Scott tells EW she hopes that Whitney and her friends get "a little messy" next season.
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The Sex Lives of College Girls (TV series)

Warning: This post contains spoilers from season 1 of The Sex Lives of College Girls.

Whitney (Alyah Chanelle Scott) might've started out her college career with some bad choices — cough, sleeping with her soccer coach, cough — but by the end of the first season of The Sex Lives of College Girls, she'd found a new connection with Canaan (Christopher Meyer), admitted the truth to her mom, and grew closer with her roommates.

EW talked to star Alyah Chanelle Scott about Whitney's trajectory and what she'd like to see happen in season 2.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Were you always auditioning for Whitney?

ALYAH CHANELLE SCOTT: Yeah. Well, at first, when I got the audition, it said nudity required for the role. I was like, "Maybe not, this doesn't sound like my kind of thing. Just based off the title, it sounds like it's going to be a completely different thing than it is. But I read the pilot and was reading Whitney's character and I was like, "This feels so familiar to me. I get her. I know her." So, from the jump I read Whitney and pretty much that was the only one I felt like I could do.

What was your first meeting like with your co-stars?

It was strange because it all happened at the height of the pandemic before vaccines, so everything was virtual. I didn't know who they were going to be. I was already following Reneé [Rapp] on Instagram because we had a lot of mutual friends. And I'm a very good Instagram snooper. I had noticed that she started liking every Mindy [Kaling] post. And in my mind I was like, "Wait, [she plays] Regina George. Leighton?" And then I put it together. I just assumed. And then, I remember sending her an Instagram message responding to something on one of her stories and we were too scared to even ask each other if we were in the show. [Laughs] And then Pauline [Chalamet] and Amrit [Kaur], we all met on Zoom for the first time.

At what point did you realize Sherri Shepherd was playing your mom?

It wasn't even something I thought about. They cast the role later in the development so I didn't do any chemistry reads with her or anything. I just remember showing up and then Sherri Shepherd was on the call sheet and I was like, "You're kidding. Okay, Sherri Shepherd is going to be my mom." And then I had a little freak out. I called my mom and I told her. She had a freak out. And then meeting Sherri, she's just the sweetest. She became like my on-set mom. I would always ask her advice and pick her brain.

The Sex Lives of College Girls
Alyah Chanelle Scott on 'The Sex Lives of College Girls'
| Credit: HBO Max

I loved their mother-daughter arc this season and Whitney finally realizing that she's a good mom in the end.

Yeah. I feel like that's a common experience. Everyone gets sick of their parents. By time you're 18, you're like, "Jesus, stop telling me what to do." Because for some reason, when you're 18, you think you know everything. And Whitney has that experience of resenting this relationship she has with her mom because she's had to live in her mom's shadow and by her mom's rules, especially given that her mom's this public political figure. She leaves home determined to basically do whatever she wants, regardless of if it's the right thing to do, just because she can now. Then she has this idea that she can't tell her mom because, in her mind, mom is something different than what her mom actually is. And I think she's so blinded by the shadow she's had to live under that she hasn't had the chance to have this new relationship with her mom.

Did you know where the Dalton (James Morosini) story was headed?

We did a few table reads prior to filming the season, but I think we had only gotten to episode 5. But then, as we started filming, I was getting so mad at Whitney. As I was acting, I was like, "Can she just figure it out faster?" But she really has to go through it. And I remember getting the drafts of six and seven and eight and seeing how the Dalton situation propels her into all of these new experiences I was really happy with, because for a while, she has this perception of her life that the majority of what she's experiencing is a secret. All of the things she's going through, she can't share with her roommates. She can't share with anyone. So half of her life is private, and it blocks her from having good relationships with people because she can't open up, or at least she thinks she can't. And then, once she starts to, you see her become more friends with everyone and have different experiences and see her personality come out because she's been in this toxic f---ing relationship. She has this big heartbreak moment and then comes into herself.

I love Canaan. If I had to live through Dalton to get to Canaan, I'm fine with it.

It's so worth it. Also, Chris, in life, who plays Canaan, he is just one of the coolest, most naturally funny people ever, so filming anything with him is the best time and I always love watching it back. I'm just glad we get to Canaan.

What goes into filming the soccer scenes?

Before we started filming, I had never touched a soccer ball. I'm not even going to lie. So, I got to train for a month actually. While we were filming, I would wake up early in the morning and go train with my coach and I actually started to like soccer. I picked up a few skills and tricks and I could actually kick a goal. I was like, "Okay, okay." So then we started filming, it was this thing of like, "Well, let's just see if Alyah can do it. Let's just try." It was 16 hour days in the sun, a lot of choreography and cameras, like running around cameras, running next to cameras, running into cameras. But honestly, it ended up being the most fun ever. I love watching the soccer things back because all those people who were on the soccer field, they actually play soccer. So they were helping me between takes. It's really technical, but honestly the most fun. I couldn't play it actually, but I can do it on TV.

What's something that you would love to dive into a bit more in season 2?

The way this first season is set up, it lends itself to so much is possible for each of the characters. We could all go into so many different ways. Personally, I hope Whitney has a moment of coming into herself and her identity. I feel like she's been compartmentalizing and running from a lot of things and hasn't fully had a second to be by herself, and to figure out herself, and come into her identity in all types of ways, like racial identity at this place and all of these things. I want that for her so badly. And obviously, Canaan. That would be really great. I don't know. I want to see so many things for all of them. But mostly, honestly, to see that friendship with the four of them really solidify. You see it by the end of the season, but I want to see them really settle in and it get really familiar and maybe even a little messy.

All episodes of The Sex Lives of College Girls are on HBO Max.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Check out our daily must-see picks — plus news, celeb interviews, trivia, and more — on EW's What to Watch podcast.

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The Sex Lives of College Girls
The Sex Lives of College Girls (TV series)

Four freshman experience all that college has to offer.

type
  • TV Show
rating
genre
creator
  • Mindy Kaling
network
  • HBO Max

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