TV

“Generation Q” Star Jordan Hull on Working With “L Word” Legends

"I'm still pinching myself a little bit," says the actress, who plays Bette and Tina's teenage daughter.

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

Making your onscreen debut is nerve-wracking enough, but Jordan Hull had the added pressure of doing so as the daughter of two beloved characters from Showtime’s The L Word.

Hull was just 15 years old when she snagged the role of Angelica “Angie” Porter-Kennard, the daughter of Bette Porter (played by Jennifer Beals) and Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman), in The L Word: Generation Q. For Season 2, she was upped to a series regular, with Angie now navigating her first love — and meeting her sperm donor and his family for the first time against her moms’ wishes.

Read NewNowNext’s full chat with Hull below.
 

I would love to know a little bit about the audition process and how you got involved with The L Word: Generation Q.

Yeah, the audition process was pretty regular with any other job, but they gave me the pilot script, which is really nice and not a lot of casting things do. So I got the pilot; I read it. I thought this was so cool. I knew a little bit about the show. And then I went into audition, and it went well. I went in again for a chemistry read with a character named Jordi, who plays my girlfriend on the show. I had an acting teacher tell me once that if you’re at the table read, it still doesn’t mean you got the job. So I didn’t really know that I got the job until I was on set.

Oh man. That must’ve been so exciting, realizing you’d gotten the part.

Like, “Okay, they’re serious. They weren’t joking. Okay.”

What about Angie and her story attracted you to the role?

There were a couple of scenes by Marja [Lewis-Ryan, the showrunner] who wrote, I believe, the pilot. The scenes between her and her mom, Bette, were really well written, and the way that they interacted with each other was the most magnetic thing to me. So I think Angelica and Bette Porter’s relationship made me really fall in love with the character.

You mentioned you were familiar with the original show, but after you got the role, did you do any more research?

At the time, I was like 15, and I don’t think I was mature enough to be like, “I’m going to watch the show that naked people are on.” But I watched some of it. I think I saw enough actor-wise. I didn’t watch it all the way.

Fair enough. The franchise has such a devoted, vocal fanbase. Were you prepared for that?

No, I was not prepared for it. It was super cool. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it sometimes, but yeah, it’s overwhelming and great.

Liz Morris/SHOWTIME
Jordan Hull (right) as Angie in The L Word: Generation Q.

What is it like to act alongside so many iconic actors? Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, freaking Rosie O’Donnell…!

With Jennifer, she means so much to me and she’s done such an amazing job of taking me under her wing. Right after I got the job, she immediately reached out and was like, “Let’s grab lunch and get to know each other.” And she really put a lot of work into, because I think for her as well, Angelica and that relationship was really important to her. So immediately, my impression of her was dedication and kindness and just a lot of love. To be able to work with her a lot, because a lot of our scenes are together, I never want it to end. And it was all the same with Rosie and Leisha, because Leisha is so funny and so kind, she’s just a huge light. And so to be in scenes with her was just, it was so cool. And Rosie is just a legend too. She doesn’t make you feel nervous when you’re around her. She’s just like, “Here I am.” I’m still pinching myself a little bit.

Season 2 was filmed mid-pandemic. What was that like for you?

It was crazy. At first it just kept on getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. So then when we finally were able to get there, we’re like, “Oh my god, I’m so excited.” We started in November, December, right after the election, right before we had our vaccines, so it was pretty heightened. We wore face shields and masks. I felt really safe, but it was actually really hard to adjust to the acting process because have you ever had those plastic face shields on?

I have not, but I’ve seen people wearing them. Mainly drag performers.

Right. Joan Cusack from 16 Candles where she has a big cone — that’s literally what it feels like. I’m just like, “I am hitting everything and I have no peripheral vision.”

Damn, that does sound weird. I’m glad you were able to adapt. You spoke a little bit to this before, but what has it been like for you being one of the youngest actors on set?

