‘Younger’s Molly Bernard Reveals How Lauren Inspires Her: Her Confidence Is ‘Mind-Blowing’

Lauren is coming back to 'Younger' season 5 in a big way. HollywoodLife sat down EXCLUSIVELY with Molly Bernard to talk Lauren's new job, her healthy sexuality, getting in the zone on set, and more!

Molly Bernard
Image Credit: Paige Kindlick

Molly Bernard steals every single scene she’s in on Younger. Lauren is bold, hilarious, and brutally honest with herself and others. That’s why we love her. She looks at life like a new book you just picked up, one that’s filled with possibilities and directions. Lauren’s character is so much more than Kelsey’s best friend. She’s also pansexual, and her confidence with her sexual fluidity is something we should all be inspired by.

HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Molly about playing the trailblazing character. Molly believes that Lauren’s “healthy” sexuality is representation that’s “worth being seen.” Plus, she reveals that Lauren will be starting her own PR firm this season, and she’ll be sharing some special moments with notable characters in season 5. Check out our full Q&A below!

I love that Lauren’s sexuality has come to the forefront in the later seasons. She had the relationship with Ben and now she’s open and expressive but isn’t defined by her relationships.
Molly Bernard: I love it, too, that it’s not a big deal on the show. I think that’s key to representation. She just is herself, and she’s fully accepted. That’s partially because of how she presents herself to the world. She loves herself unconditionally and that is how others treat her.

What I love about TV is that when they see things happen to their favorite characters, they feel more confident to be themselves. Do you have fans reach out to you?
Molly Bernard: What’s special about Lauren is that she’s a queer person on television who is not struggling with her sexuality. It’s not like a sad gay story. And by that, I mean she’s not getting beat up, she’s not getting harassed, she’s not getting accosted. She’s a person, and she’s healthy in her sexuality, and I think that representation is worth being seen. Fans reach out to me all the time about Lauren’s courage and strength and her bravery. A really interesting, young queer person, who’s a woman and a student, reached out to me and said, ‘You’re an inspiration to me in terms of who I am as a gay woman, but also an actress. The way you play Lauren inspires me so much. You play her fearlessly.’ It’s not always easy for me to play Lauren. I can be shy. I stumble over my words. I’m not nearly as confident as Lauren is, so someone seeing that I am making big, bold choices is so sweet. That’s my job. That’s all my years of training paid off.

Lauren starts her own PR firm this season. What sparks that?
Molly Bernard: It starts at the end of season 4 when Lauren gets fired. Kelsey moves her into Josh and Kelsey’s apartment, and it’s that moment when Lauren says, ‘I’m not going to leave here until I have enough contacts to start my own firm.’ She says that failure is not an option, and we see that in practice this season. She starts her own firm, and this season the firm is her partner. So it’s like there’s not much romance for Lauren this season, but we see her starting her own business. It’s so cool. The thing about Lauren, too, is that when she was fired it wasn’t a tragedy. It made her want to work harder. She’s joyful in her pursuits, even when they’re filled with struggle. She’s so inspiring. We need more Lauren.

Lauren’s confidence is just so incredible.
Molly Bernard:
It’s mind-blowing. It astonishes me, too, dude. It’s bizarre to me that I play her. I’m an actress and I cannot audition for other parts when I’m playing Lauren. I’m like handicapped. I can’t do it. I tried to go on a couple of auditions and do some self-tapes, and I had to reach out to my manager and agents and say Lauren requires such focus and so much of my brain. It’s so expensive to play this part, like, I can’t. I’m not able to play anybody else. On set, I’m a different person. I just have to remove doubt. It’s taken 5 years to get there. It’s taken Nico’s help, Hilary’s help, Sutton’s help, Miriam’s help, Debbie, Darren… without their championship and cheerleading and love for me I don’t think I’d feel as confident playing her.

With this new PR firm, you hire a gender-queer assistant [played by Jesse James Keitel]. That’s game-changing.
Molly Bernard: Jesse’s only in one episode, but they really charmed all of us. It was such a joy to work with them. So Jesse has this very RuPaul thing, whereby Ru has this famous quote where she says, ‘You can call me he, you can call me she, I don’t care what you call me as long as you call me.’ So Jesse’s like, ‘Call me he, call me them, call me they, call me whatever you want, honey.’ It’s episode 5, Miriam directs it, and Lauren is schooling everyone on gender-queerness, and Jesse is a fantastic vehicle. Jesse plays a character named Tam, and Tam is the vehicle for which queerness is kind of explored in that episode. Our writers are so great. Our demographic is, of course, plenty of woke people and young women, but also plenty of women who need these lessons, too.

The show just got renewed for season 6, congratulations. Why do you think the show keeps getting bigger?
Molly Bernard: I will say it’s the spirit of the show. It starts with who’s making it. Darren is a feminist. He makes it with such tenacity. And we do, too. There’s Sutton, too.
Her spirit is so generous and open. She’s leading us all. I’m a theater girl. I didn’t know how to be on TV, and this has been my education. What amazing training for the rest of my career. I’m the luckiest motherf**ker in the world.

Will we see Lauren get to interact more with other characters?
Molly Bernard: Lauren and Diana meet. Just you wait. It is fun as sh*t. There’s much more interaction with Josh. There’s a really tender moment with Josh and Lauren. Josh seeks her counsel a little bit. We see Lauren morph into a different emotional place, and she gives some really great advice. It’s sweet.

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