The 30-year-old actor says goodbye to Liam after playing the charming surfer boy for five years.
JJJ caught up with Matt to talk about his time on the show, the future of “Lannie,” and the finale you never got to see!
Click inside to read our interview with Matt Lanter…
JustJaredJr.com Interview – Matt Lanter
JustJaredJr.com: Hi Matt! So we read that you guys had to switch around the finale at the last minute. Can you tell us about that?
Matt Lanter: Yeah, actually that is true. We had an entire episode written out and we had the table read for it, and everything. It was a really cool episode and I think we were all kind of bummed we didn’t get to do it because the whole Act 6 of the episode was set five years into the future. We were all five years older and obviously at much different places in our lives. My character, I was just getting out of jail. I had went to jail for this bombing we saw last episode. Somehow Liam took the rap for that and he went to jail for five years. He just got out. It was really cool. We were talking about changing looks and everything. We were talking about buzzing my hair, all kinds of crazy stuff. We were really interested in doing that. And the plan was, if we had come back for season six, we were going to be set five years into the future, basically being 25 years old. It was really cool, but last minute, we got the call that we needed to change things. So it is what it is.
JJJ: Will everything we saw in the penultimate episode be resolved in the finale?
ML: I’m trying to remember… I shot it so long ago. So much stuff has happened since then (laughs). I can’t remember to what degree it gets resolved, but it does get resolved in some way. There is kind of a proper ending to the arc, and of course to the series itself. I hope fans are going to be happy with that. It was kind of abrupt for all of us, but we did what we could with it.
JJJ: What can you tell us about Liam and Annie’s ending?
ML: There is a resolve. Without trying to give away too much, I feel like there is happiness in their lives in some way. So people should definitely tune in, especially fans of Liam and Annie. There is a payoff.
JJJ: What was your last day on set like?
ML: It was bittersweet. It’s like you’ve been with this family for five years and things are changing, and ending. It’s very odd to go to work the last day knowing you’re never going to go back. We weren’t on stage [the last day], but we were several days prior, and it was very weird that day to leave the stages knowing you’ll never come back and see that set again. You know, Liam’s bar will never be there again. It was a weird, weird feeling. It’s kind of like leaving high school. It’s sad and you’re going to miss all your friends. You’re going to miss your life and you’ve been doing that for the past four years, and it’s comfortable. But now, there’s something possibly bigger on the horizon, just new and fresh and exciting. I think we all kind of felt like that, you know? By the end of high school, you’re sad, but you’re excited. You’ve done your four years and you feel good about it, and you’re ready to do some new things. I feel blessed for the opportunity to have been with a show for five years. I had an incredible time and I met great people, and had some amazing experiences. I am forever grateful for that. I’m also excited for future stuff!
JJJ: Did you get to steal anything from set?
ML: We had a huge sale. When a show is cancelled, they basically take everything from the show. I’m talking sets, clothes, just everything, and they sell it. We had a huge warehouse sale, full of everything from Liam’s bar to Naomi’s house. I got a bunch of my wardrobe, which is kind of cool – some cool jackets, shoes, and stuff like that. I got some other crazy stuff from the set, and it was really cheap too (laughs). I got a bowling ball for three bucks and funny stuff like that.
JJJ: What’s been your favorite memory from set or most memorable episode to shoot?
ML: That’s a really difficult one to answer. At any given time, I might say something different. But I guess any time that the gang was all together was fun. A lot of the cool things we got to experience like the Hollywood Bowl, and just having free reign over the backstage of the Hollywood Bowl. That was really cool. Things like that. I think more than one episode or one thing, just all the experiences of basically having an all-access pass to Los Angeles was a really unique thing to our show, so I enjoyed a lot of that stuff, especially when the whole gang was there.
JJJ: Congrats on the new show! We’re excited for it! How did that come about?
ML: It was really cool. The CW has been really amazing to me. As soon as we found out about 90210, they sent over several scripts to several pilots that they had, and kind of said, “Read over these pilots and let us know what you like, and we’ll see what we can do.” I loved [Star-Crossed] and everybody just kind of made it happen. That’s how that came about. It’s a really, really cool pilot. The logline is basically like Brown vs. the Board of Education with aliens, mixed with an epic romance. It’s really cool. It’s all these human issues we were going through 50 years ago with race relations and civil rights, and things like that, that’s all happening in this pilot except it’s with aliens and humans. It takes place in the future, so aliens have been on Earth now for about 10 years. They are basically in an internment camp. The government is creating a program to desegregate the two species. This program, they start it at a high school, so seven alien kids are put into a human high school and that’s kind of where the show picks up. And of course, with that is this epic romance that balloons and is meant to be. Romeo and Juliet style, basically. It’s the greatest story ever told. It’s a female human and I play the alien guy. We fall in love and we’re meant to be, but we can’t be because it’s not socially acceptable. It’s really, really interesting.
JJJ: What kind of preparation goes into playing an alien?
ML: I think that specifically with our aliens… because we’re not like spacesuit-wearing aliens, we’re very human, except we have markings on our necks. So they are very, very human-like except for a few things. And then who knows, they might have some other interesting qualities to them that we might find out about in the future. I don’t know, so I guess what you do is you find the character and you find what makes him human and you play those qualities that people can relate to so people can feel for that character.
JJJ: What was it like working with Aimee? Had you met her before?
ML: Yeah, just being in the same world, I guess, we’ve run into each other a few times, but I really got to know her on [Star-Crossed]. She’s great and I love working with her. She’s sweet and she’s a good actress. She’s a great scene partner, so I hope we can do more scenes together.
JJJ: Definitely. And with all of this going on, you’re planning a wedding! Is it really as stressful as they say it is?
ML: Uh, yes (laughs). It is. I never knew how much detail went into a wedding and I’m trying to help as much as I can. We have a wedding coordinator and all that kind of stuff, but there’s really a lot of detail you have to put into a wedding. I had no idea. So yeah, we’re trying to deal with that and get through that. It’s a fun time, but yeah, it is kind of stressful.
Be sure to tune into the 90210 finale TONIGHT and watch for Matt in the upcoming CW show Star-Crossed!