On working with one another:
Troian: I don’t know how you felt, but most of my scenes during the first season were really across from you, and the biggest difference for me was being away from you for so long.
Jennifer: Yes, I know. That was very odd.
Troian: It was very odd, and it was wonderful to experience this amazing new cast of characters, I feel like it really filled out the experience of Lauren and of Jo Stone, their lives and who they had histories with and who they have futures with. But it was really, I don’t know, I felt so excited when I finally got to come back to working with you for our scenes.
Jennifer: Yes, me too, me too. It was like, “When do I get to work with Troian?” Not that I don’t love Bradley Whitford, because I do, I do. But again it’s this sort of unspoken thing where you know — it’s like sort of I’m the more, Jo Stone is the more ossified version of Lauren, in a way. That’s the way that Lauren can end up if she doesn’t stay on the right path.
On how working on Lauren has changed them:
Jennifer: My goodness. I’ve learned so many more things. I just have learned so many more things about — certainly the military and at least how it feels to be this particular person in the military, like to be someone like Jo Stone in the military, how complicated that is. My experience in Washington with the Service Women’s Action Network: I will never, ever forget for the rest of my life. To be with all of these service men and women who are so unbelievably, inexplicably brave and truly courageous to be able to go tell their story over and over and over again on the Hill to get something to change, was really life altering, I think. And I remember a friend of mine said to me, “To be courageous is to be able to tell your life story with your whole heart.” And I feel like that’s what these men and women were doing on those two days, and doing it certainly out of their own pain, but also out of the love and regard for the people who would come after them so that they wouldn’t have to experience the same sort thing. And to me that’s the height of humanity, when you can take your pain and like the finest alchemist turn it into something beneficial for others, and the key ingredient in that I think is love.
Troian: I couldn’t agree more. I think what is such an honor and what I love the most about being a storyteller is the ability to step into somebody else’s shoes. When all goes well and you get a wonderful project like Lauren and you get these amazing characters like with Lauren and with Jo Stone, your whole vision of the world expands. And for me, my father served in the military, but I really knew nothing. I wasn’t born while he was serving, so I knew nothing of that lifestyle. And to get to step into that world and to get to understand and do research and hear stories and watch film about people’s experience and lives serving their country, which is something so completely different from what I do every day, but to stand in their shoes and fight for what they believe in, you just get a richer experience of life because you understand one more thing from somebody else’s point of view.
And I know that I keep on, but the great honor that it is to assume this role and to stand for these women and tell a story, which is one of hundreds of thousands of stories of these women, to get it out there so that maybe more people will listen the next time and then a change can be made and then a huge change can be made, and then we’re not talking about this as an issue anymore, hopefully, but it’s something that we all kind of came together and made a difference in. So, yes that is how it changed me. It was just a huge honor and it just kind of opened my eyes a bit more to the world.
Lauren‘s second season kicks off today. We will be posting all of the episodes right here on AfterEllen.