In season four of TV Land’s “Younger,” Sutton Foster finally gets to act her age. As Liza Miller, the two-time Tony winner has played a 40-year-old living the life, and the lie, of a 20-something trying to make her way through the New York publishing world. But in her personal life the secret is out, and Darren Star’s follow-up to “Sex and the City” has shifted focus from what it means to live with a lie to the strength it takes to tell the truth.
amNewYork spoke with Foster about “Younger” season 4 and finding her “authentic self” on a show about lies.
Has the tone of the show changed now that Liza is letting those close to her in on her secret?
I do feel like the show has evolved beyond just a secret. It’s actually interesting, because we live in a time now where truth is very topical, a time where you can rewrite your own narrative.
Do you play Liza differently the more she tells the truth?
When the show started, it was very much Young Liza vs. Old Liza. I felt like it was a clear gap. But as the seasons went on, that line became very blurry. I feel like Liza is actually finding her authentic self, even though it’s based in this lie. In a weird way, she’s living right now. Even with Kelsey [played by Hilary Duff] knowing, the relationship between them hasn’t really changed. We removed this conceit, but the relationship they built before is able to survive.
Is there a trait of Liza’s that you identify with most, especially now, after living with this character for four seasons?
Ultimately, what ends up happening is actor and character begin to marinate. Liza and Sutton, we share a lot. We share an earnestness and openness about the world. A naiveté, as well. I think Liza can be very naive, and I can, too. We’re both hopeless romantics.
The topic of a character’s “likability” is often brought up in television. How important is it to have a character like Liza, who isn’t a bad person but has made mistakes?
The thing that I love about Liza is that she’s redefining herself. She’s finding herself again. She’s making all the mistakes you would have made in your twenties, but she’s making them now. She’s messy, she’s flailing, but the essence of her is good. I don’t think she has a mean bone in her body. If anything, she’s tortured by her lies. It’s not like she’s going to bed every night completely guilt free. I always think, “I hope people like her, and root for her.” And amazingly, people do. She’s a complicated gal. But aren’t we all?