It’s no small feat to play one of the most unlikable characters on “Girls,” much less for six seasons. While Marnie Michaels is often maligned for her narcissism and naivete, embarrassing musical moments and poor relationship choices, after inhabiting the role for six years, Allison Williams came to appreciate her better qualities. Before the end of “Girls,” the 28-year-old actress tells us what she admires about Marnie, what she’s learned from the show and why she’ll never play a role like that again.
What do you think about the evolution of “Girls” during these six seasons?
I think when it started off it did not look like an entirely new idea because it was just four girls. But it was original because they were very real. And the show itself is very realistic. The sex scenes are honest, which was a surprise to many.
It was not a show that explains what you could have if you were very lucky and successful, but instead what you would have had if you lived in New York. The portrayal of the female body and the representation of women as the creators of their own destiny were seen as something radical. And now, six years later, the decisions that each character makes in their lives and the paths that each one follows are [still] radical. I think that’s amazing because it’s a show that teaches women how to overcome these difficulties either by learning what not to do or by following our [occasional] good steps.
What aspects of Marnie have you adopted and vice versa throughout the series?
I like her bravery, how she behaves without fear. I’m not like that but maybe it’s a good thing because every time Marnie does something wild, like singing, it’s embarrassing. I would not do that. Something good about Marnie is that when she has an idea, she simply does it without worrying about what others might think of her. She works in mysterious ways, I’m still learning, but I probably will not start picking up the microphone at other people’s parties to sing when no one wants me to. From me, Marnie took my entire body, the way I look. She took everything I have. I think I gave her a home.
Do blondes have more fun?
I’m not sure yet. Not enough time has passed. I can only confess that I was super nervous about not ruining my hair forever. So I have not had any fun yet and I’m very worried about keeping it healthy. I’m touching it all day long and I know I should not do that but I’m in panic mode 24/7. I hope someday to absorb the new personality but for now I’m just a brunette disguised as blonde.
Do you think there will be a movie or spin off of “Girls”?
I hope we can come back to “Girls” one day. I know Lena has mentioned it in some interviews and it would be fascinating to see what the characters are doing in 10 years from now and find out if my fantasy of what I want for Marnie came true. I want her to marry Elijah and have a very modern marriage where everyone can do whatever they want outside the couple, have children they love and support each other as best and inseparable friends. And that they can live their romantic fantasies wherever they are.
How have you evolved as an actress during these six seasons?
It’s so strange. In the first season I had no idea what I was doing. All my training had been on improvising. So I just knew what I did not have to do: improvise. But over time I got better with this ability to step in and know exactly how to interpret the situation Marnie was going through. Part of that is because I got to know Marnie very well. I also had another kind of experience while filming Peter Pan. “Girls” feels very natural to me, to just enter into Marnie’s mind and be there. I think I’ve improved — I hope to have improved —but in a very natural way.
What values do you think “Girls” has instilled in female viewers?
I think empowerment and self-sufficiency. At the end of the day you have to be all you need for yourself, which is something that all the characters in the series end up learning in some way. It’s a bit sad to think that you can’t trust others for certain reasons, but I think they all realize they have to be there when the other person needs it. And that is the only way to be a good friend. I think that is a very important value for girls: knowing that before you start helping others, you have to know yourself and be your best advocate and support system. So, when someone harmful comes into your life, you know exactly how to deal with it.
How was the last day of shooting?
My last day was really sad, although I had finished shooting the day before, I was on the set to accompany Lena and distract her, because none of the scenes she had to do were sad. So, we both sat down and started to talk about our best moments during the series and remembered a lot of things. It was quite happy, but also really strange to know that we were not going to be together again with the entire team and the cast.
What’s next for you?
I was in the movie “Get Out.” And then I’ll work on several things for myself until something else comes up. I’m not interested in doing something I’ve already done, and I’m not going to play anything that resembles Marnie.