Michael Steger’s ‘90210′ character Navid spent a good chunk of the first season MIA. This season (retuning tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW), Navid has become the show’s moral compass. The crusading teen journalist has lost his gorgeous girlfriend Adrianna to a movie star’s son, and been pushed down a flight of stairs. Steger revealed that this spring Navid will be busy with a new love interest and a revenge scheme against the campus drug dealer.
I recently read a spoiler that Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes) is going to hook up with Gia (Rumer Willis). What’s Navid’s reaction going to be to that?
He’s questioning himself. It really hits his self-esteem because first she’s rebounded really fast and second Navid feels like he turned her off of men. Now she’s into women because I guess Navid wasn’t very pleasing.
So many shows are having female characters embark on lesbian relationships. Do you think 90210 will ever turn the tables and have one of the guys explore a same sex attraction?
I’m sure. That would be very interesting. If it was organic. I felt like it was organic between Adrianna and Gia because there was that natural connection and the storyline led them together.
Is Navid going to do some rebounding of his own?
I end up falling for my star reporter, Lila (Amber Wallace). They’re always together so he’s really found happiness with her for the time being.
Do you think that Navid is the Brandon Walsh for a new generation?
I think he’s more Brian Austin Green [AKA David Silver].
Is Navid ever going to make Jasper (Zach Sherman) pay for pushing him down the stairs?
He does try to get back at him. He plants cocaine in his locker in the next episode. He’s trying to recruit Dixon and Liam to help him. It’s very interesting because Jasper ends up doing something really shocking. It’s like an ongoing issue between Navid and Jasper. The tables turn on Navid.
What will the other major storylines be?
I can’t reveal anything, but the finale gave me chills when I found out who ended up killing Jasper’s uncle. It was pretty freaky. The last twist of the show throws you off guard.
Will there be any special guest stars in the second half of the season?
Ryan O’Neal will be on the show [playing Teddy’s father.]
‘90210’ is a completely different show this season. Do you like the new direction?
Oh, yes. Love the changes. Love that they’re raising the stakes. They keep finding interesting directions for all the characters to go in.
Was it frustrating the first season when Navid was only in about half the episodes?
Yeah, it was. We had so many cast members, especially all the old Beverly Hills, 90210 stars. Whenever they were in, they would leave me out. I never understood what they were doing. But now I’m really happy they’re writing more for the character.
Navid and Dixon’s friendship is so much fun to watch. Are you and Tristan Wilds friends in real life?
Yeah. We just hung out. We’re good friends. It’s always fun to work with him. He’s the same person on and off camera. He’s just really fun to hang out with and I think that’s why our scenes are fun to watch.
Navid is television’s only Persian Jew. Are there going to be any episodes that explore his heritage?
Not this season, but I think there’s room for it. There’s going to be a lot more with my Dad next year.
How does Navid feel about his Dad’s career as a porn kingpin?
It’s dysfunctional. I don’t think he likes it. That’s why he’s so into academics. He feels like that industry is easy money and not respected. That’s the challenge he has to deal with, this father who he loves but is not particularly fond of his career.
Other than ‘90210,’ what television shows do you like to watch?
‘Melrose’ Place Is Back For One Final Try.
‘Melrose Place’ also returns. The struggling series was attempting to reinvent itself when it went on an extended hiatus. Now, the show has one last shot to attract an audience. The previews indicate: heavy on the Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear) and breakout character Ellie (Katie Cassidy), lots of sex, far less doom and gloom. Will people watch the fluffier, frothier Melrose 2.0? It’s doubtful. But the show is worth watching if only to marvel at how closely the first season’s trajectory has mirrored the original: thirteen episodes that failed to interest viewers, the addition of Heather Locklear, the departure of two original cast members, and a switch in tone.