OnlyOnAOL: 'Grace and Frankie' star Brooklyn Decker's social media taboo
By: Donna Freydkin
The show is about two women rediscovering their desires – both physical and otherwise – after their husbands come out as gay and leave them for each other. But there's a sisterhood in play on "Grace and Frankie," and at the heart of it are Brooklyn Decker and June Diane Raphael, who co-star as the daughters of Jane Fonda.
On the Netflix series "Grace and Frankie," Decker's Mallory is struggling with her decision to be a stay-at-home mom, while her fiercely unyielding sister Brianna (Raphael) makes the ill-advised choice to go into business with Frankie (Lily Tomlin) on a line of organic yam lube.
In person, the two actresses have an obvious camaraderie. Both are moms – Raphael, married to comedian/writer Paul Scheer, is expecting her second child, and Decker has a son with tennis ace Andy Roddick. And both have mastered the fine art of deadpan humor.
Before being cast, they had never met, which you'd never guess from seeing their testy and very familiar on-screen relationship.
"We didn't (know each other) but you're the second or third person to ask that, so it makes me think the chemistry is really good. You look at Jane and Lily and they've been such good friends for such a long time. We had an easy connection. We have our moments, where we pull each other's hair out. We have yet to have our first fight," says Decker.
Actually, says Raphael, "We had it, but you just didn't know it. I have two sisters so I know that relationship really well. You can say things to your sisters that you'd never say to a friend. You own them, so it's ok. You're not precious with your siblings the way you may be with your friends."
Decker, who's the opposite of affected and fussy, pauses. "Are you supposed to be precious with your friends? Oh, you are. No wonder I don't have any. That makes so much sense," she says.
On screen, Brianna takes no prisoners. Nor does she make excuses for her drive or her desire to succeed. She doesn't try to be adorable or quirky. "It's crazy because I'm so cute," deadpans Raphael. "I love her. She's totally outrageous and unapologetic. I personally really like that trait in a woman. It makes me inspired me to be more like her."
The show is in production on its next season already.
"In the third season there's even more of Mallory and Brianna and finding out about their relationship. We get to know a lot more about these two," says Decker.
And no, Raphael won't be pregnant on "Grace and Frankie."
"It's not written in. It's being cut out through the magic of post-production," says Raphael.
"I don't think people know you can do that," adds Decker. "You can CGI the belly out. You don't have to worry about hiding things. It's really liberating."
Being on a series is compatible with having a family, both actresses agree, to a point.
"It sounds really good in theory. We're very lucky to have the jobs that we do and we have a lot of flexibility. We've both been pregnant on the show. Mine was written in," says Decker. "With having kids, it's kind of thrown the show for a loop a little bit. I'm asking them to stop production to breastfeed."
"We've got it very good," says Raphael, "in comparison to most working moms."
Both women shield their sons from social media, opting to not show their faces when they post anything.
"He wears a mask at all times," says Decker of her son Hank. "It was a conscious decision. You want to show him off to everyone. What it comes down to is, I made the choice to be on social media. It should be everyone's choice. If my kid wanted to be a CIA agent, I'm completely ruining his life by exposing him."