Molly Bernard plays a fashion publicist and best friend to Hilary Duff’s character in YOUNGER. She is the latest incarnation of a publicist in Darren Star’s world, after Samantha Jones. Her character considers herself pansexual. Last fall, she appeared in HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE and also played the younger version of Judith Light in TRANSPARENT, and will continue that character in the new season, premiering later this year.
T: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk today, I am really grateful for it!
M: Oh my gosh, It is a pleasure thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today.
T: Congratulations on Season 4 of Younger, that is a huge accomplishment
M: Hey Man, Thanks it is awesome! It is a great season and I am really excited. So thank you!
T: We left off Season 3, with the big reveal of Liza, Sutton Foster's character revealing her truth to Kelsey. Where do you see season 4 going?
M: It is going to be a really juicy, kind of Wild Season. I think it is our best season yet. We have 3 seasons behind us. 3 seasons of character development and these relationships are deepening. There is a lot at stake for Liza. There is a lot at stake for Kelsey in Liza's betrayal both personally and very seriously professionally because as Millennial is growing and becoming an imprint if they are exposed it is going to be terrible for the company, Empirical. The writers make it touch for Liza this season. It is good, there are consequences if you're lying as much as we love Liza she is a great character and Sutton plays her so perfectly, the woman has been lying for 3 seasons to everyone and that is the reality.
T: What are your favorite things to play about Lauren?
M: She is wild and so confident. This season you learn more about her ambitions and it is so much fun. This show is about a bunch of strong women. I love that the millennials are represented as really strong and fierce. It is ok to be career driven and pursue it and succeed at it. I like that representation too. The most fun about Lauren is what she says. She says the wildest things. She says it with force and belief that is a joy. I get to play someone that says whatever she wants and has an opinion, not judgmental, but she has an opinion and excitement about everything.
T: Your character, Lauren Heller is pansexual. Why do you think representation matters?
M: It is so important that there is a pansexual, fluid character depicted on television and I am so glad that the writers and Darren Star our show runner is giving voice to people that identify as Pan/ fluid. It is interesting that Lauren isn't bi. I think she just sees all humans and human bodies as equal opportunity. Representation matters, especially right now, because there is a lot for changing in identities, there are new terms, well not new, but in the mainstream world. People now know what cis is. People know what trans is thanks to shows like Transparent and the Trevor Project has a larger presence and queer life is important to be represented on a mainstream television show.
T: Talking of Transparent, you play the younger version of Judith Light's character, Shelly Pfefferman in a flashback episode. How was that experience?
M: Honestly, the highest honor. I love that show so much. It is bizarre to simultaneously fan-girl and also bust my work ethic and all. On the show, it's nuts that I am in the Pfefferman family. It's crazy that I get to share a character with Judith Light. I love Jill. I love Zackary Drucker and Our Lady J. I was in her episode last season and also just directed the season finale of Transparent that I was just in. It is important that shows stand for visibility: politically and ethically. I am beyond pumped to be on Transparent. Also, as an artist, it is the hardest thing I have done in my career. I am eternally grateful for that opportunity.
T: You have worked with incredible women. How do you motivate each other?
M: That's a great question. My experience with women is that they are beautiful, not catty, and out to support and love each other. I work with so many different women. Hillary Duff has become my best friend and loves and supports me in an insane way. We love and support each other. Sutton Foster, whom I idolized as a kid. I wrote her fan mail and she wrote me back and said to follow my dreams. Judith Light and I share this weird love. We don't spend a lot of time together, but it is there and I know this woman is championing me. I am really in admiration of our Lady J. She is an amazing, gifted, renaissance woman. She is an amazing musician, thinker, writer and an important voice. Jill Soloway is changing the entertainment industry single-handedly, pretty much. I am very lucky I work with some amazing women.
T: If you could project your legacy what would you want to leave for future generations?
M: Damn, that is a really good question. I think I hope to have a long career. I have always felt that and in fact am very surprised that I started to have a little bit of success this soon out of grad school. I always kind of thought it would take me a longer time to have a presence but I hope that over time, I can do really respected projects that are part of the long-term game changer. Like the fact that I am part of Transparent that I am a part of a show that is a first of its kind is incredibly unique and something I don't take lightly. I feel very responsible as an artist and as an actress that my ethics match the project that I am on. You know, though I am on Younger, which is a lighter show than Transparent, I get to play a controversial character that's really important that everyone is represented. I think what I am trying to say, and am trying to parse through in terms of legacy if I could project it, being unique as an actress I hope that I help other people see that you don't have to fit into a mold and also don't be shy to blend who you are politically and ethically with what you want to do as an actress. One doesn't have to sell out to have a career. I think there are a lot of people that successfully do that but for me, I don't know. Even if it's a small legacy or even some kind of small leftover it is that quirky powerful women have a place too and use your powers for good not evil always.
T: You have quite the background in acting. You learned with your Grandfather, Joseph Bernard, who co-founded the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Hollywood boasts attendees like Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and Robert De Niro. What is one lesson that really sticks out for you from your grandfather?
M: Honestly, I am still on this journey to be in full candor. My grandfather really tried to teach me to love myself and that is still not easy for me to do. It is what kind of goes into the same realm as an actress. He taught me that you have to be who you are in an uncompromising fashion and that is what you will propel forward. You have to be true to yourself as an actor. It is hard to be a different kind of actor than you are because everyone is different. Also on a very basic level, the biggest lesson he taught me was to speak loudly, clearly and if you are five minutes early you are on time. If you are on time you are late. Which still are the most important practices to live by every day.
T: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. I really appreciate your time.
M: Enjoy the new season of younger. It's my favorite so far.
The new season of Younger premiered June 28 on TV Land. Check your local listings for show times.