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7 Questions With Sutton Foster About Her Younger Days

The Tony-winning star of TV Land's new series talks love, loss, and what she wore…in her 20s.

TV Land's new comedy series Younger makes its official debut tonight, marking the first of (hopefully) many weeks to come for two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster to relive her 20s before all of America. Foster stars as Liza, a 40-year-old single mother who decides to reenter the work force as a "26-year-old" up-and-comer, befriending her actually-20something coworker Kelsey (played by 27-year-old Hilary Duff).

Just before her own 40th birthday, TheaterMania took a stroll down 20something memory lane with the stage favorite, who reminisced about the good, the bad, and the ugly times in her life and career. Unlike Liza, Foster would probably not opt to return to that particular decade, but it left her with enough enduring lessons and fashion triumphs to last a lifetime.

Sutton Foster as Liza in the new TV Land comedy series Younger.
(courtesy of TV Land)

1. At twenty-six, what was your personal anthem?
"A Moment Like This" by Kelly Clarkson. I was pretty obsessed with Idol.

2. What was your most important accessory?
At twenty-six I was obsessed with my overalls. Back then I was always struggling trying to find pants that were long enough. In the nineties my overalls were a little high-watery so I took one of my favorite flannel shirts and I sewed a flannel band on the ends of my overalls to make them longer. I was such a fashion icon.

Sutton Foster as Millie Dillmount in her first Tony-winning production, the 2002 musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.
(© Joan Marcus)

3. What aspect of your twenties do you miss most?
I don't really miss my twenties. I'm about to turn forty, so I'll probably miss my thirties more than I miss my twenties. [But] as a dancer [and] physical comedian, I could do crazy things with my body. Now I'm a little bit like, Oh God, that hurts. I think I miss that freedom of being able to sort of fling my body around in a way that now I can't quite do.

4. What about your twenties are you glad you'll never have to experience ever again?
Oh God…dating. Just sort of finding my way. I was a young twenty-year-old. Hilary [Duff], I admire so much. She's been a professional for so long now that she really has her sh*t together. I look at her and go, "Wow, at twenty-seven you really got stuff goin' on." At twenty-seven I was green and naive and I had such a hunger, which I was grateful for, but I just felt like I was a flailing mess.

5. Name one moment or decision that you made in your twenties that you would like the opportunity to redo.
I'm trying not to live with any regrets because I feel like even the bad decisions taught me well…I've always had a very complicated relationship with my mom, but I wish in my twenties I had been more present. I lost my mom a year ago so that always teaches you something, when you lose somebody. But I wish I had shared my life more with my mom.

6. What's the greatest piece of wisdom you could offer to today's twentysomethings?
Family is important. Call your parents. Talk to them on the phone, visit them. Career is important but relationships will enrich your life, so make sure to invest in those.

7. What's the greatest thing you think you can learn from today's twentysomethings?
That anything goes style-wise. You can make your own personal style — you don't have to conform to anything because basically anything is "in style" as long as you have the confidence to wear it.

Foster with her on-screen Younger costar Hilary Duff.
(courtesy of TV Land)