“It’s like you know her, but you don’t.” Oh, Josh (Nico Tortorella), truer words have never been spoken. He was referring to ex-girlfriend Liza (Sutton Foster), but perhaps the same can be said about Kelsey (Hilary Duff), who shocked everyone at the end of Younger‘s season-four premiere by moving in with her BFF/work-wife’s ex after Liza came clean about her big secret.
The moment was such a delicious reveal and will no doubt have repercussions throughout the rest of the season (which, spoiler alert, ends with a location shoot in Ireland). But was Kelsey justified in moving in with Josh, or are there some boundaries that just shouldn’t be crossed?
When we caught up with Hilary Duff (Kelsey) to find out, Duff was understandably taking Kelsey’s side: “She feels betrayed by Liza, and Josh is the only person who understands what she’s going through. For now, Kelsey is spinning.”
Of course, it’s not only Kelsey’s personal life that’s been swept up in chaos. If Liza’s secret gets out to the rest of Empirical, it could set up a downfall for Millennial, the imprint that Kelsey worked hard at to get successful results. “She’s not going to take no for an answer, and she’s going to fight for what she believes in,” Duff says. “I love that.”
Speaking of fighting, this season there will be some surprise tension with another colleague in the Empirical publishing world. “Kelsey and Charles start to butt heads a bit, which is a really interesting thing because Kelsey has always had such respect for Charles,” Duff reveals. “The end of the season is crazy…just wait.”
Of course, with only one episode down and another 11 to go in the fourth season of this critically acclaimed series, there’s a lot more in store for Kelsey. So we grilled Duff on what’s to come, how she reacted to Kelsey’s new roomie, and whether Liza and Kelsey’s relationship can ever be the same.
Glamour: That last scene was such a shock. How surprised were you when you read the script?
Hilary Duff: I was really shocked. I had a suspicion that maybe [Josh and Kelsey] were going to have some sort of drunken night together or something, but moving in…for me, that was really shocking because Kelsey is such a fierce friend. She’s all about girl code, but, honestly, it’s not coming from a mean place. She needs a place to go. On top of it, she still feels betrayed by Liza and is like, “You know, f-ck it. I need a place to sleep.” Josh and Kelsey are the only two people who understand what each other is going through. I don’t think Kelsey’s planning anything maliciously, but she’s taking care of herself. I mean, what if your friend that you worked with for two years came and told you something like that? You’d think, “I’ve been spending my time with a psychopath.” Kelsey doesn’t know the ins and outs of Liza having to put her daughter through college and her husband gambling their money away. Kelsey hasn’t had that life yet of being married or having a family or committed, so things don’t resonate with her until she actually sees Liza’s daughter and sees that mother-daughter [bond]. But for now Kelsey is spinning.
Glamour: Hell, I was spinning! And I love Josh and Kelsey’s upcoming scenes together. I think they have the potential to be a great couple, but I feel horrible saying that.
HD: The thing is, I don’t think [Josh and Liza] are ever going to be done. That’s my best guess. They’re never quite finished. We definitely deal with gray areas and lines crossed, but it’s like we’re figuring it all out. The behavior out of Liza was so unacceptable that everyone’s like, “Whoa, how are we gonna repair that? How far is too far?” It’s all these things. But there’s still a lot of love there [between Josh and Liza]. I’m just excited for people to watch because it gets juicy. With that said, I think Kelsey and Josh would be great together. I think they are first figuring out a friendship because they’ve never really even been friends before.
Glamour: If Kelsey had met Josh before Liza did, do you think they could have had something together?
HD: Honestly, I don’t know. Last season maybe it could have happened if Liza and Josh weren’t [together]. But the first two seasons of the show, Kelsey had this attitude that she wanted a guy that looked like this, that did a certain kind of job. She was a little bit of a climber. I think that shifted a little bit where she wants a more normal, real thing. At the start of the show, she was a little bit of a different character. I don’t know if she would have been cool with a [guy like Josh].
Glamour: What else can you preview in season four?
HD: Kelsey is realizing the intensity of Liza’s lie and that it could bring down her whole imprint and everything she’s worked so hard for. So she’s willing to lie for Liza to get this sorted out, but she’s still really upset and angry with her. In the midst of that, she kind of lets someone from her past back in because she’s feeling alone and she’s flailing. She needs something to hold on to. This guy is obviously not a great choice. We also get Kelsey’s backstory a little more this year; you realize it was just her and her mom growing up. They were totally broke, and books is all Kelsey had. She has worked her ass off to get where she is in this career, and she’s not going to lose it.
Glamour: Even if they repair their friendship, I don’t think it can ever be quite the same. What do you think?
HD: Kelsey’s been such an understanding friend and so fiercely loyal for other things that she wonders why Liza just wouldn’t tell her in the first place? I think that’s where the hurt comes in. It’s not that she’s 40 and that she lied, but it’s like, “Why would you not think I couldn’t handle this in the first place and not still love you?” I think it’s just knowing how long this lie has went on has cheapened all their memories and everything they’ve done for each other. With that said, I think [their friendship] takes on a different form. Friendship is friendship. Being that they work so closely together, they kind of get forced back into [that friendship]. It’s not necessarily making Kelsey that happy, but she knows Liza’s heart even though she continues to lie to people. The truth of the matter is that she’s doing it for the right reasons, and she’s let it go on so far that it’s too damaging [to go back].
Glamour: And at the same time, they have one of the best friendships portrayed on television.
HD: I can’t think of a show where [two characters] purely love each other and aren’t catty with each other. In the first few episodes, Kelsey definitely has a right to be angry. She mean-girls her a little bit, and it’s nothing Liza doesn’t deserve. I think if you watch previous seasons, you’ll see that the show is so much about female friendship and love between each other. Even Diana Trout…Liza and Kelsey will snicker about her behind her back, but they respect her. Speaking of friendship, Kelsey purely accepts Lauren in all that she is. She doesn’t bat an eye to her crazy antics or her wild ways or her stressing out that if she’s not a lesbian, she’s too normal. [Laughs.] She’s like, that’s truly who she is, and she loves and accepts her for it.
Glamour: That’s only one of the reasons I think Kelsey is one of the most empowering female characters out there right now.
HD: Aw, thank you, that’s really sweet. This season has been fun for me because I think for the first few episodes of [the series] I really questioned the depth of Kelsey. She was a partier, and she could work hard and know what she was doing, but she was a little bit of a flippy, floozy gal. I feel like we’ve peeled back the layers, and it’s nice to see her feel vulnerable. To see her fight for her spot in the company. This season Kelsey’s decisions have made the company stay alive. She’s making all the money right now for the company, but she’s not getting the respect she deserves. So she’s fighting for that. At the same time, she’s questioning her judgment when it comes to people, and whether she is enough. Is this all about to come crumbling down because of Liza? It’s cool to play that as an actor. That’s how people feel in their twenties. [It’s that feeling] that they’re not doing enough, they’re not good enough, they’re not where they should be, and that’s happening to Kelsey.
All new episodes of Younger air Wednesdays on TV Land.