Our favorite girl group is back on television and this time…they’re in #AlbumMode!

Season 2 of Peacock’s Girls5Eva continues the story in season 1, in which we were introduced to the titular group played by Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Phillips, Sara Bareilles and Paula Pell. They rode the wave of an unlikely resurgence in season 1, and in season 2, the characters continue on this trajectory and the show is proving that it’s not in a sophomore slump either.

Shadow and Act recently spoke to Goldsberry, Phillips, Bareilles, Pell, showrunner/EP Meredith Scardino and EP Jeff Richmond about the new season, the reactions to the first season, feel-good comedy and much more.

On the show and its arrival last year, the cast says it was something they didn’t realize they needed, especially during the time that it came.

“I think to be perfectly honest, I needed it so much,” Bareilles told us. “I wasn’t even thinking about the audience [laughs]. I mean, I’m so sad to admit that, but it was such a life-saving, game-changer experience for me to get to work on the show. Not only going through our collective trauma of the pandemic and everything going on at that time, [but] I had also lost a very dear friend to cancer. He had just passed away. We had started shooting and the healing and essential nature of laughter was something I needed so desperately. And then these beautiful friendships grew out of that and I got to go to work and feel like I had purpose. Then and then we get to the end of the season…and I forgot how much it would give to people and we got so much beautiful outreach and it makes me so happy. And I’m like, ‘Yes, that is like the good work of this show.’ But I was selfish [laughs]…so no, I was not thinking about it.”

Phillips echoed similar sentiments and said people actually got emotional on the set of the show to hear live music.

She explained, “It was such a gift every day to go to work and sit across from these ladies and sing, and dance and have fun. But then beyond that, we have some crazy experiences. Even just with the crew, like the first time, we all sang around the piano and season one and crew members….and I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, but people got emotional because they hadn’t seen live music in over a year. The other sort of benefit of it in a way– I’m just like old lady glamour over here [and] have been on a million television shows– but so many times, you do things and you’re really focused on what other people are going to think about them when it gets out into the world. But we were so in the cocoon of just the experience of doing this thing…it was the first time that I honestly can say I was like, ‘Well, I don’t know what it’s gonna be when it comes out, but I don’t even care.’ It just meant so much to all of us and then to have it resonate and have people say, like, ‘Oh my God, it was just such a breath of fresh air and such a relief and such joy. It’s a real heart refresher and I’m grateful we got to come back for more.”

For Goldsberry, who has garnered a special amount of critical acclaim for her role as Wickie, she even believes that the character has rubbed off on her in a way.

“It actually kind of grows me up a little bit,” she said. “She’s growing up, but seeing myself next to somebody that’s so apologetically ambitious and who like kind of embraces a sense of empowerment and entitlement in ways that I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s OK,’ That’s good for me. I honestly just love her sense of style [and it] kind of makes me much more bold in my own choices. I love playing her and being rooted in [a] kind of humanity and realness I think that’s just the way I’m going to approach anything. There’s something that’s sad…all of this just kind of covers something that feels very sad and her. If you feel like your purpose in life is past has passed you by and you have one last shot to reach for it, there’s just something that’s just inherently a little sad about that. I think that’s why it’s so easy to kind of ground her, in spite of all of the shine, shimmer, shimmer, shimmer. I understand the pain.

This is similar to how Pell channels some of her experiences into Gloria and her “child-like” joy.”

“I think we all either are or know and love someone who has not lived their truth,” she said. “And personally, when I was younger, did not live my truth for so many years because I was gay in an era that it wasn’t feeling safe to be out. So I just kept it to myself and I also went for a long period of time without having a relationship. So it was easier to kind of keep it under wraps because everything was about SNL and comedy and I just wasn’t really living that part of my life at all. But I just think that there’s something always endearing about watching someone have the exhilaration of freedom.”

Watch the full interviews below: