This Younger article contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5.
The relationship between Liza (Sutton Foster) and Charles (Peter Hermann) has never been more honest… or tense. Since the Younger Season 5 premiere twist, in which Charles found out Liza has been lying about her age, Charles has been giving Liza the cold shoulder. Will that change moving forward?
Den of Geek was lucky enough to talk to both Foster and Hermann at this month’s ATX Television Festival in Austin. How will Charles and Liza’s relationship—both professionally and personally—change moving forward?
“I’ll say there is no aspect of the relationship that’s not affected,” said Hermann. “There is no way that it doesn’t … I think to the credit of the writers, they don’t say, ‘Alright, that bump in the road has now happened. Let’s get these two together.’ The fallout is extensive, and there are some very real and very human consequences to that … There’s so much stacked up now that, when something shifts underneath, so much comes crashing down.”
Foster praised the strength of the writers and showrunner Darren Star in their ability to “flip the world” of the show so organically. She teased the pace of the season moving forward, calling it “a rollercoaster,” and implying that Liza and Charles don’t get a lot of space to carefully work through their feelings about the secret coming out.
“This season’s been the most fun to play. I think that’s because there’s just so much to pull from,” said Foster, talking about how the twist plays on four seasons of building stakes—stakes the writers room take very seriously.
The writers have huge debates and arguments in the writers’ room about [how the characters will react to Liza’s secret] because everyone’s super invested in these characters now, about what’s gonna happen and how someone’s gonna react and what that means. It’s like this game of Tetris and trying to figure it out.
Foster said that the relationship between Liza and Charles has been the “most fun” dynamic to play (and not just because Hermann was sitting next to her, OK?), liking that the characters have been able to “meet at different levels” over the course of their relationship on the show.
“It is the, ‘Will they, won’t they?'” said Foster. “There’s stolen glances and like this thing, and then yet they have all these obstacles in their way, and how do they find their way to each other? And should they? And what does it mean? What’s the endgame?”
Hermann agreed, saying: “I think, no doubt, [my favorite dynamic to play is] the relationship between Charles and Liza. And I think that they’re exactly as you said. There are so many obstacles in its way and even once those obstacles come down it just opens this road for more complications. And it’s not a simple thing where you just have to get one roadblock out and it’s smooth sailing from there, to mix road and water metaphors. And I think that it’s really fun to play just sort if an uncanny unemployment of each other mixed with a lot of attraction mixed an intellectual connection.”
Hermann then went on to gush about his co-star, who he called “one of the flat out loveliest people,” saying:
If you visit our set, there is such a good spirit, there is such a good mood, there’s such a work ethic. And Sutton is where it comes from because if you have somebody else at the top who doesn’t work hard or who’s not prepared then it trickles down and everyone feels entitled to do that. And if you have Sutton at the top then everybody just brings it. The reason why we’re here at season five is sitting next to me.
“I tried so hard not to say something snarky or to deflate the moment,” Foster said in response, moved by her co-star’s words.
“And that can’t be said often enough,” Hermann added. “You’re really something.”
Sutton Foster is really something, and so is Younger. Watch it Tuesdays on TV Land at 10 p.m. ET.