June 12 (UPI) — Miriam Shor said it is a joy to play Diana Trout on Younger because she is nothing like the supremely demanding and self-assured marketing executive.
Co-starring Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar and Hilary Duff, the workplace dramedy takes place in the New York book publishing world and is scheduled to kick off its sixth season on TV Land Wednesday.
“I love playing someone who is unapologetically powerful because that is not how I operate in my life. I tend to apologize for existing,” Shor told UPI. “I have a lot of awkwardness and insecurities that I show the world, whereas Diana would never show the world that.”
In the spirit of her character, the 47-year-old actress is looking for ways to harness her own power in real life.
One way she does this is by occasionally directing Younger episodes.
The experience has taught her additional skills with which to tell stories and feel empathy for those who work behind the camera.
“I like to know what’s going on, so I can be part of the puzzle-solving,” she said. “I’m not someone who is like: ‘Don’t bug me with the rest of this stuff. Just tell me what I do!’ I like to know everything else because I feel like we’re all in it together.”
The show’s setting, as well as the way it intelligently balances its comedic and serious moments, is what interests Shor the most. She thinks fans are also connecting to its good vibes and genuine-seeming relationships.
“It’s aspirational and I think that’s kind of rare right now. There is a lot of darkness, obviously, in the world, but also in our entertainment. It’s not that it doesn’t grapple with issues, but it is also a place of hope and optimism,” she said.
The Minnesota native — who lives in New York with her husband and two children — appreciates how Younger allows her to work close to home and offers a schedule flexible enough for her to take on side projects.
Shor will soon star in Magic Hour, an independent comedy based on the life of writer-director Jacqueline Christy.
Having just directed a project herself, Shor was interested in this first-time filmmaker’s journey.
“It’s the story of a woman who decides to become a director after many, many years of being a stay-at-home mom and reinventing herself and challenging herself,” Shor said.
The actress also plays a supporting role in Netflix’s upcoming movie mystery, Lost Girls, starring Amy Ryan and Gabriel Byrne.
The adaptation of Robert Kolker’s true-crime book was directed by Liz Garbus and marks the documentarian’s first full-length dramatic film. It is about female sex workers who fall prey to a serial killer on Long Island, N.Y.
“The subject matter was very compelling,” she said.
Getting to work with Ryan, her good friend, Garbus whose What Happened Miss Simone? is one of her all-time favorite movies, were bonuses.
“It really is just about A. getting to fulfill something as an actress and B. getting to watch these women do what they do.”
Shor’s other credits include recurring roles on The Americans, Damages and The Good Wife.
Early in her career, she played the male role of Yitzhak — husband of the titular transgender rock singer — in the original, Off-Broadway production of Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell’s 1998 rock musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She also co-starred in a 2001 film adaptation.
She plans to reunite with Trask and Mitchell for a concert series featuring songs from Hedwig at Town Hall in New York at the end of June.
“I’m so proud of it,” Shor said of the groundbreaking show and its contributions toward making American theater more diverse and inclusive.
“It’s interesting how much has changed and how little has changed simultaneously,” she added.
“We never could have imagined that it would be on Broadway when we first did it. It was very challenging subject material that people were very uncomfortable with. Plenty of people weren’t, but plenty of people were. To see that it was very much embraced in a sort of mainstream way when it was on Broadway was shocking and wonderful.”
Shor cautioned that intolerance in some circles will likely always exist, and the struggle for acceptance will rage on.
“But at the same time, there is more visibility. People aren’t hiding in the shadows quite as much, and I think that is fantastic,” she said.