“I was just in Italy, and we were walking with my whole family, and people stopped Mariska to tell her how much they love SVU,” Hermann, 50, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “And then after this group came over, and I get ready to take their camera, and they said, ‘Are you Peter? Are you on Younger?’ It was so great!”
The Yale grad says the TV Land comedy has even helped him bond with his oldest son, 11-year-old August — sort of.
“Every now and then I will somehow, by some stroke of good fortune, get on board with something that is vaguely of the moment and I’m poised to throw down with our 11-year-old, and he is inevitably incredibly impressed,” Hermann says. “And then he sees through it right away. He’s like, ‘All right who told you?’ So, [I’m] losing cred with my kids as we speak.”
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Also dad to Amaya and Andrew, both 6, Hermann has found that the generational gap seen on the show — Hilary Duff‘s character explains GIFs to him in a meeting, for example —has also played out off camera.
“There are certainly moments on set when it just becomes so starkly obvious that were just from completely different generations,” Hermann says of costars Duff, Nico Tortorella and Molly Bernard, all 29. “I’m still fascinated that people were born in the ’90s or the ’80s. That’s just amazing to me.”
And it’s not much different at home. “Talking to my kids about a world without cell phones is just completely impossible,” Hermann adds.
“It is not a critique of millennial. It depicts a group of people who work really hard, but it certainly doesn’t wear rose-colored glasses where it tries to edit things out. It depicts that culture as it is,” Hermann says. “You look at Hilary’s character, she’s a baller. My son’s going to read that and be like, ‘Dad, you used baller!’ But she is. And the show doesn’t depict her as some sort of scheming striver. She just works hard.”