Being Marnie: A Conversation with Allison Williams for the digital release of GIRLS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Being Marnie: A Conversation with Allison Williams for the digital release of GIRLS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON

26 March 2015

HBO Home Entertainment UK announces the digital release of GIRLS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON, available to own and watch instantly now via Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Google Play™, iTunes, and Xbox Video. Fans now have the chance to get their hands on this smart, funny, and brilliantly original show ahead of its release on Blu-ray and DVD, and just a day after the final episode is broadcast on Sky Atlantic.  GIRLS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON comes complete with exciting extra content including Marnie & Desi: Making the Band and a special Invitation to the Set.  Take the opportunity to catch up on the whole series from the beginning as THE COMPLETE GIRLS SEASON 1-4 BOX-SET also becomes available exclusively on iTunes, also from 24 March 2015.

Lena Dunham returns for the fourth season of GIRLS, the Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning comedy series that follows the misadventures of a group of twenty-something friends in and out of New York City.  This season finds the girls edging towards maturity as they take on new personas in new worlds.  As the season begins, Hannah (Dunham) leaves New York to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the hopes of becoming a more serious writer, whilst confronting uncertainty in her relationship with Adam (Adam Driver).  Meanwhile, back in New York, Marnie (Allison Williams) pursues a music career while balancing her professional and romantic relationship with Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach); Soshanna (Zosia Mamet) graduates and begins interviewing for jobs, while sorting out her relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky); and Jessa (Jemima Kirke), is trying out sobriety through AA, though her ability to stir up drama remains undiminished.  By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this season’s ten episodes offer up some unexpected twists, as the girls of GIRLS continue to hunt for success – creatively, professionally and romantically – in New York City and beyond.

Set aside some time wherever you are for the compelling, hilarious and addictive GIRLS. HBO Home Entertainment brings you GIRLS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON now available to digitally download via Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Google Play™, iTunes, and Xbox Video.  Also available from 24 March 2015, THE COMPLETE GIRLS SEASON 1-4 BOX-SET is released exclusively on iTunes.

Allison Williams plays Marnie, the uptight career girl whose life is in freefall, in HBO’s breakout comedy Girls. Williams (DoB 13-04-88) started performing improv comedy as a student at Yale. Girls producer Judd Apatow spotted an online spoof and her audition for Girls was her first proper LA casting call. She now writes and performs for Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die.



So, how would you describe Marnie the character?  And the obvious follow up - how similar to her are you?

I understand why it's asked so frequently because in one fell swoop you're learning about the actress and the show.

You're good.

Well, yes, it's very complicated to understand of course.


(laughs) But no one’s fed it back before.

Well, my description of Marnie is very challenged by the difference between her change across the seasons. In season one we find someone who is trying desperately for us to have the illusion that she has it altogether.  She has a job. She feels fine about it. She has a boyfriend.  Again she's not so passionate about it but she's in this relationship and it's a stabilising force in her life. She lives in this apartment. It's fine. We get the sense that she's not gonna stay there forever. She has this best friend with a friendship that is clearly problematic and it's not great and it's not flourishing but it's there.  So, we see someone who is literally just living.
Season two none of those factors are in play; none, not even one of them.  She's on the out with Hannah.  She doesn’t live in that apartment anymore or really any apartment.  She does not have a job and she doesn’t have that boyfriend.  She's completely at sea. By season three she’s coming up for air.


Which must be good. It’s been hard watching her flail.

But some people apparently find her flailing very satisfying. She’ll be able to live a life that's satisfying for her when she figures out what she's passionate about.  That is a way into our biggest difference, which is that I have always only wanted one thing which is to be an actress; always, ever, it's the only thing I've ever wanted.

You read English at Uni, not drama?

Yes.  I was an English major but I have always known that I wanted to be an actress.  My parents demanded that I go to college because they wanted to delay this.  So , I said, “alright, well, since I know what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life” and a lot of actors actually recommended that I do this they said, “major in something else because you have four years.  You've been given this gift of education by your parents, study as much other stuff as you can”. 

I was an English major but I took so many other classes.  I many have almost been in anthropology. We didn’t have minors but I was probably an anthropology minor. I just stuffed my brain with as much as I could. I was a hoarder of classes and stuff while I was in school. I'm so grateful for that. But, acting's all I've ever wanted.  Marnie, you get the sense, doesn’t really know what she's passionate about - except that she likes to be organised.  What a weak thing to have strong feelings about. It's so bizarre.


She's sort of based on another friend of Lena’s isn't she?

Yes.  She's based entirely, well, initially she's based on Audrey who played Charlie’s new girlfriend in season two - which was very funny; to have her in scenes with Marnie was like a buddy comedy with a mirror.

As an actor I had to think about every friend of mine. I'm the only person I knew growing up who knew what I wanted to do.  I was the only one I had ever met.  Every once in a while I'd encounter another kid who was very clear in their path but it was really rare.  By the way it's not a very popular thing to be.  It's like, “well, I know what I wanna be when I grow up”.  But it's unwavering and it's been always the same. 

So, all my friends are still in the process of figuring out what they want, who they are.  And the who they are is the bigger, the more macro consideration.  But what do you wanna do?  How do you wanna make your living?  Can you make a living doing what you love?  These are the questions they're asking themselves right now.  So, it was I didn’t have to travel far.


So you don’t have any of the angst the Girls have?

Of course I go through that, of course.  There's no shortcut, you can't bypass that stuff just by seeming like you have done it. You have to actually do it. That's something that I too had to learn. So the self-doubt and the existential crisis and these bigger questions - I've asked myself all of them and I do it on a regular basis. I have the rare pleasure of playing someone exactly my age. I live in the world of our show.  As a result when people come up to me and say they're fans of the show there's a good chance that we will have a friend in common or something. I know our fans very well.  I feel like all of us are of our fan group as well as being in a show that they like, which is unusual.


Does that make it complicated when the show comes in for dissection and analysis?

Well, I don't see a lot of it.  I got the great advice from a lot of actors before the show started to air. They said, “stop googling your name” which I didn’t do obsessively but I would have if no one had told me not to and “don't read reviews, good or bad.  Read newsworthy ones if enough trustworthy people tell you you should, just to know what they're talking about”.  And people still don't know the rule and they'll send me things all the time.  It happens. 

But for the most part I get my direction from Lena and our producers.  I get life advice and stuff from my friends and family and other than that, you know, I'm just not part of that conversation.  So, in terms of that crossfire I'm not exposed to it. 

But, I will say that the reaction to the show has been fantastic. I say that knowing it's not all positive. To be part of something that is worth people’s time to dissect and contrast, to take a closer examination is the dream. 

I like that we have a, relative to some enormous shows, we have a small but very focused and highly intelligent fan base that likes to really challenge our show. Lena obviously takes most of that credit.