[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Ginny and Georgia, “The Worst Betrayal Since Jordyn and Kylie.”]
Many great TV shows have been made about unconventional mother-daughter relationships, but Ginny and Georgia find a new twist on it. Starring Brianne howey as a 30-year-old single mother moving in with her 15-year-old daughter Ginny (Antonia gentry) and their nine-year-old son Austin (Diesel La Torraca) to a small New England town in search of a fresh start, the new Netflix drama could draw comparisons to another show about the very young mother of a teenager. But as Howey points out below, Lorelai Gilmore doesn’t have anything like the Georgia advantage.
In a 1: 1 interview with Collider, Howey and Gentry reveal how they reacted to receiving these scripts for the first time, what it was like when they first met during the audition process, and what surprised them the most about the show’s twists and turns. They also explain where their respective characters are emotionally at the end of the season, and if there is room for a reunion in case the show gets renewed for a second season.
So how did you get into this project to begin with, and what was your reaction to reading those first scripts?
ANTONIA GENTRY: Well, I just graduated from Emory University here in Atlanta. And so I was pretty overwhelmed with all my endings and trying to figure out what I was going to do. So when I got the audition for the show, I thought, wow, this is a really cool character, but I’m very busy. I’m going to audition, but we’ll see what happens if something happens. And then I got the call and flew several times. It was very, very exciting. And I couldn’t believe I had booked something so fast after graduating. It was like a blessing came from the skies and landed on my lap and everything. They were all so amazing. It was really amazing.
BRIANNE HOWEY: I was actually out of town when they started casting. I was in Europe and I remember talking to my team saying: This is incredible. Is there any chance that I can go in person as soon as I get home in a few days? And they said, honestly, it’s such a good role that it’s highly unlikely that it’s still available. Like it was probably released by then. So I was quite disappointed. I got home 24 hours later. They’re like, can you get on tape right away? So I took the opportunity, I sent my tape on a Friday, on Monday I was in person with them.
I think two days later [Antonia] flew again. We read chemistry together and when I walked in, she gave me the biggest hug. She was the most beautiful, talented and sweet young woman. And then I looked around and it was just a room full of women. I never really had that in an audition experience, where the majority were women, much less all women. And it was incredibly fascinating and exciting. And I knew they were people that I would love the opportunity to work with.
GENTRY: I read with so many Georgia actresses and Brianne walked through the door, just like a ghost wind was blowing in, and all of our hair was blowing because of her glorious beauty, talent, and smile. It sure was the jackpot.
It’s funny because you hear about chemistry readings for people who are going to be romantic partners, but I feel like a chemistry reading for this project makes a lot of sense, because you guys are together so much.
HOWEY: It’s about the relationship, and the mother-daughter relationship is so unique and you can’t fabricate that. So being able to connect with each other on a very real level was crucial.
So the script literally called Gilmore Girls as a point of reference. Was it a relief to have that out there and for the characters to recognize it?
HOWEY: 100 percent. And I think it was a lot of fun. We also put it in the trailer. So it’s out there and see, we love it Gilmore Girls, I grew up watching Gilmore Girls, but I think that quickly the audience will be able to feel that, tonally, it is a different show. It’s a bit more daring and the messaging is different.
I mean, I don’t remember the Gilmore Girls murdering anyone.
HOWEY: Oh, isn’t it? It does not matter. Lorelai wasn’t about that life.
GENTRY: I mean, maybe … Probably not.
Other than what happened naturally for you, what was the key to building that relationship between the characters for you?
GENTRY: I felt that Brianne was immediately like my older sister. She was so … We’re only eight years apart in real life and on the show they’re only 15 years apart, so there wasn’t too much of a generation gap between them, and definitely not between us in real life. So all those mother and daughter moments were really just us enjoying each other. And I think it was quite easy, actually, to do those scenes. For me, anyway.
HOWEY: Yes, 100 percent.
In terms of what happens over the course of the season, the mysteries are overlapped in such a way that it’s not like a murder mystery, but there is enough to keep you intrigued. How much did they tell you, coming in, what path would season 1 take?
HOWEY: We knew general bows. We knew the plot strengths that were happening, but we didn’t always know exactly how they were going to get there.
GENTRY: Yeah, every time a surprise is revealed on the show … And especially when you’re filming it, you don’t really see how everything will look because you’re in the middle of filming, and it blocked the shots too. And so when we first saw it, even though we already knew everything that was going to happen, we were so enthralled by all the juicy reveals. It’s definitely a ride that the audience will have fun with, for sure.
Of course. I mean, what took them the most by surprise?
GENTRY: I think for me, honestly, partly partly because I wasn’t there for these scenes, but everything that Ginny has to go through … The private pain that Ginny is suffering and trying to deal with completely on her own. . That surprised me.
HOWEY: For me, it was definitely the flashbacks and taking a look at Georgia history and seeing all of that just happen. You know, we’re not on the same timeline, so I never filmed with Nikki. [Roumel] or Kyle [Bary], but looking at those scenes, they are very different from the bubble gum feel you get from regular present time scenes. You go back to this past that is so, so hard and hard for her. And I think definitely when Auntie comes to town, Aunt Maddie. Kelly [McCormack], who plays it, is absolutely incredible. It was so … my jaw dropped, alone, their relationship and the dynamic between the two of them is so amazing and raw.
So at the end of season 1, both characters are in very different places. Brianne, what do you think is on Georgia’s head, in those final moments when she’s on that stage?
HOWEY: First of all, I think it’s a “hell yeah, we did it, I did it, we’re doing it.” Georgia’s house of cards is getting a bit more stable, everything is going according to plan. And then also, “where the hell are my kids, why aren’t we there? I wanted to show off with them. They’re supposed to be here selling this story with me and where are they?”
And the same question when it comes to Ginny?
GENTRY: Yeah, when we have the whole Blue Farm scene, with Cordova dumping all this information and, and Ginny putting that in her head and then deciding to cover for her mother, that was such a real change. You know, you realize that she is like her mother in that moment. And that’s definitely a Georgia move, and there is a real fear that she has for her mother, but she knows that despite that fear, she wants to protect her family at the end of the day, just like Georgia does. So when we see her smiling at her mother as her mother leaves to celebrate, “Yes, we will be there.” And then he runs into Marcus, “We’ll talk about this later, Marcus.” There’s a smile on his face and then he grabs his brother, and he just gets on that bike. I mean, he has the guts Georgia has been showing him all this time.
And also, the surprise for me was the whole fireworks thing. I was, it blew my mind when I knew that what I had done with those ashes …
HOWEY: My favorite.
GENTRY: … Absolutely crazy.
So in closing, this feels like the first season of many, hopefully. Where do you hope season 2 will go? And what have they told you about where, potentially, season 2 is going?
HOWEY: Right now, we are very excited to share Season 1 and we are taking it all in, and there is nothing else we can hope that everyone will enjoy this journey.
GENTRY: Yes, exactly. I am in the moment right now. And I hope that everyone, in the end, feels a poignant or a heartbreak and let’s see what the future looks like. But right now it’s wonderful.
I mean, do you feel like Ginny and Georgia can get together properly at some point? Or do you feel like there is too much distance now, after what happened?
HOWEY: Of course they can. I need them, yeah.
GENTRY: I mean, meeting them both … I think that, if anything, that would be the most interesting element of their relationship, that they both know, that they know, that they know …
HOWEY: We know, that they know, that we know.
GENTRY: Yes. So how does that play out? Who knows? But it is so intriguing.
Georgia and Ginny Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.
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