The Hit The Floor finale aired last night on VH1 and while you can read Snicks’ recap or our interview/photo shoot with star Brent Antonello and out creator James LaRosa, we also wanted to make sure to check in with Adam Senn, who plays Zero (a.k.a. Gideon).
Since the reveal of Olivia’s killer was a secret to pretty much everyone but LaRosa, Senn talked to TheBacklot this morning on whether he thought maybe it could be Zero (it’s not – German is the killer, as was revealed in the final moments of the episode), working with Antonello as well as his thoughts on the fact that the storyline with Jude wasn’t merely a coming out story. Also, the actor/model/restauranteur (is there anything this guy can’t do?!) talked about his hopes for the third season and Zero’s journey.
TheBacklot: How was it for you watching the finale with the cast and James? I know none of you knew who the killer was going to be until it was revealed on the show. (LaRosa told us he shot multiple endings a la Dallas’s infamous ’Who Shot J.R.’ revelation in 1981).
Adam Senn: That was a great experience. We were all so shocked. You go through all those months together and to not know is such a big hole in the heart of the whole television show. To fill that gap was major, for sure. It was such a mind-blowing experience!
Did you wonder if maybe Zero was the killer?
AS: At the last minute, I definitely started leaning more towards Zero. Some of the comments on social media, they started connecting the dots and that got me thinking and I started over analyzing some of the things that James and I had been talking about. I thought maybe he was dropping me hints that it was Zero but that wasn’t the case.
I think James is just a big tease from what I’ve learned.
AS: Yes! He loves it!
How much did you know going into the whole season with Zero and his journey? Did James tell you where things were going or were you finding out script by script?
AS: James was telling me where things were going, but he was giving me info right before we would get the scripts so it was definitely a journey the whole way and some of the things that were revealed were questions I asked from James from the get-go. I said ‘I gotta know this guy’s background story.’ If there wasn’t one, I knew I had to come up with one by myself. So when I started getting that information, it just made a lot more sense and gave me so much more as an actor to work with. It would go completely different places from where I thought the character was going to go.
When did you find out Zero’s real name is Gideon? That was a nice surprise. It’s a good, strong name. What do you think?
AS: Hmmmm….I have a feeling I didn’t find out until the script. Of course, as soon as you hear that name you want to ask Zero’s parents – his original parents before he was adopted – why? That name is on every Bible in every hotel across the country. Does it have something to do with that? Was his mother in the churches? I don’t know! And not that he did it perfectly but why was he able to quote so many Bible verses. It’s interesting and I cannot wait to find out in Season 3!
One of the things I talked to James about recently is that the Zero/Jude story isn’t simply about sexuality and labeling everyone. What do you think of that?
AS: I kind of go both ways on it. Zero is a bit of a sociopath. He’s unsure where he stands. But maybe it isn’t just about sex. It’s definitely about the camaraderie of having a friend, the one and only person that Zero felt like he could trust. But there’s definitely a dynamic and that’s the beauty of those characters is playing with that dynamic and not making it just about being gay or being bi or anything. It’s a relationship and I think we’re just going to discover more as time goes on.
Do you think that Jude was right when he said that Zero is just wearing a bunch of disguises and that he’s lost himself?
AS: Yes, I think that’s 100% accurate and that goes back to why I believe he has sociopathic tendencies. He’s always thinking about the future, never living in the present. He’s always ‘how to get from point A to point B’ and then even before he gets to B he’s already thinking about C. He’s wondering how far he can play the game.
I think Jude’s got him figured out. Jude is at peace with himself and who he is, which is awesome, and Brent does such a good job of playing the groundedness of where Jude stands. Hopefully Zero can get to that point sometime next season, find himself and be confident with who he is instead of always trying to play it up for someone else.
Tell me about shooting the locker room scene in the finale. How did you and Brent work on it?
AS: We worked on it away from set and away from the studio. If I know I’m going into a relationship with a character, I like to hang out and spend time with them. So we kicked it and watched a baseball game and shot the s**t, but we really worked on that scene. It was tough. When I first read it, I feel like you can interpret it in a way that Zero could come clean and let everything that Jude is saying land. But that’s not Zero. Zero is still in his own world and has this urge to be right and not to be proven wrong. So he’s listening to everything he says and everything is just bouncing off and he’s still in defense mode. At the end when he says his real name there’s a glimmer of hope, but he still has a long way to go.
I think Zero telling Jude his real name was his way of basically saying ‘I don’t want you to go.’ Do you see it that way?
AS: Totally. For me as an actor in that moment, I felt sincere about it, but I’m curious how it will play out and how sincere he really is.
When I talked to Brent, he said that you had some fun with his parents about kissing their son.
AS: [laughs] Yeah, I did. In general, I’ve always been very open in my life. My cousin was gay and I love him to this day so that stuff doesn’t bother me and I don’t mind pushing people’s buttons. Brent’s parents showed up to set and I think I told them ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you. Your son has sweet lips.’ It’s a great first impression! But they loved it and they were cracking up. They’re amazing, great people.
Jude and Zero
In some ways, you had it easier because Brent had to kiss the scruffy face and his face is clean shaven!
AS: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t think he liked that!
Could you tell the show was blowing up this season just from social media and what people were saying to you?
AS: The show kept picking up steam and got a lot of people talking. I was pretty excited. I might have told my mother, but I didn’t tell my Dad and I didn’t tell any of my friends. I just let it all play out. The shock value was there!
You haven’t started shooting Season 3 yet. What is your hope for Zero in terms of Jude and his overall journey?
AS: I like to leave that up to the writers but it would be nice if Zero found himself and was confident with who he really is. Whether that’s with guys, with girls or by himself…just being grounded and not trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations. Or I’d like to see him completely crazy. It’s either one or the other.
I bet James could give us a little bit of both. This is Hit The Floor after all!
AS: That’s very true!
Have you personally met people like Zero?
AS: I have and I avoid them like the plague! I don’t need that kind of drama but that kind of person definitely exists.
I saw somewhere that you have a restaurant in New York City, right?
AS: I co-own a restaurant and it does well. Thankfully it’s been around long enough so I don’t have to be there but I’ve always had a passion for food. That’s really the reason why I became an actor because I enjoy so many other professions and being an actor you get to explore all these different professions.
What’s the restaurant?
AS: Bocca di Bacco, right there on 7th Avenue between 21st and 22nd.
What else are you working on now that you have some down time from Hit The Floor?
AS: I finished a couple of films earlier this year that should come out at the end of this year, and I’m writing a few things and then I’m back on the audition grind. It’s never really ending.