Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Wednesday's season six finale of Younger.
Is Liza going to say "yes" to forever?
On Wednesday's season six finale of Younger, titled "Forever," Liza (Sutton Foster) and Charles' (Peter Hermann) roller-coaster romance reached a climactic point at Diana (Miriam Shor) and Enzo's (Chris Tardio) wedding reception, when Charles took the bull by its horns and spontaneously asked Liza to run off and marry him. Jaw, meet floor. The timing of Charles' proposal and Liza's non-answer was eyebrow-raising, as moments before, Liza and Josh (Nico Tortorella) kept whatever remnants they had of their former romance afloat.
"You and I have been through a lot over these past few months, real-life ups and downs. I've fallen deeper and deeper in love with you. How can I not? I cannot imagine not waking up each morning with you with your smile and your laugh... everything about you," Charles says lovingly to Liza as they slow-dance in the middle of the ballroom. "Liza Miller, will you marry me?"
But before she could answer, Kelsey (Hilary Duff) came running in, yelling "I do!" -- not to help Liza answer Charles' proposal, but to accept his other proposal for her to return to Millennial. Yeah, it's... all uber-complicated. ET connected with Foster the afternoon before the finale, while the actress was enjoying the perks of a Marshalls bargain hunt, to get her thoughts on Charles' spontaneous proposal, Liza's hesitancy to give him an answer, Josh's place in all of this and what season seven could look like.
ET: Sutton, thank you so much for jumping on the phone this afternoon.
Sutton Foster: No problem. I'm walking around Marshalls, so it's a very glamorous day. I love a good bargain.
Marshalls does have good deals.
It's the best. I'm obsessed. I'm here with my best friend, so this is what I'm doing before the Younger finale. I'm like, "Oh, I've got to go to Marshalls!" It's a pretty great day.
Well, let's talk about the finale. Every episode of Younger puts us on a roller-coaster ride, but especially with this finale and that cliffhanger ending with Liza and Charles. What was your reaction to Charles' proposal to Liza? Did you see it coming?
I'm so jealous because I haven't even seen the finale yet! It's interesting because the writers talked to us and hinted that might be a possibility that Charles might propose. They went back and forth about whether this season we would get Liza's answer and I think at the last moment they decided to leave it unsaid. You don't know what Liza's going to say. I think Charles is the marrying type and I don't know if Liza's ready to get married again. These are all questions I have as a fan of the show. I don't even know if all of this escalated because he feels threatened by Josh, too, you know? It's all happening very fast. I'm glad we got another season because I really would like to know. But in true Younger fashion, it leaves you with your jaw on the floor.
When you first read it in the script, did you have a visceral reaction?
I have always been very pro-Charles. I have also been pro-Josh too, but I feel like I didn't want the proposal to be the end of their story, meaning she rejects him. Will that be the end of Liza and Charles? I was worried about that. I don't want that to be the end of their story.
One aspect of the show that's been fascinating to follow is how it has evolved the traditional love triangle between Liza, Charles and Josh. It was, in some ways, surprising to see Liza and Charles weather the storm and lasting all season together. Especially as a fan of rom-coms, where I'm trained to believe that at the first sign of trouble, they'd part ways. Was that astonishing to you?
Isn't it crazy? I keep going to [creator] Darren Star, "What's going on? What's going to happen? What's the endgame?" I do think it is interesting. What I love about our show and what I love about the romantic part of rom-coms is that it's the modern love story. Yes, they're working together but yet within that, it's brought obstacles and challenges, and they are professionals. With a proposal in the mix, then how does that play out? Will Liza walk off into the sunset with somebody? Or is that what Younger's all about? I have no idea how it's all ultimately going to play out.
You seem to have questions about Liza's answer to Charles' proposal, if she says yes or if she says no. Do you have a personal desire for Liza to lean one way versus the other?
