‘Younger’ Season 2: Sutton Foster Says One More Character Learns Liza’s Secret, Teases New Love Interest

TV Land’s critical darling “Younger” returns with Season 2 Wednesday night, and star Sutton Foster says the stakes are higher the second time around.

“Season 2 is more confident,” says Foster, who plays the 40-year-old aspiring publisher Liza who’s posing as a 20-something to help her career. “I know I feel more just confident in this character. It’s more marinated, the writing is even better than Season 1. I joke it’s bolder, sexy, wiser. It’s ballsier. A lot more ‘oh my god’ moments.”

Created by “Sex and the City” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” mastermind Darren Star, “Younger” has helped TV Land in its mission to reach more millennials with fresher programming, which is ironic, given Foster’s fake-millennial character Liza — who comes across even more hurdles in the new episodes, now that her much younger boyfriend Josh (Nico Tortorella) is in on her secret.

“It definitely makes it more complicated,” Foster says of her on-screen relationship. “It affects their relationship — how could it not? They’re trying to re-establish who they are now. What is their new normal? Is it just fun or is there something more substantial there? I think even they don’t know yet. They’re figuring that out.”

While it remains to be seen whether Liza and Josh can work it out, Foster teases there are “a couple of other fellas in the mix, as well.”

Below, Foster talks to Variety more about Liza and Josh’s relationship, plus her potential new love interests. And, she reveals that one more character learns her secret in Season 2.

Why do you think “Younger” has resonated so well with fans?

I think it’s really well done, I think the writing is really smart, I think the characters are really relatable. It’s not a bunch of like snarky or bitchy characters — everyone’s a little nerdy and sweet. It has a sweetness and a heart to it. It’s a rom-com, it’s escapism, it’s the chance to relive a part of your life or to live vicariously through Liza and what that would be like and sort of invest in her journey. The idea of reinvention too — a chance to relive and start over, I think that resonates with a lot of people. It’s a wacky, romantic comedy so there’s crazy s–t that happens, which keeps it fun.

You bring up a good point: it truly is a rom-com. Right now, there aren’t a ton of rom-coms in film, so do you think “Younger” hit at the right time for viewers?

It’s sweet and you’re not blowing anybody up and no one’s killing anyone. There’s no doctors, there’s not lawyers — it’s publishing and tattoo artists and creatives. It’s different.

Are you surprised by the success or did you know when you read the script?

I think you never know. I’d come off of doing “Bunheads,” which was such a great experience for me. The show was awesome, but we didn’t have the viewers and we also didn’t have the support of the network. And with “Younger,” the biggest difference was we had such support from the network. The network was behind us from the beginning, and I realized “Oh, that’s what does it.” We weren’t a hit right out of the gate. We were a slow burn, but the network gave us the chance and the opportunity for viewers to find it and they believed in the show. The fact they renewed us for a third season before our second season has even aired, that’s a huge vote of confidence behind the show and it’s nice.

Now that Josh knows Liza’s secret — her real age — how will their relationship be affected?

It’s a rocky season for Liza and Josh, I’ll say that. There’s actually a couple twists and turns. I mean there’s obviously the Charles (Peter Hermann) storyline — we tease that quite a bit. He’s always in the ether — you can’t deny that they have chemistry. When you think about it you go, “oh maybe he’s the type, he’s the one that makes more sense, he’s more age appropriate.” That is definitely in the ether, but there’s also a couple other fellas in the mix, as well.

You teased the chemistry between Liza and Charles. Is there a chance that he’s the next person to find out Liza’s secret and since they’re actually close in age, they could get together?

That could happen. That could definitely happen. That would be interesting if Charles found out. That makes sense. I like that maybe Charles will find out. We’ll see.

Who else finds our her secret this season?

I will tell you that definitely a character this season discovers her secret. I can’t tell you who. I think just one. We play it out cause we’re like, “This can’t go on forever. How is this going to happen? What’s going to happen when people found out? Who’s going to find out next?” We’ll go down the rabbit hole.  

Now that “Younger” has been renewed for Season 3, do you think there’s a world where everyone knows Liza’s secret?

I think so. What the show is becoming and what I think is cool about it is that it’s really about women of different generations interacting with each other and also being friends. I think Liza this season is becoming more authentic, in a weird way. That line is becoming blurry, especially with her scenes with Kelsey (Hilary Duff). With her scenes with Diana (Miriam Shor), I still feel like she’s playing very much a part, a role. Even with her scenes with Charles, her scenes with Kelsey, it’s like they’re just getting blurrier. I would love for there to be a world where everyone knows, and hopefully we’re creating strong enough characters and relationships that it kind of doesn’t matter.

How do you think Kelsey would react?

Not very well! We sort of see shades of Kelsey where she can be very hot or cold with people or she can cut people off and she can be fiercely loyal to her friends. I think she would feel very betrayed. I think that would be a big divide. I don’t know how they’ll do it. Maybe she’ll be like, “Oh, it’s cool I’ve known the whole time” or whatever — but I have a feeling she’ll be really hurt.

Liza’s daughter is back from her world travels this season. How prevalent will that character be in the new episodes and will Liza have to tell her?

She has to really decide whether or not to let her in on all this stuff. The daughter is home for a bit and then learns some information and then sort of gives her mom some space to kind of figure some stuff out. It’s different than if she had a 10-year-old daughter — she has a 17-year-old daughter who’s very worldly and is figuring stuff out. I love having Caitlin (Tessa Albertson) around because I like seeing that mom side. I think it’s important to keep reminding the audience that Liza is a mom. Ultimately, everything she’s doing is for her daughter — it’s to put her through college, it’s to support her. Eventually she’s going to have to tell her daughter the truth about everything that’s going on. She learns part of the story, but not the whole story.

We’ve talked about Liza’s romantic and family life. What can you tease about her work life?

What’s really great is that Kelsey gets a promotion and asks Liza to basically be her right-hand man. It’s a new imprint for Empirical called Millennial Print, [which] is an imprint for millennials and, of course, the joke is that she’s now asked the old fogey to be her co-millennial. So it’s actually really great, but it also keeps the lie going. A lot of season two is really exploring this new imprint and signing authors and meeting a whole slew of crazy-ass people. It’s an amazing opportunity for her. She’s still an assistant with Diana, but she’s starting to move up and make a name for herself and these are the things that she’s always wanted. It just makes things more complicated. The lie is oddly paying off, but getting more complicated — professionally paying off, personally causing some turmoil.

“Younger” Season 2 airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on TV Land.

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