Today, WIGS’ groundbreaking web series Lauren returns for a 12-episode second season. No one is more proud of the series than the series’ stars, Pretty Little Liars‘ Troian Bellisario and The L Word‘s Jennifer Beals. We were recently able to join in on a conference call with the AfterEllen favorites in which they talked about the series’ lasting impact, about what’s in store for season two, and about their fondness for one another.
On the dark nature of their roles in Lauren:
Troian: Oh, I think it’s definitely very difficult, especially because you know you’re spending whole weeks in these situations and going through these really terrible conversations and events kind of over and over and over again, as you’re getting coverage of this awful thing. And so I think for me, you want to dive into it, be truthful and honor the story as much as possible, because you don’t ever want to become desensitized to it. You’re on set all day and eventually you have to start joking around. Everybody’s working, they’re all tired, and rather than it being difficult to leave that dark place, I think it becomes more important to me to kind of be true to it and to make sure that I’m not just glossing over it, because Lauren’s story isn’t based on one woman in particular; it is based on true events, and it is a very common occurrence. And so I think it is hard, and I definitely smiled every time I got in my car at the end of the day because I knew I was going to get to go home and take a bath and pet my dog.
Jennifer: And I think that’s the difference. I think as an actor you relish those roles where you can play something so complicated and so difficult and you take the time to dive in as deeply as you can, and you kind of hold on to that for the day, even if while you’re joking around there’s still that little string that connects you to that other experience. And the difference with us is that we can walk away from it at the end of the day. There are so many people, they don’t walk away from it at the end of the day. That’s what their life is.
And I think one of the things for me working on set, and particularly when I had scenes with Troian, which was so helpful to me, is that even though we never talked about it, it’s like this unspoken thing between us that we both are going through the same thing at the same time. And in a funny kind of way, I recognize that even if she’s telling a joke, I know that underneath in the surface there’s this other thing bubbling that’s just waiting to come up whenever it’s summoned to come up, and you support one another on the set as best you can, even if it’s through silent communication.
On the support of Pretty Little Liars fans:
Troian: Yes, it was wonderful for me. It’s very funny, I was so excited that the fans from Pretty Little Liars were so receptive and so supportive of Lauren, and especially helpful in getting it out there, because there are so many of them. And they really took to it and they really saw what Jennifer and I both saw in this story, which is that it needs to be told and it needs to be spread around as much as possible. But for me it was kind of funny, because everybody was like, “Oh, my God this is so different from Pretty Little Liars. Is this the kind of role that you want to be doing more?” And for me, Pretty Little Liars was a really big difference from what I was used to. I kind of only loved doing really, really dramatic, and what people would call “dark” roles, and when I got Pretty Little Liars it was a big change for me, so this kind of feels in an odd way like going home. There’s a kind of truth and a kind of raw honesty to the story of Lauren that I really was so happy to be a part of again. So yes, definitely I think I would love to do more roles like this.