Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey on What’s New and What’s the Same on ‘The L Word: Generation Q’

Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey return for the Showtime revival The L Word: Generation Q. They played Shane and Alice respectively for six seasons on Showtime’s original series from 2004-2009. 10 years later, they and Jennifer Beals return for The L Word: Generation Q along with a cast of new characters.

The cast of The L Word: Generation Q was on a Television Critics Association panel. Moennig and Hailey spoke about what’s changed for The L Word in 2019, and what remains the same as ever. The L Word: Generation Q premieres December 8 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

Leisha Hailey says ‘Generation Q’ leads ‘The L Word’ charge

The new generation of LGBTQ viewers may have grown up on The L Word, but now they are the ones leading the political charge at rallies, marches and government advocacy. Original L Word cast member Leisha Hailey finds them inspiring.

Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Katherine Moennig
Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, and Katherine Moennig in The L Word: Generation Q. | Hilary B Gayle/SHOWTIME.

“I think it’s actually interesting, that conversation between a newer generation and older generation of, like, who’s done the marches, who’s broken those barriers down,” Hailey said. “I’m always personally trying to respect anyone who came before us, came before our show, and I think that’s an important conversation to always have. But it’s also really interesting to learn from a new generation as well. What they have to teach us is part of what we can’t wait to tell on the show.”

Katherine Moennig previews Shane 2019

Shane was the most volatile characters on The L Word. While fans hope for Shane to find love and happiness, they still want to see classic Shane on Generation Q.

“We meet Shane when she’s coming back to L.A.,” Moennig said. “She’s been gone for a while, and she’s coming back from a past that you are not supposed to know about just yet. And I think within that past is you are going to see a character that has grown in that span of time, but also, you are who you are at the end of the day. So her demons still hold her back from things that, of course, she would like to accomplish, and I think that’s just basic human nature.”

It’s not just a matter of coming back 10 years later. There’s a whole decade for which they have to account.

“I think that is the challenging thing for the three of us is trying to understand where have Alice and Shane been for these ten years, and how are they different?” Moennig said. “That has required a lot of thought and a lot of discussion and a lot of introspection because, in one hand, you have matured, and again, at the other hand, you still are who you are. And I think it will be exciting to see where each one of us is now landing so many years later.”

‘The L Word’ gang fell right back into the groove 10 years later

Moennig said the first scene they filmed for The L Word: Generation Q was her, Hailey and Beals together again. 

“It was like picking up where you left off and also trying to remember how to do it,” Moennig said. “It was like putting on an old pair of shoes, though. It was I think we all, the three of us, fell into a rhythm instantly that we hadn’t been around in quite some time.”

Hailey added, “We had a scene around a brunch table. So we were, like, back doing what we used to do. And I was looking around, like, ‘Oh, Jennifer is doing that Bette thing and Kate is doing that Shane thing.’ Then I started doing my Alice thing, and I was, like, ‘All right. We are back.’ It was really trippy.”