"The Following" has been a much different experience than "90210" for Jessica Stroup, which is a big reason she wanted the job.
The actress had planned to take a break from TV work after her five-year run on The CW's "Beverly Hills, 90210" reboot, but the chance to play Kevin Bacon's niece and sleuthing partner changed her mind. The dark FOX suspense drama ends its second season Monday (April 28), and while Stroup has enjoyed playing Max Hardy, she also looks back fondly on her time as "90210's" Erin Silver.
"It was a beautiful part of my life," she tells Zap2it. "I'd say it was endless learning. It was growth for me as my personal self. There were so many years in there when I needed to become who I am, and I'm thankful to the show for providing that platform.
"I loved every year of it, though it was difficult at times," Stroup adds. "Shooting TV is always difficult, but it was incredible to take part in something like that. We were able to bond as a family. Those girls and those guys I spent five years with changed my life, and they're in my life forever."
Among them were several co-stars who also have gone on to other series, including AnnaLynne McCord ("Dallas"), Matt Lanter ("Star-Crossed") and Ryan Eggold ("The Blacklist").
Stroup knows "90210" also connected with its fans through social media, but she admits with a laugh, "I'm terrible at that! I forget that I have a phone most of the time, but I'm workin' on it. It's a long-term goal.
"I use it mainly for music and charity work and showing pictures of my dog, but things have changed. You've got to adapt and embrace it and become great at it, and I think I should, because the platform is so big. You can make such a difference by talking to people out there."
At the same time, Stroup admits, "It's scary to me. It makes me want to go change my face. It makes me paranoid at times, but it's actually a cool tool that I should be able to use."
Photo/Video credit: FOX