TV Land’s breakout comedy Younger gets set Wednesday night to wrap up its second season. The series follows Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) as she pretends to be a 26-year-old working in publishing, when in reality, she’s a 40-year-old divorcee trying to get her career back. After becoming best friends with co-worker Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff), Liza quickly realizes what it means to be 26 in New York City. Part of that realization comes from hanging out with people like Kelsey’s best friend, the wild Lauren Heller (Molly Bernard), who sneaks into their friendship, rounding out the perfect trio for all our Wednesday night comedy needs.
Lauren has a unique style all her own, and slowly but surely, she wiggles her way into Liza’s life. Whether it’s always being down for a night out in the city, or just a fun, quirky outing, one thing is for certain, there will be drama. While nobody actually knows Liza’s secret besides her roommate Maggie (Debi Mazar), we all know it’s bound to come out sooner or later. After last week’s cliffhanger that saw Thad (Dan Amboyer) meet an untimely (and shocking!) end, Younger always leaving us wanting more each week.
In order to get a look into what we can expect from Wednesday’s Season 2 finale, as well as what’s next for Lauren and the Younger gang, The TV Junkies spoke exclusively Bernard. She also gave us a few hints about what we can look forward to come Season 3, and the adjustments she’s had to make starring in a television comedy coming from a theater background.
The TV Junkies: When you were in the beginning stages of Younger, what did you think about it being on TV Land?
Molly Bernard: Younger was my first big job on TV and so I didn’t think much of [what network it was on]. I didn’t understand, at that point, about networks and cable, but now, especially if I watch the first season, it’s amazing that a show of this quality is on a revived network. Darren [Star, Younger’s showrunner] says all the time that it feels like it should be on HBO and we love it. I think it’s great because the market is so saturated right now with amazing shows on cute, little underdog networks, which is amazing.
TTVJ: TV Land is really giving great comedies a chance.
MB: It is. It totally is and it’s really nice to be part of a trailblazing project like that. We shared our Season 2 premiere with Teachers and it was so cool. Teachers is such a great show. Those girls came out of Chicago and this is all their first TV show.
TTVJ: Did you have any inspirations or research that prepared you for Lauren?
MB: When I shot Younger I had three credits, two little guest stars and a movie. I didn’t have any comedy on my reel. When I was at Yale I did some heavy lifting in terms of scene stealing little comedy parts. It’s one of my favorite things to do, kind of just be a goofball. I have some great comedic heroes. I love old, old school SNL. I love Carol Burnett. I will tell you my favorite inspiration while shooting Season 2 this year was watching Broad City. Before I had to do big scenes this season I would just watch Ilana [Glazer] and Abbi [Jacobson] for some inspiration. It’s so funny. Alana specifically, her logic is kind of boundary-less. She has no rules and that’s my character. Lauren operates on the same mode. She lives by nobody’s rules and it’s so inspiring.
TTVJ: Lauren is a firecracker. What has been your favorite moment so far?
MB: It’s amazing. I have so many favorites. I love when Lauren planned the engagement party. She just shows up and I love that she will not take no for an answer. Any time Lauren is throwing a party, they are always my favorite scenes to work on and to film. They are the most fun because she’s in her element. There’s this one cute moment where Kelsey is getting her photo taken and I take her away from the red carpet. I had never been on one or known what that was like at that time, but now that I have and even though I didn’t know what publicists really did at that point in time, I watched that episode the other day and I thought “oh, yeah Lauren is a publicist.”
TTVJ: How do you think Lauren and Kelsey will handle Liza’s secret? Because Lauren and Kelsey are a tag team and it has to come out at some point.
MB: Yes, this is a great question and because nothing has been written, I can hypothesize. Hilary [Duff] and I talk about this a lot–the whole cast does–but specifically Hilary and I. We’re always hypothesizing over who will be hurt, who will feel betrayed, who will be angry, etc. Obviously Lauren will think it’s amazing. Lauren is not going to judge her. That’s the thing about Lauren, she’s insane and she has a mean girl quality, but when you see her actions, she’s the kindest. I have a feeling Kelsey might be pissed and Lauren will be damage repair. I would be pissed if I was Kelsey. I can see that character feeling betrayed. I think Lauren will be the one character to be like “Well, I’ve come to love her, she’s Liza, and now I want her to tell me all the 40-year-old things I never knew.” Liza has become Kelsey’s best friend, especially in the finale, there are some tough and heartwarming scenes that you kind of see how deep their friendship is. I love that I get to play their best friend. They have a very, very deep friendship those two.
