Warning: This article contains spoilers for Ginny & Georgia season two. Scott Porter’s children aren’t quite old enough to watch Ginny & Georgia. The hit Netflix show, which launched its second season on January 5, 2023, is a little sinister for seven and five-year-old minds; what with all the murder, teenage drug use and self-harm. But that doesn’t mean he won’t let them watch it one day. In fact, for those with kids of high school age, he can see the value in families watching the comedy-drama together.
“I think for parents with kids that are a little older, going into high school that this might be something that they can watch and talk about as a family,” he tells StyleCaster. “If there are some tough scenes or things that the parents disagree with, they can at least have a conversation with their kids as opposed to just turning a blind eye and letting them struggle through all the stuff by themselves.”
It’s a big part of why the show has resonated with viewers so deeply, whether they’ve already survived high school or are going through it now. Ginny & Georgia is still fundamentally entertainment, of course, but its relatable depiction of the complicated and sometimes dark teenage experience—including body image, masculinity, mental health, friendships, crushes and crises of identity—is what makes it stand apart from other shows it’s been compared to, chiefly the dated but still beloved Gilmore Girls.
Porter plays all-round good guy Paul Randolph, Mayor of the picturesque (and fictional, sorry) New England town of Wellsbury, where “damaged” single mother Georgia Miller (Brianne Howey) settles down with her two kids, Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and Austin (Diesel La Torraca), after years of running from her past. Romance doesn’t take long to bloom between Paul and Georgia and by the first season’s finale, they’re engaged. But Georgia’s previous lives—and crimes—are catching up with her and the big question remains of how much longer can she keep them from erupting to the surface. Porter sat down virtually with StyleCaster to chat all things season two, including teasing how the police found out about Georgia’s latest murder.
What were you looking forward to most about working on this season?
I knew right off the bat that we were going to be meeting Paul’s family and seeing how he interacted with them. At the end of last season, I got a lot of people saying, “Oh, Paul has to have a dark side, that Paul is going to show us something sinister.” What people see is that he’s trying to do things differently than his family and I loved the interactions between Paul and his father, Paul and his mother, and then of course, Paul and his brother.
As season two wraps up, Georgia lays most of it on the table in a conversation with Paul. That she framed Austin’s father Gil for embezzlement, fraudulently used her children’s social security numbers to get more credit cards, and she’s “been a hustler and criminal” her whole life. What is going through Paul’s mind at that moment?
There’s this old adage of “don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to” and Paul has been asking these questions all season long. He doesn’t feel like he needs to save Georgia. No one can save Georgia but Georgia and he understands how strong she is. But he wants to protect their union and protect the family and if he doesn’t if he’s not armed with the knowledge that he needs he can’t protect them.
I think Paul is desperate for that all throughout season two, desperate for some honesty. He still really believes that together, as he said in season one, Georgia and Paul could be unstoppable. But in order for that to happen, he just needs to know.
What I love about this show is that every character has their own shit going on. They behave the way they do for a reason and everyone has their—I won’t use the word weakness—but vulnerabilities. What are Paul’s biggest vulnerabilities?
Paul desperately wants to make a difference. He desperately wants to make change and after college, he left and explored the world. When you see him talk to his father who tries to say, “Let me hook you up with my old buddies, let me tell you how to do your career. Let me tell you how to be a politician, the way I was,” Paul’s trying desperately to break out of that shadow of his father and break away from his family to do great things.
But unless you’ve lived in somebody else’s shoes and unless you are out of a very protected town, like Wellsbury, you can’t really see what the rest of the world needs. I think Paul still has some growing to do and I think Paul still has some perspective to gain. He’s a very thoughtful and sometimes very wise person, but maybe some of that worldliness is missing.
In episode eight of season two, Georgia kills Tom Fuller—Cynthia’s husband—whose prolonged terminal cancer prevents his wife from emotionally moving on. What do you think Georgia’s motivation was?
I think as a fan watching the show, Georgia’s motivations seem very merciful in nature. But I’m not 100 percent sure of what Georgia’s motives are at most times. I think that’s the brilliance of Brianne’s performance and our writing team’s ability to craft scenes, where the audience is challenged to root against Georgia and it’s almost impossible. At that moment, maybe we all see the good in Georgia. That being said, I am no one to say whether it’s right or wrong. I just know that at that moment, it felt to me as a fan or as a viewer of the show, merciful in a way.
In the season two finale, Georgia’s arrested for Tom’s murder, not the murder of her late husband Kenny from which she’s been running the whole show. We’re led to believe there were no witnesses except for Austin, who swears he didn’t tell anyone. How do you think the police got enough evidence to arrest her?
I don’t know. What I don’t want to do is speculate because when an actor speculates, quite often they can just be embarrassed by the brilliance of what the writing staff will put together [laughs]. But this is another hurdle for Paul and Georgia that they may not be able to get past. That being said, she’s got a very strong support system now when she didn’t before so going into [a speculative] season three, Georgia will at least will have people that stand by her side and fight for her.
In doing my research for this interview, I realized you voiced Heimdall in the critically acclaimed video game God of War: Ragnarok. This isn’t the Heimdall we know from the MCU, in fact, he’s an antagonist and could not be more different from Mayor Paul. Is it fun playing a villain?
I enjoyed playing that character just for his honesty. Do I see Heimdall as a villain? Not necessarily and I think the thing that we’re challenged with as actors is to find the truth in the characters we play. Heimdall has the gift of foresight; he asks you a question and you answer him. He understands whether you’re aligned with him or not. Can you imagine if every single day in your life, every person you talk to, you ask them a question and they answer you, with you knowing full well they’re lying to you? All day long. How disgusted do you think you might be? How arrogant you might become and that was Heimdall.
Ginny & Georgia is available to stream on Netflix.
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