Don’t give up on Asher just yet. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Cody Christian about the second half of ‘All American’s first season and where the story goes after the shocking fall finale!
The All American fall finale was full of game-changing moments. Asher made a rash decision to hand over Beverly’s playbook to the opposing team after getting suspended. Thankfully, Beverly still won the game, thanks to Spencer. Jordan found out about Asher’s betrayal, and their friendship hit its lowest point yet. Coach Baker also put everything at risk over a drug test. When Jordan knew he wouldn’t test positive, Coach Baker switched the tests.
HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Cody Christian about what’s ahead for Asher, the team, and more when the show returns in 2019 for the second half of its first season. Cody teased “consequences” for Asher’s actions, who will help him get back on track, the high stakes surrounding the playoffs, and more in our EXCLUSIVE interview below.
So at the very end of the episode, Asher’s dad kicks him out basically. What can you say about where the second half of the season will pick up with Asher?
Cody Christian: The whole season so far has really been a buildup, and I think this episode is the pinnacle of Asher having to come face-to-face with the consequences for his actions. I think he’s at a very low point of his downward spiral. He gets kicked out by his dad, which is reinforcing the fact that his dad’s love is contingent on him being a football player and a star football player at that. Tonight’s episode is huge for not only my character, but for every character. Every character has to come face-to-face with the consequences of their actions and what has led them to this midseason finale. But it really does set the tone, and it sets everything up for how our characters are going to come back, either strong and recover on a road to redemption, or just really how life is going to affect them, and where we’re going to see them when we come back.
One of the other major things to happen for Asher was his friendship with Jordan hit an all-time low. Do you think these two could find their way back to being best friends again, or do you think that trust has been broken for good?
Cody Christian: I think obviously the trust has been tested, but I think their friendship is stronger than that, and I think eventually they’ll finally find their way back to each other. I think that’s gonna happen with everybody in Asher’s life right now. There’s not too many people that support him. The one person that shows up is the one connection that he had a while, a year ago, with Olivia. So she’s very, very responsible and plays a pivotal role in the next eight episodes of helping Asher, and being there for him, and putting him on the right path again.
We haven’t really fully explored that dynamic between them. We know about what happened with them in the past, so there had to have been some connection from the start, and I want to see more of that explored.
Cody Christian: I think it’s a connection where two people got to drop the façade and the mask that they were wearing, and they really got see each other, who they were, and experience each other’s company, and the pain that they had both been through. I think that night brought them together. Maybe it had no significance, and it was brief, but I think they saw each other for the first time, and truly saw each other, and I think that plays a part in their relationship. I think we’re going to be able to revisit that, and we have some flashback stuff coming up, and that paints that picture very vividly.
Do I think Layla and Asher are done for?
Cody Christian: Obviously, there’s still love there. I don’t think that love just dissipates overnight. I don’t think it’s the same kind of love, though. I think she still has feelings for him, but because of everything that’s happened, the way things have gone down — the lies, Spencer’s arrival — I think the love has shifted. I don’t think she’s going ghost him. And in fact, she is going to be one of the people to lend a helping hand on Asher’s road to redemption. But again, having said all of that, I think the love has changed.
There is life outside of football, there is life after that. Are we going to maybe touch on that when it comes to Asher? Because I feel like now that he doesn’t have it, this could be an avenue for him to explore some things outside of the field.
Cody Christian: I mean, absolutely. He’s a kid who’s struggling with his identity and trying to figure out his place in the world. Right now, the only thing that he’s been able to place his identity in is football. So without it, those questions arise, and without it, he has to figure out who he is and who he is in the relationships with the people around him, as well as Jordan, Olivia, his own father. He’s going to be faced with a lot of questions, so I think there’s a lot of self-exploration happening and will continue to happen for Asher.
So, Spencer and Asher have been at odds. There’s a lot of tension between them, but do you think there’s a chance that these two could finally see eye-to-eye and maybe become friends?
Cody Christian: I think it could happen, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. I think wounds are too fresh, and there’s feelings of animosity between the two of them, definitely more so from Asher. But Asher, he’s feeling threatened by this guy. His presence at Beverly compromises his one secure future he thought he had with football. It’s disrupted the relationships in his life. There’s a constant reminder every time he’s on the field of the aftermath of everything that’s happened from Spencer’s arrival. I don’t think he’s big enough at this point to put it all behind him. So I can definitely say that a friendship and a dynamic between the two could happen, I just don’t think it’s gonna happen this soon.
We’re getting into the playoffs now. Will the show really get into the meatier side of what it means to be in the playoffs season in football?
Cody Christian: The stakes are much, much higher. It rallies the team and the players. Jordan has some amazing development, where he has to step into his own. Spencer has to revaluate some choices that he made and reallocate his focus. Same thing with Asher. He has to put things behind him in order to come together and unite, because at the end of the day, people do want to win, they do want to be state champions, so they’re prepared to give 110%. Because of the higher stakes, you’ll see a sense of unity amongst the guys.
I want to get your insight about what made Asher go to the other team with the Beverly playbook, even though he knew it would hurt his team and not just Spencer and Jordan.
Cody Christian: He was hurt, he was enraged, and in a moment of that emotional whirlwind that he was experiencing, you have to see it from his perspective. He really thought that this was it. Think about it. If he’s off the team, he can’t play in the playoffs. If he can’t play in the playoffs, there is no way in hell that he’s going come back next season as a starter. If he doesn’t come back next season as a starter, there’s no way he’s going get the attention of the scouts that are going to be responsible for recruiting him going to a good college.If he can’t get into a good college, say a D1 school, his future of playing football for a living is now gone. So, with all of that weighing on his mind, he made the ultimate decision of saying, ‘Well, if I’m going down, then everybody’s going down.’ It’s obviously not fair, and something that they don’t deserve, and it’s something that’s going to come around and bite him in the ass. He’s going to have to make up for it.
Jordan is now in a very precarious position, because of the drug testing at the end of the episode. What can you tease overall about where that decision on behalf of Jordan and his dad impacts the whole team?
Cody Christian: That is a huge shift in character development for Coach. We’re seeing that there’s a darker side to him, who’s willing to do whatever he has to do in order to win, and in order to protect the ones around him, the people that he loves. But also, again, speaking of consequences, there are consequences to his actions. So, the reality of it is, is if he got caught doing that, he puts the entire team at risk, all of us, all of the players, his professional reputation, and his career.