The ‘Girls’ Girls On Work, Lady Love, And How Life Has Changed For Them All

by Sanna Posti Sjoman

We’re super pumped that Girls is back for its first fourth season, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Hannah, Jessa, Marnie, and Shosh this year (hint: it’ll probably have us crying, cringing, and loling.) In honor of the show’s return, I spoke with Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, and Zosia Mamet—required reading before Sunday’s new episode arrives.

Lena Dunham on the critical reception of her book, “Not That Kind of Girl” …

“I’ve realized that as long as I keep making this kind of work, these comments are going to keep happening, so I can’t act like my house is being bombed every time somebody gets angry at me on Twitter. I believe that is a direct quote from my boyfriend (laughs). But yeah, it’s never easy to be attacked, and for me the line is when I feel it hurts my family or anyone around me. That’s what’s painful, and I try to really protect them. I’m learning how to do that, and for the most part I think that I’m getting better and better at putting distance between myself and that sort of negativity that is thrown my way.”

LD on how Girls has impacted culture …

“It’s an amazing thing. I think the show is a direct reflection of the female performance artists, feminist thinkers, writers, actors and directors who have influenced me and formed my politics, so I like to think of it as something we’re certainly not doing alone but doing because of the amazing women that came before us who made history. When Joan Rivers passed away, no matter how much she made fun of my dresses I was like “thank you.” We wouldn’t be on television if Joan Rivers hadn’t made the choice to talk about what it meant to be female in a very messy way, to make her nose job jokes and make her abortion jokes. And I think about Susan Sontag and Gloria Steinem and women who affected the culture– they were the people who pushed the ball far enough that we can be doing this.”

Jemima Kirke on how her character sometimes overlaps with her real life persona …

“Well, just the selfishness and the shock value. Or the importance of shock value, the kind free spiritedness which isn’t real free spiritedness. I’ve done that all, I’ve used those things as coping mechanisms and as forms of security.”

JK on her relationship with Lena Dunham …

“Lena is my number one, not just because I knew her before, but because we know each other in a different context. With Allison and Zosia, we met as actors on the show and we don’t have as long a history, and in the beginning it’s all very exciting and you’re all really girly with each other and hanging out in each others’ trailers, and now we’re all hanging out in our own trailers. But we still have that kinship that “we started this together,” and I’ve had my one on ones with both Allison and Zosia where we’ve really bonded.”

Zosia Mamet on the challenges and rewards of being Shosh …

“I didn’t really know that girl; I’ve never met someone like her in my human existence. I didn’t want her to be a caricature. I wanted her to be something specific and grounded, and that has been incredibly challenging, to figure out that person that I never experienced before and to make her real.”

Allison Williams on her Girls family hangout sessions …

“We’re so scattered. Lena’s office is in LA so she writes there a lot, Jemima has kids so she’s like, an adult, Zosia has been filming things, and I’ve been doing Peter Pan, so we’ve been so busy… This fall especially we’ve been seeing less of each other than ever really, and Lena’s been on her book tour too, so it’s been so sweet to reunite. It’s so fun whenever we catch up. We talk a mile a minute and of course the first time we’re together on a photo shoot the poor photographer is trying to get our attention the whole time.” 

AW on how Girls has changed her life …

“When you live in the same city as stars like Beyoncé, the paparazzi has plenty of stuff to do, so they don’t really bother me. And the nicest thing about my job is to hear how it affects the people who watch because if you’re acting in a vacuum, it’s entirely selfish, whereas if you’re doing it for other people, it’s only a little bit selfish. It’s great to hear feedback about the show, and ninety-nine percent of the time people come up and say they love it, and what’s better than that?”

Image c/o Sanna Posti Sjöman

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.