I don't think there is an easy answer because if she says yes and she has reservations, that this is too fast or weird. Then, all of a sudden, she bails at the altar. If they decide to still stay together after she says no because she's not ready to get married again, which I think is the truth, I think that is more interesting to watch how a couple navigates that.
Josh has found his way back in as the third point in the love triangle and it doesn't seem like he or Liza are ready to let each other go just yet. Where do they stand? What are they?
I feel like it has been frustrating especially for some Team Charles fans. They are frustrated by the triangle. I also think that things aren't clear cut. Things are messy. There are people who hold places in your heart and you're trying to navigate keeping them in your life, but at what cost and how does that affect other people. I think her relationship with Josh means a lot to her. He is the catalyst for why she got into this in the first place. She comes alive when she's with him. He brings out something that Charles doesn't. I feel like Josh is really important and she's fighting for that relationship. Whether or not they can openly navigate it in a healthy way, I think that's what the season explores. She tries to write him the "Dear Josh" letter, they have that confrontation on the street. It all sort of escalates to a place of... there's still something there.
I do like that they have a resolution at the wedding where he comes and she ultimately says, "That tattoo is mine, it's ours," and she wants to hold on to that. I think that was important. I don't know what they are either. They hold something special in each other and neither one of them want to let it go. So you're just like, "OK, well, let's see where that will go." That ultimately is going to cause problems.
Speaking of the "Dear Josh" letter, that confrontation was an emotional gut punch, especially when Josh tells Liza she wrote it to the wrong guy. What can you share about filming that scene?
Nico and I genuinely love each other, care about each other and when we got to that scene, we were both like "Oh god." I think after the scene we got up and hugged each other. It was awesome to shoot. We also shoot in Williamsburg and right on that block, the subway goes by, so the subway kept going by and interrupting the take. I would be in the middle of going after him and yelling at him and then there would be a freakin' subway and we'd have to stop and wait. That was just only adding to my frustration and annoyance, so it was all escalating. I feel like this season I've had some great opportunities between that and the scene with Diana after she finds out [Liza's real age].
Kelsey decides to take Charles' offer and come back to Millennial. How does her decision to return to the company, especially after she just agreed to partner with Quinn to start her own imprint, shake things up? You can't just ditch someone like Quinn and not expect repercussions...
Oh, I know. Kelsey was publisher and now she's going back to editor. It'll be curious how that will play out. I feel like Kelsey owes a lot to Empirical, Millennial and to Charles and I'm happy that we'll all be back together. We'll see how long that'll last. I feel like things are going to blow up because it's much more interesting when things are messy and muddy than when everybody's getting along and it's all hunky-dory. I do respect that she's like, "OK, I will come back to the company. I can do this," but I wonder how her ego will be able to handle all that.
Do you have any clues as to where season seven may be headed or is everything still a huge question mark in your head?
Total huge question mark. I don't even know if they know. I think they go back into the writers' room in November. I just had dinner with two of our writers, Dottie [Dicklin] and Eric [Zicklin], and I was trying to grill them and they had no idea. That's also kind of exciting. They're just going to throw stuff up against the wall and see what feels right and hopefully keep taking audiences on wild rides.
The easy solution for Liza is to be in a polyamorous relationship with Josh and Charles, and call it a day.
(Laughs.) You know, it's going to be 2020, I feel like that is possible. It's time for us to see that and so let's do it!
Before I let you go, I have to ask if you've ever had conversations with Amy Sherman-Palladino, who you worked with closely on the underrated Bunheads, about appearing onscreen in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?
If Amy calls and asks me to do anything, I do it. I sang a song ["I Enjoy Being a Girl"] on the first season of Maisel. Younger and Maisel were shooting at the same time. If Amy called and asked me to [appear], it doesn't matter, I would drop everything and do it. I remain forever devoted and I am her biggest fan forever. I hope I am lucky enough to be able to work with her again.
I'm always looking for work. If the world of Lizzie McGuire opened up and had something for me, that would be amazing! (Laughs.) I love working with Hilary and I'm so excited for her. I'm always here to do anything.