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Shenae Grimes-Beech and AnnaLynne McCord are going from co-stars to co-hosts with their new podcast with Dear Media. Launching on May 12, Unzipped finds the 90210 alums reuniting "older, wiser and more outspoken than ever," Grimes-Beech teased when she announced their new project on Instagram. And one topic they will be tackling right off the bat is their infamous five-year feud that made headlines during the CW drama's run from 2008 to 2013.
While they played frenemies Annie Wilson and Naomi Clark on the Beverly Hills, 90210 spinoff, the behind-the-scenes drama going down between Grimes-Beech, 31, and McCord, 33, could've easily been its own show, with the media attention surrounding it only adding to the tension.
But, eventually, the former costars revealed in their recent interview with E! News, they went from clashing to podcasting, forming a close bond along the way.
Unzipped was Grimes-Beech's "brainchild" she shared, that was spawned during an intimate catch-up conversation the two women had in the middle of lockdown.
"We have so many mutual passions that are really just centered around people and stories and life and feelings and all of the things, and I was, like, it would be really fun to kind of like reunite in this space and reintroduce ourselves to people as ourselves," Grimes-Beech explained. "I know we both have a lot of outside, external passions that people don't really know us for in the same way they know 90210."
The project also gave the former co-stars "a good excuse to be in touch a lot more frequently," Grimes-Beech admitted.
They've come a long way since they first met and immediately clashed on the set of 90210, mirroring their on-screen dynamic. McCord, then 20, was on the cusp of stardom, thanks to a buzzy turn on Nip/Tuck, while then-18-year-old Grimes-Beech was the first alum to make the transition from Canada's iconic series Degrassi to Hollywood and the race was on to see who would become the breakout star of the buzzed-about revival of the iconic '90s series.
"To be honest, AnnaLynne and I hadn't ever addressed the fact that we didn't speak for almost the entirety of our time on the show," Grimes-Beech revealed. "There were a lot of behind-the-scenes issues and it was a very toxic environment."
Highlighting their young ages and the insecurities that tend to come with it, McCord explained it's "a very interesting period of a human creature's life, trying to find themselves in the word and then we were also in the limelight."
That media attention especially factored into their feud, seeing as how the press had a penchant for pitting female co-stars against each other. Exhibit A: Beverly Hills, 90210.
"I definitely would say that the media attention played into it in a nuanced way," Grimes-Beech explained. "I think the picture that the media painted of all of us and of each of us as individuals obviously was through a very harsh lens, and while we knew for ourselves that a lot of the stories that were written about us weren't true or were really highly fabricated, it's hard not to get influenced on your perception of people when you're being fed that narrative the whole time."
"I think it was just that the things that were happening were maybe amplified by the things that were kind of popping up in the media and press coverage on like, seemingly a daily basis," she continued.
Just as 90210 was ending its five-year run in 2013, McCord and Grimes-Beech were finally able to come together.
"I mean, people died on our set," McCord said. "We went through all kinds of stuff. And to come out on the other side having been little rivals, and at the very 11th hour—which it was because it was the night before the last day—we had this whole, like, 'Oh my god I can't believe it's over!' And we go through this whole moment."
Just a few months later, McCord was present when Grimes-Beech married Josh Beech in London in May 2013. Talk about healing.
But just how did they go from clashing for five years to podcasting BFFs?
"I think one of the most important aspects of the dynamic between Shenae and I, which actually stood the test of time because this was true from the beginning, and we're both very real people," McCord said. "We were thrown into a very not real world and we were trying to navigate either deciding, are we going to be outcasts, because we won't conform, or are we going to try to be live, and then feel disingenuous to ourselves."
"Ultimately, authenticity won out and in the journey towards authenticity, we deepened what is now a very beautiful bond and I am very grateful to have known this little human for as long as I have," she continued. "And to be a part of seeing her create new little humans is just one of the most rewarding things I can think of."
And they are going to bring that shared authenticity to their podcast, deep-diving into their rivalry and 90210's behind-the-scenes drama in Unzipped's first episode, while also tackling topics like motherhood—Grimes-Beech is mom to two-year-old daughter Bowie Scarlett and is pregnant with her second child—and welcoming guests like McCord's ex-boyfriend Dominic Purcell to open up about their 10-year relationship and "how we settled on being family versus partners," she teased.
Other guests include celebrity hairstylist Justin Anderson, YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous and her spouse Nats Getty, and TikTok sensations The Herberts.
Ultimately, the biggest draw of Unzipped is the unique journey its two hosts have gone on together since they first met in 2008.
"We've had crazy life moments that have happened and Nae has shown up for me in an incredible way and I'm so grateful to her, and I hope to be half the friend that she been to me," McCord gushed. "I f--king love her now even though I wanted to rip her face off when I was a 20-year-old!"
Unzipped with Dear Media is available wherever you get podcasts and drops new episodes every Wednesday.
—reporting by Alli Rosenbloom