Are Liza and Josh really endgame? That’s what Sutton Foster believed after she read Younger’s series finale script.
“It was like a perfect bookend! They never told us anything. [Creator] Darren Star gave me a little bit of an idea of how it was going to end. He said, ‘Liza is going to be the boss.’ And I was like, ‘What?! How is this going to happen?’” Foster, 46, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her partnership for Banana Boat sunscreen. “And then romantically, I was like, ‘What’s going to happen?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, she’s gonna end up without anybody.’ And as I read the script, I realized the Charles scene in the bedroom. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ It, like, broke my heart. And then when I got to the last scene, I was like, ‘Wait a minute!’ I thought he said she wasn’t going to end up with anybody, but then here she is in the final scene with Josh.”
In the final scene of season 7, exes Liza Miller and Josh (Nico Tortorella) bump into each other at the bar, which perfectly mirrored their initial meet cute in the pilot. Liza says, “Sorry, I didn’t see you there,” as Josh replies: “Really? Because you know what? I’ve been right here by your side. All along.”
“I really liked it. I was so pleased with how it ended, and it felt very satisfying to me,” Foster told Us.
“As I read it, I went, ‘Oh, there’s no other way it could have ended.’ That’s how I felt. For me, it just felt right,” she continued. “I’m sure there are a million fans out there that have a million opinions about all of it, but I felt that they gave Liza a proper end of this chapter for her story.”
The Broadway vet wasted no time telling Tortorella, 32, about the ending. “I was shooting a scene that day with Nico. And I said to Nico, ‘It’s you and me at the end. It’s you and me!’” she recalled. “And of course, Nico’s like, ‘Yes!’”
Star, 59, however, had a different interpretation of Liza and Josh’s run-in.
“When I talked to Darren, he said, ‘Well, it’s not definitive. It’s just, it’s left open-ended.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but you finished with Liza and Josh in the bar!’ But he’s like, ’It’s up to the viewer.’ And I’m like, ‘But I think you made her — now she’s going to be with Josh!’” she told Us. “I thought for me, who knows what will happen with Liza and Josh. But I just thought it was beautiful because the whole show, Josh was the catapult. He was, like, what set her on this whole journey. And so to have him be at the end, I thought it was incredible symmetry, but really a beautiful end. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait for the movie or the reunion special.”
The unexpected exchange was a shock to many — especially because the majority of the season focused on Liza and Charles’ (Peter Hermann) relationship. The pair broke up when Liza didn’t want to get married, reconciled late in the season, but then ultimately split for good.
“I do think that they really love each other. That’s what’s so tricky. But I think ultimately Liza’s lie [about her age] had consequences. And so, I think in the end it was her lie. And I think Charles’ character and who he is and what he stands for … It’s like they knew on a very mature level that it would always be this thing. That he would never fully be able to trust her,” Foster explained.
“I don’t know what to say to the [fans],” she added. “But what I do love about that final scene with Charles and Liza, where he gives her the company and he goes off to pursue his dream that he had. There’s something really, in a way, they do get a happy ending. I know it’s not romantic, but they’re not at war or hate each other. They end in a very amicable way. They sort of let each other go, yet Liza has given Charles this gift because she signed him up for the [exclusive artist retreat] Yaddo. She has given him that gift and he has given her the gift of the control of the company [Empirical]. There’s something really beautiful to me. I find their end incredible. I think it’s generous and it wouldn’t have been satisfying, I don’t think, if they had been walking down the aisle together. It felt like the right end for me. I thought it was beautiful. But I know people are going to be mad!”
Although Liza and Charles didn’t work out, the actors did film their final scene together in the “Older” episode before wrapping on set.
“It was actually the scene after the Scamalot performance and it’s Charles and I on the street. I say, ‘I’m going to go home. I’m kind of rattled by the performance.’ And then we say I love you. And then he puts me in a taxi and the cab drives away. And so that was the last scene we shot. And it was like four in the morning, and it was freezing. And we were outside the Bowery ballroom in downtown Manhattan. Everyone had already wrapped. Nico had wrapped and Debi [Mazar] and Hilary [Duff]. I had already said goodbye. I had already been crying for, like, two weeks,” Foster revealed. “But it was Peter and I at the end, which I thought was really beautiful. That we were able to have that. We don’t end up together on the show, but we were the last ones standing for the show. It was so bittersweet.”
The Bunheads alum felt “so lucky to be a part of something that was really special with an amazing group of people” during her years as Liza.
“Seven years of your life. I’ll miss it. I think there’s a part of me that still thinks we’re all going to get back together again next year and film another season,” she told Us. “I don’t know if I’ve properly said goodbye to Liza. I think I need to light a candle for her and wish her well. I don’t know if I’ve actually said goodbye to her. I think I still need to do that.”
Following Younger, Foster has since temporarily moved to London with her husband, Ted Griffin, and their 4-year-old daughter, Emily, as she stars in the London West End production of Anything Goes. She’s also teamed with Banana Boat sunscreen in launching the brand’s new biking challenge, Pedal For Our Planet.
“Banana Boat has teamed with the Strava app and on their app there is the Pedal For Our Planet Challenge. And for every 10 miles that you log cycling, Banana Boat will donate $10 for the Captain Planet Foundation,” Foster told Us. “Banana Boat is my go-to sunscreen. I literally have, like, five cans of all the different types.”
Banana Boat will donate up to $20,000 for the cause. Riders can download the Strava app, set up a profile and look for the Banana Boat’s Pedal for Our Planet cycling page to join. The challenge will run for two weeks from June 24 through July 7. “It’s just a great way for you to do something active with your family and also raise awareness and maybe help save the planet a little bit,” Foster noted.
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