“It’s an absolute honor,” Teri Polo said recently at the Television Critics Association panel for The Fosters, the ABC Family series that shows with every episode that a family is a group of people that love and support each other.
And, of course, having two lesbian Moms played by Polo and Sherri Saum doesn’t hurt either.
“Families are watching it and their grandparents are watching it with them,” Polo explained when asked what she’s hearing from the show’s fans. “I have people stop me in the grocery store and tell me that they were involved in the foster system and how grateful they are. I’ve had different members of the LGBT community come up and tell me how grateful they are that we are on the air.”
Also during the panel, AfterEllen asked Polo and Saum if, in their portrayal of married couple Lena and Stef, if they actually feel married to each other. “I feel like I’ve known her my whole life,” said Saum of her on-screen wife. Polo added, endearingly, “As an old actress that’s been doing this for 27 years, there has never been other actor or actress in my career that I have ever bonded with, respected, appreciated, was grateful for in my entire career.”
To show the closeness of the actresses, Polo explained how a casual kiss in the show took on a life of its own. “There was one scene that we were shooting the other day where it was a simple kiss,” she said. “It was just a simple kiss within the scene and it wasn’t even scripted and we just kind of did it. And then we just kind of did it again. We kissed again. And I went, ‘Oh, my God, that felt so natural.’” The ladies also admitted to finishing each other’s sentences and that they are yin and yang to each other.
Post-panel, Polo and Maia Mitchell, who plays one of the teen foster kids that Polo and Saum’s characters take into their home, sat down with us to talk about this week’s key courtroom scene where the Moms had to make a decision about whether or not they let Callie (Mitchell’s troubled character) back into their home, the challenges coming for Lena and Stef and Mitchell also talked about how her generation sees the LGBT community.
The Fosters airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.