MOLLY BERNARD [YOUNGER]

WORDS BY IRVIN RIVERA

Actress Molly Bernard is like the quirky, yet classy version of a porcelain-skinned woman in a renaissance painting. She is one of those few people who exude a calming air of grace in the midst of whatever chaos is happening around her. 

Molly plays the character of Lauren Heller in the TV series Younger now on its sixth season.  

In this exclusive interview, discover the actress’ affinity to hard, complicated layered characters, her stories growing up and her passion for doing “Impossible Projects” like her upcoming independent film Milkwater.

PHOTOGRAPHY:  IRVIN RIVERA

PHOTOGRAPHY: IRVIN RIVERA

What is your story in a nutshell?

I was born in Las Vegas and had a pretty rough childhood. My grandfather was kind of my saving grace throughout my childhood. He was an acting teacher. He co-founded the Strasburg institute with Lee in LA. They retired to Las Vegas, my grandparents. And I learned how to read by going to my grandfather’s acting classes. Acting was my way out of my tough childhood. And then I moved to New York.

Did acting start early for you?

Yes. I was six in my first acting class. Maybe even before that. I truly remember learning to read in my grandfather’s acting class. 

And then I went to New York. Went to college and then I went to Grad School at Yale.

It’s funny that I don’t feel weighed down by all these things and stories that used to define me. For the first time in my life I feel very present. When you have a complicated childhood it stays with you for a while. You wanna hold on to it cause it’s how you identify with.

STYLING:  MADISON GUEST , STYLING ASSISTANT: CHARLOTTE HARRIS, MAKEUP:  JILL CADY  using  THE BETTER SKIN CO , HAIR:  MICHAEL DUENAS  for TMG using  ALOXXI

STYLING: MADISON GUEST, STYLING ASSISTANT: CHARLOTTE HARRIS, MAKEUP: JILL CADY using THE BETTER SKIN CO, HAIR: MICHAEL DUENAS for TMG using ALOXXI


As an actor, is there any specific role/genre that you gravitate towards?

Oh yeah. I love Younger, it’s an amazing job, it’s an incredible show but I am craving a big, difficult, meaty project—I call them impossible Projects. I love when something feels so daunting you don’t know what to expect. 

I just did this film- I did my first lead in an independent feature called Milkwater that will do the independent film festival circuit and all that. It was an Impossible Project. It was so hard. She’s not likable. She’s difficult. She’s troubled. It was like nutrients.

Same with Transparent also; it was so hard. Also I was playing Judith Light and I’m part of the story. It was big deal. I like hard, difficult roles.


You watch for the plot and you fall in love with the characters and you want good things to happen for them. 

Watching TV is like being in a relationship when you have your shows. It’s a commitment.  


What can you tease us about what’s in store of Season 6 of Younger?

Season 6 is crazy. It feels like every episode has a cliffhanger. Where in our previous seasons the cliffhanger happened at the end of each season, now the cliffhanger happens in every episode. There’s so much drama in this season it’s really fun. I can tease that there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs. And the love triangle just keeps on turning!

 

What can you say about your character Lauren’s development throughout all the seasons of the show?

Oh my God. I mean she started out bold and she is still as bold as ever. I would still she’s less focused on herself and much more focused on making Kelsey a sensation. She wants to make sure that Kelsey and Empirical succeeds with her at the helm of it. Lately I catch myself in interviews saying “We all should be so lucky to have a Lauren on our team.” She’s got your back.



LEFT: Dress: John Paul Ataker

LEFT: Dress: John Paul Ataker


Have you ever expected Younger to be as big and well received by fans?

Hard no.

This one is my first job out of Grad School. I graduated from Yale and I thought that like “Well I’ll just do downtown theatre until I die.” and I thought I was a little too quirky for TV. I don’t know. I don’t have the look. I wasn’t pretty enough. I was like, this will never happen. Then Darren (Darren Star, Executive Producer) was like No no no you just have six lines in the pilot as a guest star and then he really wanted me for the series.

And for what it had become, it wouldn’t be possible without our fans. Our fans are so loyal and die-hard I love them. They’re so cool. We had the privilege of living in this world for five years and it’s the greatest gift. Cause at this point the fans are watching for the characters and the relationships rather than the story and that’s really special when the show is running that long. It’s cool.

Think about how plot heavy Game of Thrones is right?  It’s about winning. You watch for the plot and you fall in love with the characters and you want good things to happen for them. 

Watching TV is like being in a relationship when you have your shows. It’s a commitment.  

LEFT: Top: Zara RIGHT: Dress: John Paul Ataker, Shoes: Minna Parikka

LEFT: Top: Zara RIGHT: Dress: John Paul Ataker, Shoes: Minna Parikka

Do you have any dream role/project?

Yes. I would love to be involved with a stage or the film version of the four major Chekhov plays: The Seagul, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters. The four major plays are just exquisite. Chekhov also gave birth to modern day acting. That’s kinda where the method came out of and where the Kitchen Sink Drama Realism happened.

LEFT: Top: Zara RIGHT: Pant Suit: Christine Alcalay

LEFT: Top: Zara RIGHT: Pant Suit: Christine Alcalay

 

Aside from acting what do you usually do in your freetime?

In my freetime I walk my dog. I take pictures of my dog. I stare at my dog. I think about my dog, Henry. I had Louise but she had to move in with my friend.

 

If you were a book what book would you be and why?

I would be the book The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. It is an amazing book on queer love. It is so good. It helped me understand that I was fundamentally queer because I have two moms, the women who adopted me and boy this book really helped me understand and crave the queer community and taught me to love a woman. It’s an amazing book. It’s tiny but it’s so good. It’s a lot about Art, form and Structure that you will love.

LEFT: Pant Suit: Christine Alcalay RIGHT: Dress: John Paul Ataker

LEFT: Pant Suit: Christine Alcalay RIGHT: Dress: John Paul Ataker


See Molly as Lauren Heller on Younger, Wednesdays on TV Land!