I’ve been super privileged. I grew up with the Me Too movement and everybody wearing black at the Golden Globes. So I was like, “Okay, this seems like they’re carving a path for us, young actors. I wonder if it’ll really come through.” And to work at a show like The L Word, where everybody is in the room, it was amazing. As a young actor, that’s how I’m going to develop, and that is really cool to me and makes me really happy. I feel like there’s a lot of freedom on set, and I’m always learning from other people.

This series means so much to so many people. Do you feel any pressure at all as an actor portraying this new generation of queer characters onscreen?

Yeah, I think there’s definitely a pressure to get it right because so many people have got it wrong for so long. I mean, even elements of the original show, we got it wrong because we just didn’t know. It was still 2004 when it started. So with all that pressure that you have from getting it right, it’s about always coming from a place of, “We’re just trying to do good and to tell stories, and if we get it wrong, we’ll correct from there.” But we’re always trying to evolve in any way.

I want to talk a bit about Angie’s storylines this season. What was your reaction to reading the script and realizing that Angie would be going behind her moms’ backs to meet her donor?

At first, I was reading it as me, Jordan, and I was just like, “Why are you doing that?” I was a little upset. Because, I mean, I’m adopted, so I had my own personal beliefs about that, but adoption is very different than having a sperm donor. So I think it was a lot of my immaturity of not separating myself from the character — like, okay, this is Angie and not you and her ideas and not you. Then I started to really empathize and understand where she was coming from. And I’m like, I would do the exact same thing if I were in her shoes. It’s her life; it’s her story. It’s hers. I’m forever on Angie’s team when it comes to going behind her mom’s back to see her donor. Although I know it’s not good, I get it. I get it.

via GIPHY

I’m curious, do you think Bette and Tina were so reluctant to have Angie connect with her donor because they were truly honoring his privacy, or because of lingering insecurities?

I think from Angie’s perspective, she only viewed it as them being selfish. She wasn’t able to see the totality of their experience. It would make Bette uncomfortable and Tina, as a mom, maybe not be as an uncomfortable as Bette because she carried me. Although that doesn’t mean anything to Angie, she sees where they might conclude that… but all in all, in Episode 3, Bette actually is compassionate and lets her [meet up with her half-sister], and that’s really cool.

That scene made me so happy, especially with Bette having Alice and Shane there to support her.

I know, right? That was a really fun scene to film. I believe it was the first scene we filmed coming back from the show too. And I was like, “I’ll come back to this any day.”

Talk to me about Angie’s budding relationship with Jordi (played by Sophie Giannamore). First of all, do you ship them?

I think so! At first, I didn’t, because they’re just really different, but now I think they pull out different sides of each other that I like. Whether they get in trouble or not, I think it’s still very fun and teenage-y.

Can you tease anything about what’s in store for their relationship this season?

You get to see them go to prom! I didn’t know if I could say that, but it was in the trailer, so [laughs]. It was really fun to film because I didn’t get my prom. I started the show, and I had to leave school and everything, and then the pandemic hit, so it was fun. My prom was a TV prom.

That sounds so fun, aw! Last question: Since you’re relatively new to Hollywood, do you have a dream role or a project you’re dying to be a part of?

Yes. The other day I was watching Chicago with Renee Zellweger as Roxy, and I was like, “Whatever that is, I’ll be really happy.” But in a broader sense, the actors that I love are Olivia Coleman, Kate Blanchett, and Sarah Paulson. With acting, I don’t think it’s too dissimilar to loving somebody. When you fall in love with somebody, it’s not going to be the person that is like, we’d never fight, it’s a match made in heaven. It’s going to be the person that brings out things in you that need to be healed. Maybe you’re impatient, so you have to learn how to be patient with this person. Anyway, with actors like Kate and Olivia and Sarah, anytime I see something they do, they pull out something from me that needs to be healed, and only they can do it with their craft. And I think that’s because they’re so particular about their roles. So anything that feels in that realm of what they do, that’s what I want.

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