On last night's season finale of Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, fans were left with a major cliffhanger: is a reconciliation in the cards for Abby McCarthy and Jake Novak, after he confessed he's still in love with his soon-to-be-ex-wife?
That was just one of the most memorable moments from the first season of Bravo's first scripted show, based on the popular series of books by Vicki Iovine and executive produced by Marti Noxon.
So what was the whole experience like? In an exclusive interview, the show's star Lisa Edelstein opens up about why it was the best experience ever, her favorite behind-the-scenes moments, the awkwardness of filming sex scenes, and what's potentially in store when GG2D returns for Season 2.
What was the whole experience of doing GG2D's first season like? Did you expect it to be the success it is?
I get asked this question a lot—not that there is anything wrong with the question itself but I think, “Haven’t they all seen my answer to this already somewhere else?” This is an embarrassing admission, of course, because it contains the assumption that everyone reading this has been passionately devouring all my interviews. Apologies.
Then I wonder how to spin the answer so it’s different and exciting. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Abo, for example, let me write my homework assignments in rhyme. I loved her for that. (She also wore amazing platform shoes.) But nothing topically-related really rhymes with professional. Confessional? This is my professional confessional? (Bear with me here.)
So, here it is, sans rhyme: it was one of the best experiences I’ve had professionally, EVER. I got to work harder then I’ve ever had the opportunity to and through all of it, I felt incredibly trusted and relied on. Our careers aren’t particularly linear, so having responsibilities that match years of experience was a rare and pleasant gift. I learned a lot.
As for its success, I am thrilled! I knew it had promise, I knew I loved the scripts, I knew I was working with remarkably talented actors, writers and filmmakers, but none of that matters. Wonderful things can get lost in the hubbub and crappy things can get elevated, a lot. So, I’m thrilled and I hope it grows!
What were some of the most memorable experiences during production?
I loved doing all the exterior work in Los Angeles. It’s so magical to take over familiar spots. We shot on the 6th St. Bridge, on Echo Park Lake, in beautiful spots of Downtown LA, we shot on Hollywood Blvd., we shot in Griffith Park, on Laurel Canyon, on Melrose Place…Those are the moments that most remind me of the job I dreamed of having as a kid. I pinch myself at those moments. I feel so fortunate.
What's your favorite scene/moment overall? Are there any that make you cringe?
It would be hard to single anything in particular out! Of course there were amazing scenes with Paul (and Warren, for that matter!). I thought Conner Dwelly did such sensitive work playing an insensitive kid. I loved finding the rhythm with all the girlfriends. Working with Carrie Fisher in episode one was pretty wonderful. She’s so good. I hope she comes back next season! We sort of lost her to Star Wars in Season 1. Damn that endless war in the stars! (No, not really, I love those movies.)
The only cringe-worthy filming moments were of course during sex scenes THEY ARE THE WORST TO SHOOT, fyi. Particularly when it’s an intentionally BAD sex scene. Oy vey, says my Grandmother from her grave, as she rolls over.
What will you be doing during your time off before filming Season 2?
I’m mostly resting. I’m doing a small part in a friend’s indie, and then Robert (my husband) and I are headed to Germany where he has a show of his paintings.
Any crazy fan interactions since the show premiered?
We have the greatest support group out there. First, the poster: my husband created the campaign. If you haven’t seen it, I’m standing there in a simple, white dress, smiling, giving the world my tan-lined no-more-wedding-band ring finger. The tag line is “Go Find Yourself." It got banned by the NYC and LA MTA, as well as a few other spots for being too racy. Too racy!!
In response to this, and despite the fact that no one had yet even seen the actual show, a gazillion women and men tweeted support pics of themselves giving the ring finger, too. I was so excited about it that I made the rookie mistake of retweeting many of those fingers. Apparently, there is a limit to how many fingers of strangers other strangers care to see on Twitter. I'm sure there is an algorithm out there for this sort of thing. Anyway, I had to stop.
Once the show started airing, the responses became personal. People don’t just say nice things, like how much they enjoy the show (always nice to hear), they tell me PERSONAL things, like how much they like the show and how much they hate their ex, or how much they miss their kids, or how much they needed to know they could date again. I love that it’s personal. I feel like we hit the sweet spot when I hear stuff like that.
Any teasers you can share about Season 2?
Well, I wish I could tease you all Fifty Shades-like but I haven’t a clue. The writers' room opens mid-March, then the computer keys will start flying and the juicy stories will unfold.
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