AE: Do you think your work on The Fosters is making an impact? If so, who on and how so?
TP: Yes! I’ve had teenage girls come up to me crying and scream like I was a Beatle. Then there’s little brothers, who are 9, 10, 11, would pipe up to say “We watch it too!” Then there’s been 47-year-old women in grocery stores saying “What a great show,” and grandparents telling me that they watch my show with their grandchildren! But the epitome actually came from my own daughter, just a few weeks ago. Over the weekend, I’d picked up a handbag for Sherri at a swag event. As I left for work on Monday, my young daughter came running out the door in her footie pajamas calling, “Mommy, Mommy, you forgot the purse for your wife!” And I thought: six years old, and we have done our job. We have affected one child who is going to branch out tolerance to her children and her friends. This is now! And on the way to work I cried because we’ve let her know “this is love.” No matter gender, size, shape, color, love is love.
When my daughter first saw The Fosters pilot, she started giggling and said “You’re kissing a girl. You can’t kiss a girl!” And I responded, “Sure I can, she’s my wife! A man can kiss a man, a woman can kiss a woman, it makes no difference.” My daughter thought about that for a moment, exclaimed “OH!” and understood and accepted that concept perfectly.
AE: Religious extremists are always moaning “how are we going to explain gay people to our children?” Now they know! Easy.
TP: Yes! With both The Fosters and my daughter, I feel like I’m helping raise generations of tolerant, good people. And I’m so honored. I’m so happy to come to work each day. If I played a cop who just ran around shooting aliens all day, I would kill myself. I would not be an actress anymore. I would want to quit, because I have a really hard time taking myself seriously to begin with, so the fact that I’m coming to work and portraying reality, reaching, and meaning something in this world… It’s worth it. It’s totally worth it..
AE: Both you and Sherri are straight women portraying a gay couple. What’s that experience like?
TP: Sherri and I have stupid chemistry! We adore each other. We finish each other’s sentences and text constantly. She’s married, I’m the black widow: Two children from two different men and single again at 44.
AE: Well then now’s the time to experiment with lesbianism! [NOTE: JOKE. WE LAUGHED. JUST A JOKE.]
AE: Mike’s getting a love interest this season. How does Stef feel about her ex-husband’s new romance?
TP: That’s funny, because everyone’s first reaction is [Terri murmurs/gestures a jealous "Oh no she didn’t" snapping routine that cannot be sufficiently translated to the written word] but I don’t give a shit! Stef doesn’t care about Mike anymore, so she doesn’t react with jealousy. Stef is only concerned with whether or not Mike’s new lover is a good influence on her son. Let me tell you, I know all about that with my exes and their… interesting choices in partners.
AE: What else can you tell me about Mike’s story as Season 2 opens?
TP: It’s a good story, because it goes back to Mike’s alcoholism, which was introduced last season. Alcoholism touches a great deal of our lives, whether we personally know it or not. It’s a very poignant storyline. There’s some drama that goes down between Mike, Mike’s girlfriend, and Brandon in regards to Mike’s alcoholism.
AE: Will Mike’s new girlfriend take time away from Stef and Brandon?
TP: What I like about Mike, as a character, is he’s always going to be. He’s not going to be Stef’s love interest, or a threat to Stef’s marriage, but he has his own storyline and place in the Fosters’ lives.
AE: Speaking of Brandon, we’ve heard he’s going to get angsty. How is Stef dealing with that?
TP: I don’t know because we’re just now starting to get into that. I literally, can honestly answer that with an “I don’t know,” because Stef doesn’t know what’s going on. I can tell you that if it was me, he’d be chained to his kennel for the next 40 years. I love Brandon’s “angsty” storyline because it’s real. When you’re young and temptations are dangled in front of you, it’s easy to be seduced. Brandon wants to be good, but he doesn’t want to be a goody two shoes anymore.
AE: Final question that I’m asking everyone today: What’s the weirdest thing Rosie O’Donnell ever did or said in front of you?
TP: That’s a question for Maia, who worked with Rosie a great deal. I only worked a couple days with Rosie. Our paths crossed, but shooting was so hectic and crazy that I never saw anything weird. Just the wonderful times when I overheard her on the phone with her children. I did more weird things in front of Rosie than Rosie did in front of me!
The next Fosters star to roll in is David Lambert aka Brandon Foster, an affable looking young man with flawless manners.
AE: Describe Brandon’s mind-set in the season premier of The Fosters.
