Miriam Shor Is Stealing Scenes as Younger's Insecure Boss From Hell

Michael Logan
Miriam Shor of Younger
TV Land

She Plays: Diana Trout—aka Trout Pout—the monstrous, wildly insecure publishing exec on TV Land’s battle-of-the-generations comedy Younger. Cross her at your peril. “Diana is a woman in power who is completely unapologetic about her ability and ambition,” says Shor. “Women like that are quickly and unfairly labeled a bitch these days—only in Diana’s case, it’s totally warranted. She’s intolerable.”

Where You've Seen Her: Shor has starred in numerous flop series, including Then Came You, Inside Schwartz and Big Day. She was prissy hausfrau Janet on the steamy disco-era sudser Swingtown and Cricket, the hyper-sexed fashion mogul with a gay hubby on Southern satire GCB. “Younger is my first show to make it to a second season,” Shor says, adding with a laugh, “Apparently, I am no longer the kiss of death!”

Why We Love Her: They don’t come funnier or more dangerous. “Miriam is always ruining takes because the cast and crew break up with laughter,” says creator Darren Star. “She can steal a scene with the raise of an eyebrow.” Which she does often. “Diana is always horrified, like when one of the young editors pitches a book about b--- jobs,” says Shor. “She’s like, ‘People, we publish literature here!’ I love that about her. Her standards are incredibly high but she holds herself to those same standards. Diana is an old-school gal trying to survive in a world of silly millennials. The problem is, sometimes those millennials have great ideas.”

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Mean or Misunderstood? “Diana at her worst is an ugly thing to witness,” notes Shor, “but every now and then, through a chink in her armor, you see there’s a heart way deep down inside. My concern is never whether she’s likable to the audience or not. My concern is giving her humanity and letting you in on her struggles. Diana has a great fear of being left out, and rightly so because there is innate ageism in our society, especially against women. She fears she’ll no longer be relevant as she gets older. Power and insecurity are never a good combo, but it sure makes for high comedy!” Shor insists she and Diana “could not be more different. I would never treat people the way she does. I aim for niceness at all costs because, c’mon, life’s hard enough. But sometimes she says things I wish I could say—things that are just not socially acceptable.”

Ticking Time Bombs: Diana has no clue her twentysomething assistant, Liza (series star Sutton Foster), is really a 41-year-old divorcee who shaved years off her age in order to get hired at Empirical Press. Plus, Diana and Liza are both attracted to Empirical boss Charles Brooks (Peter Hermann). This can’t end well. “I so can’t tell you where this is going, but it’s terrific,” promises Shor. “Is there a person on the planet who doesn’t want Peter Hermann? I’ll take him! He’s 6-foot-whatever of total gorgeousness. For Diana, Charles is the perfect guy.”

Hairy Situation: Shor got her showbiz break wearing a beard and mustache as Yitzhak, husband of Hedwig, in the original off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, then repeated the role in the 2001 film version. Now nothing fazes her. “I never worry about looks,” Shor says. “You hear people say, ‘Oooh, such-and-such an actress is so brave. She gained 30 pounds for her role! She didn’t shower! She went without makeup!’ Hey, if that’s brave, then I’m brave every day.” Though Shor’s stage resume is extensive and admired, she’s yet to make her Broadway debut. “I’m just too edgy,” she says. “I tend to prefer theater that scares the s--t out of the audience. I like that feeling. That’s my legacy. So, yeah, I have way too much edge for Broadway. [Laughs] At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m crying into my pillow.”

Younger airs Wednesdays, 10/9c, TV Land