Katherine Moennig on The L Word: Generation Q and Directing an Episode – Collider.com

Posted: December 23, 2019 at 10:46 am

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From showrunner/executive producer Marja-Lewis Ryan, the Showtime series The L Word: Generation Q, the sequel to the groundbreaking series that debuted in 2004, continues to follow the lives of Bette Porter (Jennifer Beals), Alice Pieszecki (Leisha Heiley) and Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig), as they experience love and heartbreak in Los Angeles. And picking back up with them, 10 years later, means a chance to get to know new characters, including Dani Nez (Arienne Mandi), Micah Lee (Leo Sheng), Finley (Jacqueline Toboni), Sophie Suarez (Rosanny Zayas) and Gigi (Sepideh Moafi), all of whom have their own trials and tribulations on their roads of self-discovery.

During this 1-on-1 interview, actress Katherine Moennig (whos also an executive producer on the series) talked about when she realized the series would actually be returning, being more involved this time around, why it was tricky to get back into this character, figuring out what Shane has been up to for the last 10 years, getting to work with some of her former co-stars, weaving the original characters with the new characters, her desire to direct an episode, and the hope that this series will continue beyond this eight-episode season.

Image via Showtime

Collider: Theres been talk of this show possibly coming back for awhile now. When did you realize it was actually going to happen?

KATHERINE MOENNIG: Well, when Jennifer [Beals], Leisha [Hailey] and myself went to Ilene Chaiken, it was in 2012. We were like, For whatever reason, we feel like this isnt over yet, and we dont know why and we dont know in what format. Reboots didnt exist, at that time. The only option was really a TV movie, and those didnt exist. We didnt understand what format it would take, but wed been working for awhile, trying to find a way to bring this back. And then, finally, I believe it was in 2017 that we found out Showtime was interested in bringing it back, as well. So then, we went through the process. Ilene said, I want a younger voice to speak for this generation, along with the three of you. I give credit to Ilene for doing that. So then, it was going through the process of finding that voice. Thats where we all met [Marja-Lewis Ryan] Once Marja came on board, it was still a matter of wondering, Will we be making just a pilot? When will that happen? And then, before we knew it, I believe it was in early February that we found out it was going directly to series. And so, here we are now. Its been a long road. It was a good seven or eight year process of getting this to where it is now.

And youre signed on as executive producer this time. Was that because you wanted more involvement and more of a say in how things would go?

MOENNIG: Yeah. Since we were a part of the original series, the purpose of having that title is also to help add to that voice. We understand the show. Granted, it is in a new world, but there has to be some root in the old. And so, thats where were able to collaborate and come up with things. Its been a wonderful experience.

You want consistency, but you also want an evolution, and it seems like thats a tricky balance.

MOENNIG: It is a tricky balance, and its hard to do. And that only happens with a lot of collaboration and discussion, and spit-balling ideas, and finding a happy medium. Thus far, its been a really wonderful line of communication.

Image via Showtime

Was it really comfortable to get back into this character, especially knowing that you dont have to pick up right where you left off and shes evolved?

MOENNIG: For me, it was tricky because Ive been doing another series for so long, and a very different character on a very different, stylized show. My brain has been in that gear for so long that to shift back into this gear takes a minute. I spend a lot of time maybe overthinking it, so by the time I get to work and the director yells, Action!, Im in it. Im always just trying to find the truth of the truth of the situation. As long as I focus on the truth and the honesty, hopefully, the rest of it just falls into place.

Does it also help that youre looking at some familiar faces from the last time around?

MOENNIG: Oh, yeah. Thats just a gift. That doesnt come around often, and were so fortunate to have each other to lean on again.

Is it fun to get to explore these characters, at a different point in their lives?

MOENNIG: Yeah, it is actually interesting. Theres a lot of reflection and a lot of imagination. Sometimes the imagination goes off in crazy directions and you have to reel that back in. Its a real testament to think that us, as people, mature and evolve and grow, but we really are who we are, at our core. And to keep that in mind, throughout this journey, is a fascinating case study.

Was there a lot of conversation about where Shane has been, along with where shes going?

