We're still counting down the days to the Younger Season 3 premiere, and celebrating with our interview of Miriam Shor and Peter Hermann from the ATX Festival this summer. Miram plays Liza's boss, Diana and Peter plays Diana's boss and Liza's potential love interest, Charles.
Much like Molly Bernard and Dan Amboyer, I've been a fan of Miriam Shor's for quite some time, so we began by talking about her work in GCB and the underrated gem Swingtown.
Leaving Peter Hermann out of the initial conversation meant hearing his voice was a shocking surprise. It's deep and quite lovely in person. Miriam used the term resonant and it was fun watching Peter get a little bit uncomfortable before the real conversation began, and what a conversation it was. I hope you enjoy reading it.
We have to talk about the episode where Charles had his pants situation, which earned a brilliant reaction from Diana. She was on fire during that episode.
Miriam [to Peter]: Do you remember that? We couldn't get through that one scene, do you remember? There was a scene we could not get through because we were laughing so hard. I forgot about that. Peter: And I was off camera and they were...and I just couldn't pull it together! I was bright red and shaking.
Miriam: That's unusual for him. He's usually very good at keeping it together, I think.
Peter: No, I'm not!! [Miriam laughs] I'm totally not. And once I'm gone, I'm gone.
Miriam: I know, but that's what's so fun, though. I love those days. But then you get to the point when the crew is like, it's two o'clock in the morning, let's go.
Peter: Yeah, it's two o'clock in the morning [claps], come on!
Miriam: I enjoy what she says because it's like, well, I can't say that. But yep, Diana can.
So you get to live through Diana.
Miriam: Absolutely. And then they yell cut and I'm like, Oh, I'm kidding you guys, I would never.
Peter: I would never! I'm so niiice.
Miriam: Exactly. I can still be nice, and yet I play Diana.
Do you take Diana out with you?
Miriam: When I walk through the streets of New York, and you kinda got to put on a little...I borrow her. Yeah, I can do that. But in my regular life? Oh God. I wish I had her balls. But I don't.
But you do. They've been written for you, so you can take them out at will.
Miriam: Just take 'em out. They're in my purse. A pair of balls. I do try to be nice as often as I can, because I do think it's something we can all aspire to. I don't feel that Diana works on that. She's had some moments.
Peter: Yeah, I don't even think she even thinks it's all that either necessary or even useful.
Miriam: Don't think it's necessary or useful. Waste of time. It's not a way to get things done. For her.
Peter: Yeah, she wouldn't quite work for her. But then there's this deeply hidden human river underneath.
Miriam: Yeah, exactly. But I don't feel I've had to struggle to get where I am in the way Diana has. So I don't know what would feel like, to be in her world.
A man's world. Yeah, you don't know what that feels like, in acting.
Miriam: Yeah! Hollywood's nothing like that! It's all about women, where men are so...[laughs].
On Younger, it is all about women.
Miriam: Well, it's not all about women. I think we're lucky because if the men weren't well written, it wouldn't resonate. If the men weren't well written and well acted, if those characters weren't fully fleshed out as they should be, it would not resonate in the same way, because it wouldn't be human, it wouldn't be real.
But I do like that there are stories that don't involve men sometimes. Go ahead and pass that test. Do women sometimes have conversations about things that don't involve men? It's shocking, but it does happen occasionally. And I like that. I like that the friendships between women are very important and diversified relationships are explored.
And the idea of ageism is explored, which is an interesting subject, so I appreciate that it's a really fun, funny that's about a topic we would all care to explore and talk about in our real life, as well.
Do you think Diana has a clue about Liza's age?
Miriam: I don't know. I think I go back and forth about that. I don't know. If she knew, she could have one of two reactions. One, it could be Oprah with a million little pieces and just so angry, or it could be, of course, whatever you gotta do to get ahead. You know? There might be some sense of admiration for what she did.
It depends upon how confident Diana really is.
Miriam [laughs]: Exactly!
Peter: But I also think with any of us who don't know, there might be moments right before...I even say in Season 1, are you sure you're 26... Miriam: Right, because of the conversation you're having with her.
Peter: Right. So 26-year-olds have moments where they seem 40 and 40-year-olds have moments when they seem 26. But the leap, to say this person I have known as 26 or 27 year old for the span I have known her, to make the leap that this person is actually 40 years old I think is still so out of bounds of the realm of the possible, an impossible thought leap for all of us.
If you think about it, what is so different between a 27-year-old and 40-year old in a business capacity...
Miriam: Good, because I was going to say their ovaries.
