We spoke with Martha Plimpton who stars as Megan, the mother of twin children in HBO Max’s Genera+ion, a series about a group of teens figuring out their sexuality in a small conservative town.
Check out the trailer for Season 1 part 2 and the full interview with Martha Plimpton below!
The Knockturnal: My first question is, what about the story of Genera+ion that inspired you to want to be a part of it?
Martha Plimpton: Well, I really loved the writing, I love the fact that this young person conceived of a story about or centering a queer kid’s experience. And, you know, writing about it from an honest perspective and a new perspective, and from a joyful perspective from you know, it was a story about queer kids who aren’t necessarily coming to terms with the fact that they’re queer, they love that they’re queer, they’re okay with it, but that they’re just having the same sort of, you know, trials and tribulations as every other kind of kid and, and I loved that I loved that it wasn’t necessarily a coming-out story, or wasn’t really, you know, a queer struggle, story, you know, which is sort of the common thing that we see. And I also really, in a way, I felt like the adults were also written, sort of more honestly, you know, than they usually are, even by adult writers, you know, a real sort of unvarnished, you know, look at adults in all of their failures, insecurities, and fears. And, you know, I like that.
The Knockturnal: Great. So in regards to parenting, so we don’t usually don’t see much of parents and some teen focus programming. So it was really great to see Megan be like a fully developed character in like her own right, and then to have all of the other like all the characters just be like, really incredibly funny. But I think with Megan especially, she has that scene-stealer ability. So can you tell us a little for those who haven’t seen the series yet?
Martha Plimpton: Well, when the show begins, I mean, we need this woman, Megan, she’s a mother of twins, teenage twins, and she’s very type A personality. She’s extremely organized. And she very rules-oriented. And she’s very religious. She’s a person who really relies on her religion to give her boundaries and guidance. She’s one of these people, I think, who we see a lot of, in the world, people who really are afraid of the chaotic nature of life and who really don’t like the mysteries that they are in. And so, you know, she’s kind of- she’s struggling with that, with the fact that things aren’t going according to her plan. And she’s struggling with, her kids, even though they’re still home, they’re kind of leaving the nest and, and being teenagers that throwing the world into her world into turmoil, you know, and that’s very, very hard for her. And so as the show goes on, we discover you know, well, we don’t discover but we see, for really doing battles, particularly with her son, over the fact that he has come out as bisexual and that’s just not something she can handle. It’s just not in her realm of consciousness, that it can happen. And, she truly does fear for him. She’s terrified for him. Not so much in terms of, you know, socially, because she sees all these people around him are very supportive. But in terms of, you know, his eternal, immortal soul, she’s really afraid that he’s going to go to hell. And you know, and that’s the way she’s ordered her life. That’s the way she’s made sense of, you know, she’s made sense of the world, you know, is by ordering it and it’s a very strict rigid way. And when that’s challenged, she really kind of things out.
The Knockturnal: Definitely. We were able to ad-lib at all? Or was it pretty much to the script?
Martha Plimpton: Oh, it’s very much scripted. And that’s a good, good thing. I mean, the scripts are really, really good. They’re written really, really well. And you know, and I think that they’re, you know, they’re more than adequate to do the job. So there’s not, there’s not too much add-libbing at all going on. I mean, there’s maybe a couple of changes made, you know, when you’re doing the scene, just for the sake of clarity or rhythm or whatever that is, but know that it’s not as scripted really.
The Knockturnal: So your role is very different from your other roles, like The Good Wife and some of your other stage productions and etc. What was the experience shooting this like for you? And do you have a favorite scene or episode that you can recall from the first half of season one?
Martha Plimpton: Yeah, I mean for Megan’s character, I think Episode Four is really great. It really sorts of delves into a little bit of her mind. You know, what her fears are. I really love the scene around the table with, the parents gathering at school to talk about, you know, what kind of cookies to bring. I really liked that scene. And, and I just that episode, has a really smart arc, from my perspective, and, you know, including the stuff with the kids. You know, it doesn’t involve Meg and I think that that’s a beautiful episode. And, you know, and then, I love the episode with Chester and Sam. So, you know, when Chester finally, you know, tell Sam, who loves him and tries to get him to love him back. And I just love the way those actors perform those scenes. I think it’s a beautiful episode. It’s heartbreaking. You know, I’m, I’m really proud of the show as a whole, you know?
The Knockturnal: Part two of the first season premieres Thursday, with not one, but three episodes coming. Is there anything that you can tease from it and about what’s to come for Megan?
Martha Plimpton: Yeah, I mean, there’s, she’s definitely going to be confronted by her son. Her son and she are going to really come to blows. And, and she’s going to try and, you know, she’s going to come out of her comfort zone a little bit, and she’s going to try and enter his world a little bit. But you know, it’s challenging for her. She’s very, very, you know, it proves it proved to be a little bit too much for her. And so you’ll see her sort of, you know, trying to sort of entering her son’s world and finding it very, very difficult.
SEASON 1 PART 2 of GENERA+ION IS NOW STREAMING ON HBO MAX