Molly Bernard, Sutton Foster Fan Turned Costar, on Life Submit ‘Youthful’ – WWD

At first, Molly Bernard wasn’t so certain “Youthful” was going to work for her. Bernard’s position as Lauren, a now beloved character on the sequence that’s airing its seventh and remaining season, was initially a visitor star look, and the contemporary out of grad college Bernard was past phrases enthusiastic about getting the prospect to seem reverse Sutton Foster, the present’s star, who she simply so occurred to be a diehard fan of. There was only one drawback with the six-line arc she had.

“The scene was me making enjoyable of Sutton Foster’s character’s pubic hair, her bush,” Bernard says. “And I known as my agent and I used to be like, ‘Pay attention, I like Sutton Foster a lot. And I respect her a lot. And I don’t actually wish to discuss her bush on nationwide tv. I actually don’t wish to.’”

See, Bernard had turn out to be obsessive about Foster when she was 14 years outdated and noticed Foster in “Completely Trendy Millie,” which led to writing fan mail (sure, Foster answered and sure, Bernard nonetheless has the signed headshot).

“I’m a real f–king mega fan,” Bernard says.

The headshot Foster signed manner again when instructed Bernard to comply with her desires, which have been simply beginning to take form within the type of appearing. Quick ahead to down time between takes of bush discuss and Bernard lastly got here clear.

“I used to be like, ‘I’ve to inform you, I wrote you fan mail once I was 14 and also you wrote me again and mentioned comply with your desires,’” Bernard says, “and I adopted my desires to the doorstep.’”

Molly Bernard in “Milkwater.” 

“Youthful” made Bernard a recognized actor, which — because it involves an in depth — has opened doorways. First up is “Milkwater,” an indie drama a few girl who decides to turn out to be a surrogate for an older homosexual man at some extent of emotional crossroads in her life.

Saying goodbye to her “Youthful” character, Lauren, is extremely emotional for Bernard, because it was the primary position she booked after graduating from the Yale Faculty of Drama — a lifetime in the past each professionally and personally.

“I’ve been on ‘Youthful’ for seven years. I grew up along with her,” she says. “I used to be nonetheless relationship males once I began making this present and I used to be in my 20s, and neither of these issues are occurring anymore. Not in my 20s, not sleeping with males, marrying a lady, joyful about it. Lauren actually helped me come into myself. I actually had no alternative. I’m a really nervous, neurotic particular person, a number of nervousness, and I play somebody who has none of that. She is daring, excessive, she loves herself unconditionally. She has the boldness of a Malicious program. She’s out, she’s proud, she’s superb. She actually is effervescent. And [playing her] has been one of many nice presents of my life.”

When the tip of “Youthful” loomed, she knew she needed to prioritize “working muscle tissues I didn’t essentially get to with Lauren.”

“I occur to have chops and I simply wish to use them,” she says. “I’d like to do one thing darkish, would like to do a interval piece, would like to do one thing actually exhausting that actually freaks me out. Actually thirsty to work with feminine writers, creators, administrators. I can’t wait to see what comes out in a 12 months and a half or extra, as a result of these can be issues developed within the pandemic and simply after. So I’m curious to see what shift we’re going to see, and I wish to be part of that sea change.”

Molly Bernard

Molly Bernard 
Lexie Moreland/WWD

“Milkwater” matches the invoice of one thing that scares her. The undertaking got here to her as a suggestion, no audition wanted, and for the lead at that.

“It scared me that somebody would belief me with the lead position in a film, and the standard of the script was so good. And what was being requested of me as a performer was rawness and vulnerability, and she or he’s not very likable. She’s in each scene, she talks always. At some factors within the movie you’re like, ‘What are you doing?’ You don’t have anything to do however shake your head and marvel, after which in some unspecified time in the future you might completely fall in love along with her,” Bernard says. “In order that’s for me what I might outline as an inconceivable undertaking. And I feel if we’re fortunate as performers, we get a few these in our lives.”

Bernard was born in Las Vegas and raised primarily by her grandparents, who launched her to appearing. Her grandfather, Joseph Bernard, cofounded the Strasberg Institute with Lee Strasberg in Los Angeles, the place he served as creative director. He and her grandmother retired to Las Vegas, and opened a part-time appearing studio there, the place he taught two nights per week.

“I realized find out how to learn in my grandfather’s appearing class once I was six years outdated,” Bernard says. “And it was very clear that that was the love of my life. And my grandfather shouldn’t be alive anymore, however I don’t know. Each time I’m appearing, really working my chops, I really feel like I’m within the deepest communion with my grandfather as a result of he gave me this present. The very best present of my life was this talent.”

Molly Bernard

Molly Bernard 
Lexie Moreland/WWD

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