Outside of experience?
Miriam: Well, experience is a lot.
They're still doing the same job each other is doing.
Peter: It depends on the 26-year-old, 27-year-old or 40-year-old.
The person is there, and they tell you one minute they are 27 and the next minute they are 40. What difference does it make if the person doesn't change?
Miriam: If we're all a construct of what we put out there and what people's perception of that is, which we can't control, then you're right. What is the truth anyway?
Look how many men go grey at age 25 and people decide they're older way before they actually are.
Miriam: Yeah, I agree age is somewhat of a construct when it comes to ability. And there's a bias based on nothing. Or based on a prejudice that exists sort of for no reason.
And as opposed to people saying, well, because this person is older their experience might help, often times, they say because this person is older they have nothing to add to the conversation and people conversely say because this person is young they have nothing to add to the conversation when in fact it could be something valuable. So I do think we place way too much importance on age.
Age has absolutely nothing to do with experience in context.
Miriam: Or ability. But you have to judge that in the field.
Right. You have to weigh it all against so many other factors.
Miriam: But that's not the world we live in. At all. So age is a big factor, especially in the industry we're in. It's shocking how quickly your age will determine how people will look at you. Not just age, but age is one very big factor. I've definitely lost jobs because people found out my real age.
And it's just a number.
Peter: But I remember when I came on the show and I realized, oh, I'm the older guy. Oh. Wait. WOW. I feel like I'm 12 on a good day, but all of a sudden you've kind of graduated into that category on a TV show.
Miriam: Although, you know, interestingly I've always played much older than I am. On one of my first television shows, I played the best friend of the older woman in a older woman younger man relationship and I was the same age as the younger man. That's Hollywood!
And in real life, you just mosey along and then you're older and you realize, I still feel 20. How did this happen?
Peter: We're not all one thing. There are aspects of me that still feel 20, there are certainly aspects of me...
Miriam: That are much older than 20!
Peter: That are certainly much older than 20 and you end up like...
Get off my lawn!
Miriam: I prefer knowing what I know now to knowing what I knew in my 20s. I prefer having the wisdom. Of myself. Feeling more comfortable in my own skin. That skin being a little bit saggier, because I am in fact in my 40s.
Peter: I bought a pair of shoes. These secret, beautiful Italian loafers, and brought them home and asked Mariska if she liked them. She said, 'Wow, they're really beautiful. They have no support.' And I was like, 'We are old.' We are old if my wife just told me my new shows have no support. We're there. We've landed!
Miriam: Welcome to being a woman and buying any shoe ever. There's no support of any kind in a women's shoe. But, wouldn't it be cool to find out that Nico was 42 or Molly was 46. It would not be possible, but you'd be like, sure it's possible! Wow! That completely changes...wow!
Peter: And then we'd move on and we wouldn't care.
Miriam: Yeah, we wouldn't care. But we're actors. We're gypsies. Were weirdos.
Peter: I think we'd press them and be like, 'But why? Why didn't you tell us?'
So Peter, how do you feel about Charles and Liza, because he has really great conversations with Liza and there's definitely something there, but there really can't be anything there because the whole at work thing is not going to work if she's going to be 26. I'm not sure what I'm asking.
Peter: You just basically did Charles' brain diagram. I think you articulated that very well. It's complicated. I think his life is a dance between intellect and feeling and whether he lives with his head or his heart. Many times, that's a beautiful way to go through life, but other times that's a way to keep life from moving forward.
I think his marriage wasn't easy, his divorce wasn't easy and the idea of cracking that door open again? That's not uncomplicated for him either. That definitely factors in. He's got two kids, and yet there's this blazing light in his life.
Miriam: Diana? You're talking about Diana.
Peter: Diana Trout. There's this blazing light in his life in whose presence life just feels better.
Miriam: Don't you want her to pick Charles now?
If you look on our couples of the year slideshow, I picked Liza and Charles.
Peter: You did?
Miriam: I was #TeamBoth because we're modern women.
I do like them both, but the pragmatic side of me says Charles, because I'm sure he's fine in the sack, and you can pick up the rest later, but the conversations...
Peter: And fine is enough. Fine is all you want. [Miriam laughs and laughs]
No...the conversations? Those scenes make me melt. Like the one at the end of the season in the bar? Those are amazing. As opposed to popping over to the skate park? Sorry.
Diana makes it into our slideshows too. We like to pull out the Younger crowd. It's worthy of the awards.
Miriam: I didn't kill this one! I killed the others, though, but not this one.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.