TV

Jacqueline Toboni on That Explosive “L Word: Generation Q” Wedding Scene

"That was just the moment where I was like, 'Okay, the buck stops here.'"

Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of The L Word: Generation Q

If you ship Sophie Suarez and Sarah Finley on The L Word: Generation Q, you’re in good company: Jacqueline Toboni, the out actress who plays Finley, is also proudly Team #Sinley.

The Season 2 premiere of Showtime’s highly anticipated L Word reboot aired this past Friday (August 6), and it was just as juicy as last season’s cliffhanger finale suggested. Ahead of the explosive premiere, NewNowNext caught up with Toboni to get the scoop on that unforgettable scene involving Finley at Sophie and Dani Nunez’s wedding, and what fans can expect from the rest of the season. Find our full chat below.
 

Oh boy, we gotta talk about that wedding scene. What was your initial reaction when you read the script and realized Finley would be crashing the ceremony?

I thought it was so smart. I thought it was so good to come in not already having a direct pickup because then you’re tied to this timeline without anything coming up. And so my initial thought was like, “Oh my god, that’s really smart.” And that was quickly followed by a wave of anxiety that I have to actually do that. A lot of the time, Finley borders this line where she can get away with a lot of stuff. And that was just the moment where I was like, “Okay, the buck stops here.” Like, “You’re going to blow it up, and you’re going to have to answer to the consequences.” So it was really scary.

What was it like filming that scene? As a viewer, the tension was palpable.

That’s good. Even in a table read, it was really scary. Actually doing it, it was pretty easy to act because it’s just like, you’re actually doing it in front of that many people. You’re actually embarrassing yourself, and you’re actually having to look at people. It’s as real as you can get. It was a little terrifying while also being really fun.

It must’ve been so weird to film a wedding scene to begin with.

It was the first time I was in a group of people for a really long time. It was supposed to be a lot more people, but there were crazy wind conditions, so they cut down the wedding a little bit just so we could have it safely inside. Even still, it was pretty nerve-wracking, but I felt really safe, oddly. They just filmed it in such a smart way. Wherever the camera is, behind the camera, everybody clears out. I felt really taken care of and respected.

So…are you Team Sophie and Finley or Team Sophie and Dani? I have to ask.

I am very Team Sophie and Finley. Sophie and Finley, I just think they get along better, then it’s a friendship into a relationship. I think Finley brings out this really fun side of Sophie that you don’t get to see all that often. But watching the premiere, I didn’t expect to feel this way, but I felt so bad for Dani. I thought it was cut in such a way where you’re really seeing Sophie struggle with this decision. But I just felt so bad for Dani because she’s so all in. They handle just the dramatic irony really, really well.

via GIPHY

Oh absolutely. I felt the same way, and I’m also a hardcore Sophie-Finley shipper—

Oh, you are?

I am! And I found myself having so much sympathy that I really didn’t have before for Dani. I was like, “God, that sucks.”

Mm-hm.

Finley is such a goofy, lovable character, but she also has so much depth. I’m curious, what’s your favorite part about playing her?

Basically exactly what you said. I get to work in these extremes with Finley because all of the humor, and she’s a little big. She’s kind of a character, and all of that comes from trauma and trying to figure herself out and overcompensating. So I think this season, especially, I get to work in these extremes, and it’s really fun. I think you get to see her grow in a way that I, at least, was really happy about. You get to see different shades of Finley.

Do you have a favorite Finley-ism? I love how she “dude”’s everyone. Like, same.

Yeah, the “Dude.” I really like, “Copy that.” I love when she says, “Copy that,” because I say it all the time previous to this, previous to Finley. I think it’s a little Easter Egg that Marja maybe threw in for me.

Elizabeth Morris/SHOWTIME

Were you a fan of the original L Word before joining the cast of Gen Q?

I was a huge fan. I’ve been watching probably since I was 13. I was thinking about this the other day. I remember watching it and being like, “I can’t believe I missed out on this damn show.” Like, “I can’t believe the show happened and before I was an actress.” It all comes full circle, with it just happening to come back. I just happened to get an audition and get the role, so it’s really kind of a dream come true.

Wow.

Did you watch the original series?

I did! Although I didn’t watch all of it…I’ll admit, I really disliked Jenny.

Oh yeah. She’s a very polarizing character. But I give the actress who played her [Mia Kirshner] so much respect. She just crushed it and didn’t care about her character not being liked. I think some people have a problem with playing unlikable people because they’re so connected to their characters. And that’s one thing that I kind of had to come to terms with, with that first episode. I was so happy to be able to do something that’s probably not going to go over well. People are probably going to be like, “I hate Finley for doing this.” But that’s also part of the fun of it, you know?

Oh, totally. Who were you most excited to work with from the original cast?

You know…all of them. I think it was a fun Season 1, to be able to work with Kate [Moennig], who plays Shane, so much because I was such a huge Shane fan that I was just like, “Oh, god. I want to be her. She’s so cool.” So to be able to work with her Season 1 and into 2 was really special for me, I think. But all of them. Every single time Leisha walks into a room dressed as Alice, I’m like, “Look at that sick suit.” The colors, the glasses — I’m just obsessed with that character. So, everybody.

I know that in the world of Gen Q, the pandemic didn’t happen. But I was curious, if it did, how do you think Finley would have fared during last year’s lockdowns?

Oh my god. Not good. [Laughs] But I also think, “Maybe not.” I think what Finley likes is being around people mainly because she doesn’t want to deal with all of her shit. If she came back to L.A. and was not in Missouri with her family, I think she would’ve done well because I think she would have made it really fun, especially early in quarantine. She likes a team atmosphere. So, good in L.A., terrible in Missouri.

Is there anything you can tease about the rest of Season 2?

It’s a rollercoaster. And then after this season…This is a growing season for Finley. Let’s say that.

The L Word: Generation Q premieres Fridays via streaming and Sundays on Showtime.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella