really cool people and have some really good relationships. It's good to be a part of something like this -- not many people get to be on a show that runs for five years and is internationally popular too.

But the future is exciting. And we'll see what happens. I'm just excited for different things in my life and in my own career, and just let these characters rest in history.


The "90210" series finale airs Monday, May 13 at 9pm on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW