'Tales of the City' Cast on Why 2019 Was the Right Time to Bring Series Back
"It was the right time to bring the show back and it was absolutely paramount that it be passed onto the next generation," 'Tales of the City' star Laura Linney told In Studio.
Netflix is continuing the story of the beloved Tales of the City, based off Armistead Maupin's book series that spawned a television show in 1993, and the streamer is giving viewers an update on the story of the LGBTQ+ community living in San Francisco.
Laura Linney returns to 28 Barbary Lane as Mary Ann, 25 years later, to celebrate the 90th birthday of Anna Madrigal, played by Olympia Dukakis, also returning to her role. Linney, joined by showrunner Lauren Morelli (Orange Is the New Black) and co-stars Ellen Page, Charlie Barnett and Zosia Mamet, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to explain why 2019 was the perfect time to bring the important story back for a new generation.
"For me, one thing I'll say is I feel so grateful to play this character who's queer, and I can be out and be a part of this," Page said. "The original Tales, obviously, is a huge part of even getting to this place. So to be able to be a part of this and explore the differences of the generations, which is a huge theme in the show, it feels so wonderful to be able to be a part of this because it's not even that long ago where something like this felt very hard to happen."
"Conversations weren’t even being had. In '93 when we did the original series, the phrase LGBTQ did not exist," Linney added.
She continued: "There was its own set of issues and politics and cultural divide and struggles and all that is a completely different landscape than the one we're in now, so it was the right time to bring the show back and it was absolutely paramount that it be passed onto the next generation and have a sense of history here of how we are all evolving and developing and the things that hurt and the things that help us and where it is possibly leading. I think they’re important questions to be asked and it’s sort of the reason to do the show."
Linney also discussed stepping back into the shoes of Mary Ann, saying, "It's wonderful. Not many people get to say they've played the same part for 25 years. It changed my life significantly, personally and professionally. Then at the same time, it's very different. It's a different time and it should be. It should be very different and it should reflect that and I think it does. So it's, in some ways, like having a great history with something and then, in other ways, you're stepping into something very new and very appropriately altered.”
Tales of the City is now streaming on Netflix.
Watch the video above to hear Morelli discuss hiring an all LGBTQ+ writers room, Page and Linney's complicated mother-daughter dynamic on the show and more.