It’s no secret that our culture is pretty youth-obsessed. Just look at how many of those “one weird trick for looking 20 years younger” ads pop up every time you browse the internet. But a new show on TV Land seeks to take that concept to a new level: In “Younger,” forty year old recent divorcee Liza can’t break back into the job market in the entry level jobs she needs, so she pretends to be 26. The show stars Broadway actress Sutton Foster (as well as Hilary Duff), and comes from “Sex and the City” producer Darren Star, who brought along his prior show’scostume designer, Patricia Field. We talked to Foster about how it feels to have to act 15 years younger.
What made this show seem like a good fit?
I’m not your typical leading lady. I always joke that I don’t see myself in this daily crime drama where I’m the steely secretary in the pin skirt, or something. Liza was just quirky and funny and the show was smart and I liked this idea. I was like, oh, there’s so much potential of where this character could go and what the stories could be, and it just seemed like something that would be fun. I liked the idea of working with Darren Star.
You’re in a pretty age-obsessed industry. Do you also feel pressure to look younger?
It was interesting to be playing this part and then also facing my own 40th birthday, and what that means, and all that stuff. Being in this show, and filming, I never thought about my age more in my life. Even the way I looked, I never really thought about it. In the theater it’s a little different, but on camera, it’s more revealing. But on our show, it’s incredible, because three of our leads are over 40. We’re all in our 40s. There’s such a quest for holding onto youth in our industry, like this idea that we have to still look like we’re 20.
Are you a little more hip than Liza?
Not so much. I’m pretty much on par with her, in her 40 year old vein. But it’s been fun to be dressed for the show. The whole wardrobe is incredible, and Pat Field is amazing. And some of the clothes that they put me in, I’d be like, is this what the young people are wearing these days? And then [co-star] Hilary [Duff] would walk in to do a table read, and I’d be like, oh my gosh, totally! She’s all hip and cool, and I’m so not hip and cool. I’m such a jeans and t shirt girl. I can’t pull this stuff off in my real life. I feel like such a poser.
What’s it like being dressed by Pat Field?
When I first met with her – she’s amazing, and when I first met with her, I was like, I’m a blank canvas. I have no sense of style. And she was like, score! I just told her, as long as I feel confident and it’s flattering, I’m good. The more fun, the better. I feel like the clothes have a sense of humor, and a sense of fun and play. It’s like how Brooklyn plays a character in the show, and I feel like wardrobe plays a character in the show.
Have you wanted to steal any clothes from the show?
Totally. There’s been several pairs of jeans, a bunch of shoes, but again, I’d have to be like, ok, I’ll just pair that with something simpler. But I will say that some of that has trickled into my life. I feel like I shop a little bit differently now.