David Lambert: He’s definitely left super-confused about it all because last time he saw Callie technically was the kiss. I think what’s interesting is he ends up going down a road that you wouldn’t maybe expect from him at this point. He’s sort of been set up as this golden boy, he always knows what he wants, what he needs, and how to get it, so instead of being so set i think you’re going to see him not know what to do for the first time, and not know how to handle his teen. It’s fun for me to play this character that’s sort of evolving and having to go through some stuff for the first time.
AE: Will Brandon and Callie take their blossoming romance to the next level?
DL: I think there will always be a mix with Brandon and Callie, because it always seems like they know what they should do but it always works out that they either cave or something happens and then they end up back in this whole romantic kind of thing. Things definitely need to change now though because Callie and Jude essentially are going to get adopted so the dynamic between them two especially will have to change. I myself actually don’t know where it will end up going. I know there will be ups and downs as always, but who knows? They might end up becoming best friends by the end of it. I really don’t know. They obviously have some special connection and I don’t think that’s going to go away.
AE: Do you think Brandon and Callie should end up together?
DL: I don’t actually know if they should! If I had to decide I definitely think a family is more important than a girlfriend or a boyfriend, especially at their age. They’re in high school. I don’t know. It’s a very interesting situation that the writers have put these characters in! I don’t know what would be best for them, no. It seems like a very toxic, dangerous, fine line that they’re walking here.
AE: I heard that Brandon is taking a different and somewhat darker path this season. What do you think of him shedding his good boy image?
DL: I think he’s not perfect, he’s not this golden boy kid. I don’t think he ever really was, I just think he was very comfortable for a long time doing the things he was doing, but he always had stuff he was dealing with. He has an alcoholic dad. He has a very unique situation for a household that I’m sure he felt a lot of judgement and maybe not spoken judgement but unsaid things at school from other kids. Everyone’s aware of his home situation. But he’s callous to the point of where I think he’s aware of what’s important and what’s not. He is a mature kid but he’s still going to be a kid, and I think that’s what you’re going to see. He is 16, so you’re going to see him be 16 and make mistakes and be impulsive and be reckless and be disappointed and angsty and all that stuff that you definitely feel in high school. So it’s fun for me to play that, this “You don’t understand my life” He’s being drastic. He’s being a teenager. He’s speaking his mind more, and he is convinced that he is right. He’s convinced that what he’s going after—which is essentially Callie—that they are meant to be together and should be together.
AE: How is Brandon’s relationship with his father, Mike, doing this season?
DL: That’s actually one of my favorite relationships on the show, personally. I think that’s a situation a lot of people have to deal with, alcoholism, so I feel very honored to help portray that on the show. I think Mike and Brandon, their relationship isn’t ending or anything like that, I think it’s just evolving. Mike’s getting better. He’s finally slowing down and taking a breath and realizing the impact he’s leaving. Will he stay like that? Will he stay clean? I don’t know. But as of right now he’s in a better spot. Brandon is definitely right there with him and there might be new elements introduced in Mike’s life as well which could be interesting, it will be interesting to see how they affect Brandon.
AE: What can your tell me about Mike’s new love interest?
DL: Mike could be branching out. Could be mixing and mingling a little bit. It’ll be interesting to see how that all goes over with Brandon.
AE: How’s Brandon’s relationship with Marianna?
DL: They are a family, so we can’t hate each other. We grew up together. It’s siblings—you’re mad at them for a while but things happen and everything got resolved so why are we mad? The twins have so much going on individually anyway. Everyone’s just living their life and doing their own thing. You’ll see some inter-weaving, maybe Brandon will have a talk with Jesus after a while and they’ll update each other, but besides that they’re in a great place. Everyone’s just dealing with stuff right now.
AE: Did your character interact with Rosie O’Donnell?
DL: Not so much Brandon, not directly, but she was with us for a couple of episodes so I got to meet her and got to know her. i think most of us did just through the table reads and everything else. She was awesome. She was really cool. She was a big fan of the show, which was surreal because here’s a name that I have lived most of my life hearing and then she comes to me saying I love your show. Definitely one of if not the coolest guest stars was her. It was very exciting.
AE: What was your weirdest or just most memorable moment with Rosie?
DL: I feel like Maia’s going to have so many more stories to tell you about Rosie. I got very little time with her. I had a few good chats with her. She is exactly Rosie, I will say that. She will just tell you what she is thinking and have a little smirk at the end of it and be very sarcastic. It’s all her comments, it’s the whole experience of talking to her that I will always remember I guess.
AE: Who would you like to see guest star on The Fosters?
DL: It would be cool to have Aaron Paul show up randomly! They surprise me with who they’re able to get. We’ll see who shows up next. Also there’s some rumor about a JoBro—I have no idea though. I have no clue usually until they’re on set next to me and I’m like Oh, cool!