‘Pen15’ Stars Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle on Their Twin Pandemic Pregnancies

Naturally, Konkle was “super-thrilled” when she’d learned in the spring that her friend was thinking of having a baby. Little did she know, however, that she had recently become pregnant herself. “Alex and I conceived in April and found out in May,” Konkle says. “I was in Lake Arrowhead for the week, concentrating on editing, and my partner was in Los Angeles. There was snow on the ground where I was, and an hour away he was in 90-degree heat. I took the test on a whim, thinking I was paranoid. We celebrated through tears on FaceTime.”

Konkle’s daughter, Essie Wunderle Anfanger, was born earlier this year. “The middle name comes from my dad’s side of the family, in honor of him,” she explains. “The Wunderles were known to have strong, forward-thinking women. And my great-great-grandfather, also a Wunderle, went from selling sweets from a street cart to having a large factory where candy corn was invented. Hopefully she’ll appreciate the name instead of resenting us for giving her something difficult to spell.”

Prada dress; prada.com

Although both women continued working through the end of 2020, they were grateful for the change of pace when plans to go immediately into production on season 3 of Pen15 were dashed. Pandemic anxiety aside, they needed the break. “In the beginning I was thriving—cooking new recipes, taking long walks, doing puzzles, playing this video game Overcooked, watching The Sopranos, old movies I’ve never seen, leaving Los Angeles on mini-road trips,” Erskine says. “But now I’m lucky if I don’t do takeout 5 days in a row watching 90 Day Fiancé, physically rolling from point A to point B. Point A is usually my couch, and point B is the freezer where I retrieve my ice cream.” (Not long after our interview, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Leon Frederick.)