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Interview With Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Clementine, Desi

HBO

Following that kiss in the dressing room, what have Desi's intentions been with Marnie? He's been playing both sides of the coin with her -- reminding her he has a girlfriend, but singing saucy song lyrics to her.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

I think Desi is a guy that likes to stay in the proverbial sunshine. If it feels good, he goes there and maybe doesn't realize what he's done until it's too late. Or perhaps he's like many guys that I've known that like to play it really close and get burned. They like to mix it up, they love the complication of infidelity.

HBO

Did you base him on anybody?

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

No. I don't think Desi's all that unique in that respect. He's an actor and a lot of actors really love that kind of attention. In terms of his relationship with Marnie -- I mean, besides the fact that she's a beautiful girl -- he's really turned on by her artistically. That's totally genuine. I think they inspire each other; I know it sounds corny. People give Marnie such a hard time all the time -- she can't get a break. She's like Rodney Dangerfield. Maybe Desi gets off on the thought that he can unlock this artist, or harness this thing inside of her.

HBO

He's the first person who really appreciates her talent and can see through the stiff exterior.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Yeah. I do think they're genuinely good. Jack [Antonoff of Fun.] is a really good song writer, but their song was a lot better than I had anticipated. It was a really nice surprise.

HBO

Lena had said that she'd asked him to write the "best worst folk song ever."

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

The lyrics are unequivocally horrible. [Laughs.] There's no argument there. But there's something nice about the harmonies and the musical spirit of the song.

Also, there's one thing about Desi that was scripted but didn't make it into episode 31, where he and Marnie are taking a walk after their rehearsal and he tells her that he's been kicked out of 15 bands and that she is probably the last person in New York who will play with him. He also tells her he can't remember the last time he completed a song, so Marnie's feeding into him, too. They're a good match.

HBO

Do you think Desi and Marnie have a future in music together? Especially after her confrontation with Clementine?

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

I sure hope so. They're gonna go big! They're going to take it to Branson, Missouri. They're going to go on the road. [Laughs.]

HBO

Let's talk about that gift that Marnie gives him before the play...

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

[Laughs.]

HBO

James Taylor's guitar pick. What's Desi's choice in heroes say about him?

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Uh. [Pause.] I don't want to get myself into trouble here. I have a lot of respect for James Taylor. I think it's an amazing gift. [Laughs.] I don't know what to say. I feel like it's a weird, modern-day, tragic comedic gift of the magi kind of thing. I don't know what Marnie had to sell to get that pick. What does that say about him? I think you know. That yellow pick is so self-evident.

HBO

James Taylor does seem like he could be the new hero for the hipster music scene.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Oh my God, yeah. I'm afraid to go to a coffee shop in Williamsburg.

HBO

And what of Desi's other new relationship -- his budding friendship with Adam?

Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Male friendships, especially at the beginning stages, have a sort of mutual toughness and posturing and unwillingness to let down their guard with each other that is hilarious and vulnerable and sweet to me. Male friendships have this hard, tough shell with a totally squishy center. I know the show is called Girls,' but I'd like to see more of their friendship.

32: Two Plane Rides

Season 3

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