DA MAN Exclusive: Trevor Donovan of ‘90210’

Trevor Donovan is now the hottest star of the popular TV show 90210. Previously an Abercrombie & Fitch model, the 32-year-old Donovan plays Teddy Montgomery on 90210.

Photographs by Mitchell Nguyen McCormack

Known as the guy that all the girls want, his character recently had a very interesting twist, and as a result, the show has gone from somewhat “superficial” to one that people are talking about due to the depth and social commentary involved.  By Obed Napitupulu

Born in the eastern California town of Mammoth Lakes, famous for its skiing areas, the 32-year-old Donovan is now cementing his place in Hollywood.

“The show is beginning to touch on more serious issues concerning sexual identity. It’s quite a change and it’s made the show less superficial and given it more depth,” Donovan explains when asked about the latest, some might say shocking, turn of events in the latest season of the show.

A new twist

He adds that viewers will be seeing more of the same, “Expect real-life situations that viewers can relate with.” In terms of how he prepared for the new ‘twist’, Donovan says he has embraced the new out-of-the-closet Teddy.

“It’s every actor’s wish to get a challenging role and to take it on to the best of their ability,” Donovan says.

Recent events in the 90210 storyline have posed such a challenge for Donovan as an actor.

It is a similar challenge that great actors such as Sean Penn, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger have tackled—and won great critical acclaim for—playing the role of an outwardly homosexual character.

Donovan, who used to be in a punk-rock band, has taken Teddy Montgomery to a new level, especially for primetime TV, despite Teddy’s womanizing ways in the past.

Once a Casanova…

That is the type of role that requires dedication; something that Donovan clearly possesses after committing to his first same-sex kiss on screen.

The 188-cm-tall Donovan told the press it was “nerve-racking,” while adding that it had been getting easier. “He used to be a womanizer and a player and he starts to carry that over into his gay life,” says Donovan of Teddy.

Sexual identity

So whether or not it is truly becoming easier for him, Teddy is scripted to be [kissing] many Beverly Hills bachelors as he develops this revelation in his sexual identity.

He also adds that the end of the season develops similarly in a recent interview. “[Teddy] realizes that he doesn’t know what he wants anymore, so he finds himself in a nice stable relationship, a nice, slow, progressive relationship that goes into the end of the season. So there is a rift, a realization, and then a rendezvous,” Donovan tells a reporter.

And speaking of challenges, one of his earliest was as a fresh-faced struggling actor trying to break into the business in 2007 where he played Jeremy Horton on the daytime “soap opera” series Days of Our Lives.

Before that, he had a bit part, in 2004, on a TV show called Quintuplets.

But before that he did some fashion modeling. “One of my former jobs was an Abercrombie & Fitch model, among other jobs,” he explains, while adding, “I am proud of my body and not ashamed of it.”

Body sculpting

When asked about his physique, which has been described as incorporating a “scene-stealing six-pack” on numerous occasions, he says he regularly works out, “six days a week.” Donovan offers some tips too, for all of us sedentary regular guys, “It is more than just working out, your diet is crucial,” he explains.

Breaking into the major feature-film genre, Donovan had a role in the 2009 science-fiction movie Surrogates playing the surrogate form of Bruce Willis’s character Tom Greer.

A new truck

And according to the mountain-loving Californian with his “duct-tape-gray truck,” which was his first major purchase after getting regular acting work, he avows, “[the big screen] is the plan for the longer term,” in response to DA MAN’s question about whether he hopes to be a permanent fixture on the big screen.

Shortly after Surrogates wrapped, Donovan landed a recurring role on 90210, first appearing on September 8, 2009.

On May 20, 2010, it was announced that he had been upgraded to series regular.

Away from the set

In response to an inquiry about who he admired in the world of show business, he says without hesitation, “Jennifer Aniston and Emma Stone.”

Off the set, recently Donovan was seen on the red carpet attending the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards along with actors Aaron Eckhart, Ewan McGregor and Jason Ritter making their arrivals to the show held at Santa Monica Beach with Jeremy Renner presenting.

Donovan is apparently also a video-gaming enthusiast, and says that if he could be any video-game character it would be “Nathan Drake from Uncharted,” because, “he can do just about anything and he gets all the girls.”

Speaking of girls and girl magazines, one recently rated him high on its list of sexiest guys, to which Donovan responds, “I feel sexy.”

Life is good for Trevor Donovan, and things are looking up, but he used to feel fear, at least of auditions and crowds. However, he says, “That fear is over now.”

Clothing and Accessories:

Original Penguin
Guess Jeans
William Rast Jeans
John Varvatos
Ben Sherman
Calvin Klein
Polo Ralph Lauren

This feature on Trevor Donovan appears in the DA MAN April/May 2011 issue. To see all the images in High Resolution and the full article, get the magazine.