ABC Family's hit drama The Fosters returns for a second season on Monday, June 16 and series star Sherri Saum, who plays Lena Adams-Foster, recently spoke with GLAAD about what fans can look forward to, the show's social media success and being a new mom. Plus check out an exclusive new picture of adorable couple Lena and Stef!
The Fosters, which received the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series, centers around police officer Stef (Teri Polo) and her wife, school Vice Principal Lena (Sherri Saum), as they raise their diverse family.
GLAAD: How did you first get involved with The Fosters and what drew you to the part and taking part in the series?
SHERRI SAUM: I just put my faith in ABC Family. When I learned what the subject matter was, you know it told me on my appointment sheet basically what the role was, and then I saw who the network was behind it, I was like 'wait a minute, how are they gonna deal with this?' And then I read the script and I was just blown away by how serious they were. They weren't trying to hide from anything or sugarcoat anything. They really let real issues through in a respectful and genuine way. So I was on board from the get-go and then when I met everybody who was behind the project I was doubly on board.
GLAAD: The fans have become such a diverse group of young adults and a little bit of an older fan base, too, and they're passionate on social media. What's it been like being in the center of that, having such a big social impact and engaged fan base?
SS: It's amazing. I'm really kind of a hermit—I still don't have Facebook or Instagram or any of those things. I finally got on Twitter once I got the show and was really reluctant to kind of engage. I'm blown away by the amount of support. From the eighty-year-olds, everyone at my mom's church in Ohio, to eight-year-old kids. It's been amazing. I'm really humbled.
GLAAD: You guys took home the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series this year. What does the award and support from the LGBT community mean to you?
SS: It's everything. We were trying to represent the very group that's honoring us—we must be doing our job well at our end of the fold. And I feel like GLAAD is an organization that's not going to just honor you because you have a gay person you put on screen. They really believe in our show and they believe in us and it's been amazing.
GLAAD: So obviously you're expecting twins this summer, congratulations. [Note: Saum has since given birth to twin boys] Has being on the show affected your views on motherhood or vice versa?
SS: It's showed me how much I have to fine tune my split focus because I'm pretty much used to doing what I want when I want where I want. Being on a show like this is a juggling act, and it's bringing it home to me that it's going to be not about me very soon, which is good. Because I'm kinda tired of myself, so that's fine.
GLAAD: What can viewers look forward to from Lena and the rest of The Fosters in the new season?
SS: Just a lot more drama. Obviously we left on a cliffhanger with Callie, who is her real father, why is this happening, and when we find out who he is, is he going to throw more wrenches into the system and make things even more difficult? But that's hopefully the show. And we're dedicated to these kids and we want to bring her under our roof as a full family member and we're not gonna stop. There's going to be so much with that topic and so much with the baby topic with Lena and Stef. So much good stuff. I'm constantly astonished by this group. I can't believe they keep making it better and better.
GLAAD: Do you have a dream story that you would love for Lena to have?
SS: Gosh. I don't know. They're doing it. There's not much they've left out as far as things we can explore. I leave it in their capable hands to come up with interesting places to go. And when I do have ideas I give them to Bradley and Peter and Joanna and they're receptive. They're just like family. It's going to be all good stuff. The show's definitely not gonna be one of those started on a high note and then peters out shows. We're locked and loaded with major story for a long time to come. So I hope people will continue to have us.
Don't miss The Fosters season two premiere on ABC Family Monday, June 16 at 9:00pm!