Jennifer Beals Reveals Why Now Was the Right Time to Bring Back ‘The L Word’

Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter The L Word
Jennifer Beals as Bette Porter in ‘The L Word: Generation Q.’ Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/SHOWTIME

Ten years after the divisive finale of Showtime’s The L Word, the stereotype-shattering series about a group of lesbians in Los Angeles returns. And it’s all thanks to original stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey, who “actively tried to bring the show back,” Beals, 55, who plays Bette, tells Us Weekly exclusively. “It was something that was important to us, and we saw that there was a place and a need for it still.”

The eight-episode sequel, The L Word: Generation Q, will answer longtime fans’ burning questions but also introduce new characters, story lines and contemporary issues. The Flashdance star gives Us a preview.

Us: How has the show adapted to the times?
Jennifer Beals: It really is much more inclusive of the queer community writ large. Rather than completely focusing on the lesbian community, we have trans characters in the show, trans actors on the show, and we — not explicitly, but implicitly — take on different issues regarding the trans community. … I’m really proud of the way that we’ve handled that and particularly how [showrunner] Marja-Lewis Ryan really shepherded us in that direction.

Us: How much has Bette changed in the past 10 years?
JB: There are core values and core behaviors that carry over, but people change. There are a couple of lessons that she really could have learned much earlier.

Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Katherine Moennig The L Word
Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Katherine Moennig attend ‘The L Word: Generation Q’ TV show premiere at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE on December 2, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Us: What was the vibe on set with new and returning stars?
JB: The conversations are completely different now. The lexicon of how we talk about gender, about sexuality, about self-identification is completely different. We have a whole host of new characters to investigate those ideas.

Us: Will we find out who killed Jenny Schecter?
JB: People seem really obsessed with that. I just try to pretend that the sixth season never happened. But, yes, you do find out the cause of Jenny’s demise.

The L Word: Generation Q premieres on Showtime Sunday, December 8, at 10 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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