TTVJ: That was a big cliffhanger last week! How is everyone going to react to that?
MB: What the what?! The writers kept saying that the episode wasn’t ready yet. That might of been true, they probably weren’t ready yet, but I think they kept it from us. We were still shooting 9 and 10 and we got these scripts the day or two before shooting these episodes. We got them so late, and I think they gave them to us late because they wanted us to feel that surprise of the cliffhanger. When the end of 11 happened, the whole room started screaming. Some people applauded. It was an awesome time. We’re not supposed to like him. I have to give Dan Amboyer so many kudos because he loves Thad. On social media, it’s so sweet. He’s always #TeamThad!
TTVJ: This could not have been done in a better way.
MB: I agree. It speaks to the trailblazing quality of this show and the new shows like Younger that TV Land has started doing. It’s brave. What comedy kills off a character? It’s pretty radical. You expect Thad to be this nuisance for a long time and bam! He’s out. There’s a major surprise coming in the finale. There’s another one of those crazy moments.
TTVJ: Your character gets to spend a lot of time with Maggie. What can we expect from that relationship in Season 3?
MB: We have no idea and I’m not even being secretive. Debi [Mazar] and I just talked on the phone the other day, and we’re like “What’s going to happen with our girls?” We have no idea. When I as at grad school someone said to me, “I bet you when you graduate you’re going to book a series,” and I was like “Why are you saying that, I don’t even know how that would happen?” How do people do that? Give me a 90 page play and I know how to handle it because I have all the answers from start to finish. The biggest adjustment going from plays to TV is that you never know what’s coming next. I literally have no idea what is happening to Lauren next week, and as an actress it’s tremendously exciting. That’s how we live. We don’t know if we’re going to run into our ex-boyfriend on the street. It’s amazing and TV acting allows a different kind of acting because you’re not always prepared for the stuff that happens. I think sometimes on TV, acting can be brilliant because it’s not quite as figured out. .
TTVJ: Representation on television is a hot topic right now. Your character is pansexual. Why is that important to you that Lauren’s character arc plays like that?
MB: I love that Lauren is pansexual. She does what she wants. Her parents support her. They’re not confused by it. Even if they are, they are not judgmental. They love her. I think TV Land is doing something awesome with Lauren. I think maybe one of the reasons it works is because I don’t think twice about it. I just do. I get the scripts and there are these scenarios that Lauren is in, that I’m sure could make other people uncomfortable, but they just happen. I do them and I enjoy it. A lot of my friends are bisexual, gay, etc. but I have yet to call on them to ask what it’s like because I get these scripts and I think the way Lauren would think. It is so interesting that Maggie is happily with this wild, but very sweet young person.
When Lauren asks Maggie to be her her girlfriend, Lauren is doing her Lauren thing and playing it cool, when it’s actually a hard thing to ask. It just is. There’s no drama. It’s cool. The thing is that they have accepted Lauren. Heads up to the creators and the writers and Darren because they love Lauren. I think if you love the characters that you are writing for and playing and directing, it shows. It really shows.
Hilary and I got the first three episodes [of Season 1] and I went over to her house and I got really sad. I said I just feel like one of these things is not like the other. I feel like I’m very different from the other characters. Hilary grabbed my hands and said, “Molly, that’s why the show needs you. Your character works because you are not like anybody else.” Lauren talks fast and says whatever she wants. [Hilary] really helped me understand that Lauren is different and it’s not the sad different–it’s the different that should be celebrated. That was the real turning point because the last three episodes, I was able to see a shift in my approach. Lauren is always changing for me. Some days I think I’ll have her figured out on set, and then I’ll get a script and I’ll be like “Wait, I thought I knew who she was!” That’s exhilarating, but sometimes also hard. We’re always figuring it out as actors. Once you think you have it figured out, you don’t.
TTVJ: You’re starring in the off-Broadway show SoHo Rep. How has that been?
MB: It’s wonderful. It’s nothing like what I do on Younger. It will be a very fun kind of moment for fans to see that this person is not that person that she plays on TV. It’s a very cool, radical feminist play. It’s won a lot of awards. It’s premiered in the UK and is a really important piece of theater written by a young woman named Alice Birch. It’s a really beautiful and difficult play that I am so excited to be working on.
Are you excited for the Season 2 finale of Younger? Sound off in the comments below!
Younger airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TV Land in the US and Mondays at 9 p.m. on E! Canada.
Megan's TV addiction began with Gilmore Girls. Television taught her everything, from how to survive on an island to how to get away with murder. She will talk TV all day and every day. Follow on twitter @meggh11