Megan Park Talks Secret Life’s Unsatisfying Series Finale — Exclusive!
Secret Life of the American Teenager kicked off its final season a few weeks back, and even though viewers have to wait several months before the finale airs, show star Megan Park (Grace Bowman) has given Wetpaint Entertainment an exclusive heads-up that she’s not exactly thrilled with how the series ends!
For more of Megan’s reasoning and some emotional stories about the last day of shooting, check out our exclusive interview now!
Wetpaint Entertainment: Where does Season 5 pick up?
Megan Park: Well, we're obviously all seniors. Some of us have already graduated. I'm a senior, and we are finishing up the last six months of school. It's kind of that time when everyone is figuring out what colleges to go to, what career paths to follow, do you stay with your boyfriend that you have been with a couple of years, or do you end on a high and see if life brings you back in the future, but go on and have different opportunities? So everyone is in such a period of transition to try and figure out what to do with their lives which is a really big change from high school to college, and just growing up and moving out into the adult world.
And for Grace specifically, what are her dilemmas?
I'm hoping to get into med school. I'm trying to figure out if that's for sure what I want to do, if I'm going to get into the school that I want to get into. Obviously it's really hard to get into medical school, so I'm working my butt off, trying to make sure I get the grades I need. And I'm also back in that place with Jack where our paths are seeming to take very different directions, so at this point I'm trying to see if we're going to be able to make it beyond high school and if we want to keep trying to make something happen.
Are they meant to be?
You know, I really like Jack and Grace together. I'm a fan of them. And I think that if life is meant to bring them back together or if they are meant to be together, they will definitely always have a history, and they will always have a connection, so I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen, but I am a fan of them together.
I know that you guys found out pretty late in the game that it was the last season, but as far as how things wrap up, were you satisfied?
You know, personally I was very satisfied because we found out before we finished filming that we weren't going again, so we got to say our goodbyes and really enjoy the last couple episodes of filming. But when it came to my character I was pretty surprised when I read the last script —
what direction everybody goes, who ends up with who, and what happened. I don't know if I was thrilled with my outcome, but it's real and it makes sense. Nobody has a fairy tale ending on this show, for sure. It's real, and some people will be happy and some people may not be.
Ken Baumann was saying he had a really hard time getting through that last script.
You know, it's sad. I remember reading that last script, and it didn't really feel like the end until I got it in the mail. I actually didn't open it for a few days, which sounds really dramatic, but I wanted to sort of save it until I had a moment alone and read it. It was short. There are a lot of flashbacks in the last episode. I just read through it really quickly, and I was like, “Oh, that's it. That's how everybody ends their stories on this show.” It was emotional. That was a pretty emotional moment actually, reading that last script.
What was it like to shoot it?
It was really sad actually. It was such a great run. We were so lucky to be on a show that went for five seasons. I never would have imagined that I would be working for that long. So I felt really lucky. I didn't want to complain too much because everything in this business comes to an end. No show goes forever, but you're with these people for five years. It's longer than you’ve been in high school, so we definitely got very close, and we got very close with the crew. There were a lot of tears on that last day, and that last shot there was not a dry eye in the house. It was really sad.
How would you tease the finale?
I think it's a good ending the way it is, but I definitely would have preferred maybe a happier ending, but I'm kind of cheesy that way.
You guys really grew up on that show. I mean, so many transitions and changes and marriages and children.
Not only did we change as our characters on camera, but personally, five years you change so much. I remember meeting Shai [Shailene Woodley] before we started filming the show, and she was 15. We were at a wardrobe fitting. She was with her mom, and I was with my mom, and still living in Canada. We were like, “Hey, nice to meet you.” And she was living at home, and I had never lived in Los Angeles before. We went through so many changes together. People got married. People had children. People were in relationships, out of relationships, moving away from home for the first time, going to school. It was really, really crazy. We totally grew up together. Also, we had such an experience of the show blowing up really quickly and doing all the press stuff together, flying to New York, having all these fun adventures. We definitely bonded. I think we'll forever have that time, and we'll always stay friends. You know how it is, you'll see some people more than others, but we will always have a place for each other for sure.
Can it be equated to college or high school, or is there anything that compares?
Yeah, I think it is definitely comparable to high school. Maybe even more so, because it was longer and we spent a lot of long hours together, and went on trips together, and all that stuff. So yeah, we were always there for each other. People had new romances and breakups, and there was always a shoulder to cry on. I genuinely felt really supported by everyone in the cast, through successes, and failures, and all sorts of things. I still call them and text them. Daren Kagasoff just got a TV show, and when I found out I immediately texted him. I was so thrilled for him. We definitely all keep in touch and keep each other motivated and supported. It's really nice. Everyone really, genuinely got along, which is not always the case on a television show.
What's next for you? What are you doing right now?
I actually just got back from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was shooting a movie, which was really fun. It doesn't have a title yet. Everyone asks me, "What's it called?" I’m like, "Untitled Movie." But James Long produced it, and Maria Bello is the star of it. I had a really great time. The cast is super cool. I did a movie that is coming out this year called The F Word, which I had such an amazing time making. It is so funny. It's such a good script. It's Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, me and Adam Driver. I learned so much from them. They are such a talented cast. It's a really great movie. I'm really proud of it. It's supposed to come out at the end of the year so I am excited for people to see that, and I'm just going to keep working. I love acting. I love living in L.A., and I feel really lucky to be in the place I am in right now, so hopefully I can just continue making cool movies and being on cool projects.
It sounds like you just jumped straight into it.
Yeah, I keep telling people, "I’d actually like for this year to be kind of quiet," because I have been working for five years, which is amazing. But I’d love to travel a little bit this year. My sister is getting married, so personally I would like to spend a little time back home in Canada helping her plan the wedding, and doing all those things I haven't been able to really do that much over the past five years. So whatever happens, happens. But I’d love to balance my year with a little bit more of that type of thing, as well as working.
Secret Life had a very special cadence. Are you going to miss that?
No, I'm not. It was so many lines to learn all the time. We just used to joke about these monologues that we had. So I'm not going to miss that part of it, but it was a unique style that people seemed to really like, but with less lines to memorize it's always a little bit easier. No, I'm not going to miss that. I'm not going to miss saying sex so much either. My mom would want me to stay on a show where they don’t say sex so much either.