MOENNIG: In terms of where shes been, Marj and I sussed that out, with Ilenes voice in it, as well. We sussed out where shes been, these last ten year, and a lot of that was for story points and things that Ive been told I cant talk about. But in terms of where shes been, on her own accord, I treat that as my own personal monologue that I have in my head, and its just for me to become reacquainted and to understand who she is again. Thats something that I dont share with anyone. Its really just for my own benefit. It might not even make sense to anyone else. I need some sort of anchor, so thats where my work and my homework comes in.

Image via Showtime

What can you say about where we see Shane again, and her connection to the friends that she had before?

MOENNIG: We meet up with her again when shes coming back to L.A., after being gone for awhile. Shes coming back because shes getting away from a very loaded history. Shes becoming reacquainted in L.A., and reconnecting with her friends. Shes in the process of finding her footing in this town that she knew so well, but shes been out of, for so long. Im happy to say that shes done well for herself. Id hate to see her starting from a low point again. Im happy that shes starting from a place of security. But she still has some unfinished demons that she has to contend with, and a past that she has to handle. That, I believe, is going to be her process, throughout the season, along with some other things.

Is she coming back, as a result of her own choosing?

MOENNIG: Yes, she made the choice to come back. It was conscious choice that shes coming back. L.A., to Shane, is her safety net.

Will we also see you interacting with some of the new characters?

MOENNIG: Yeah. The three of us are each involved with a number of these characters, in our own way and for different reasons. Some are already established, and some arent. In that regard, its a matter of us learning from each other. Some are work-related, and some are not. Its like life. You come across all of these different personalities, and you see how they interact and what trouble they get up to. There are some good recurring characters. Im hoping that, at some point, some of the older characters from our show will be back, as well. I hope. Theres a playing field for a lot to be explored and discussed.

Are Shanes biggest issues still coming from relationship drama, or has she figured that out more?

MOENNIG: Maybe. As you get older, your stakes raise more. Shes no longer the lost 20-something, whos able to fly by, on the seat of her pants. She has stakes now. The challenge for her is, can she rise to the occasion?

Image via Showtime

A show like this will have two different audiences, the audience that loved the original show and that wants to see what the original characters are up to, and youll have a whole new audience that doesnt have that history. How does the new cast fit in, and what are you most excited about, as far as the new characters?

MOENNIG: Im curious just to see what this newer generation does. There are two generations. The younger generation has a sensibility thats different than our generation. What Im curious about is to see how that gets translated on screen. Thats the beauty of evolution. People just become more and more advanced with their either emotional life, and the way they identify with themselves. Im curious to see how much of that is explored.

Are there things that you appreciate about Shane now, that you maybe didnt realize before?

MOENNIG: I appreciate her having fun cause I think she needs to have some fun. Shes a heavy soul, so I appreciate her having fun, and I also appreciate her wisdom. What I mostly appreciate is her hustler mentality and how she gets things done. I can appreciate that happening, as shes getting older, as well. Thats more interesting to see, as you get older. She hasnt let go of those qualities. Shes still fun at heart.

Have you thought about directing an episode of the show?

MOENNIG: I have thought about that. Maybe in the next season or two, Id be curious to direct an episode. I think I could do it. Ive done enough television to understand how to do it. When I read something, I see it in my brain, so the thought of then putting it in the way my brain sees it and collaborating, in that way, excites me more than I think it ever has, in the past. I never thought I would be interested and Ive always said no, but recently I thought, You know what? I actually would enjoy that. Right now, I wanna focus on my work, but once that becomes more familial, which only happens with time, thats when Ill stick my foot in and beg to direct an episode, if theyll let me.

Image via Showtime

What do you enjoy about working with Jennifer Beals and Leisha Hailey?

MOENNIG: Theyre my family. Ive known then for 17 or 18 years. Ive known them for a really long time. Theyre my family, and theres nothing better. Theres a shorthand that the three of us have, and its only gotten stronger with time. I value those two. Theres just a synergy with us. We all approach it from the same place, so we can hold each other up. If we see something differently, it will only add to the work. Theyre wonderful scene partners. They really are.

Are you hoping to continue this series for more seasons? Is there still more to explore?

MOENNIG: I think theres more to explore, yeah. I could be wrong, but I dont see this series being just eight episodes. I think theres a lot to explore, and I believe thats the intention of everyone involved. The television landscape is hungry for that, and Im happy to be a part of that.

The L Word: Generation Q airs on Sunday nights on Showtime.

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Katherine Moennig on The L Word: Generation Q and Directing an Episode - Collider.com

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:46 am