Let's talk about Elijah's hookup with Marnie - was it just an experiment or something more?
I took it as drunken overconfidence. Sometimes when you're intoxicated you feel like you have magic powers, and in this case, it manifested itself in him feeling: "I'm a little more sexually flexible than I really am." He was feeling young and sexy and she was young and sexy and he thought, "Why not?"
The times we've seen Marnie and Elijah together there's been some animosity between them.
They were probably rivals in college. Allison Williams and I joked around that we were both doing shows and I'm sure there was a bit of a talent crush, but I was her friend's boyfriend. There was a scene that was cut from the first episode [this season] where Allison and I were singing a very genuine karaoke song together. It was "Stand Still, Look Pretty" by The Wreckers, Michelle Branch's country group. It was really fun because I love Allison, but from our characters' perspective this was exactly the kind of s*** we were doing in college - a cappella groups and theater and musicals and stuff.
The show explores plenty of female relationship dynamics - what was it like to explore male relationship dynamics with George?
Even though the show is called Girls, I think Lena has cracked the door a bit wider on the male characters this season. Elijah's conversation with George (about his possible bisexuality) - for many people in their early twenties - is very real. In my experience it's something that changes over time and becomes less a part of the conversation and less a part of your vocabulary. But at Elijah's age I think it's a common - I don't want to say phase, but phase - that you go through where you think: "Maybe I'm not 100% gay, maybe I'm bisexual."
The coke episode was titled "Bad Friend." How do you feel about Elijah's treatment of Hannah thus far?
I think there's a lack of awareness on Elijah's part. If you asked him if he was being a good friend, he would probably think so. He didn't have the foresight not to have sex with Marnie in the first place, but he thinks he's being a good friend by withholding the truth from Hannah. He wanted to protect her.
There's some similarities between him and Hannah, insofar as their lack of awareness.
Absolutely. Since they were once a couple, I think there's a special way people mistreat their boyfriends and girlfriends. You wouldn't treat anyone else like that, but for some reason you're allowed to get away with mistreating your partner. Kind of like how you can be mean to your siblings. They're both used to taking each other for granted.
Did Hannah overreact to Elijah's admission about Marnie?
I think her reaction really speaks to where your head is at that age. For better or for worse, people often feel like the world revolves around them at that point in their lives. Elijah is trying to figure out what he wants his life to be and who he is, and all that focus on yourself makes you pretty oblivious to other people's feelings. Either way, I think it was a pretty s****y thing for him to do to his new roommate and ex-girlfriend - that he would just have sex with her best friend on their couch.
Given their history, was his friendship with Hannah destined to fail?
I think so. I'm not friends with a lot of my exes and I think there's a reason for that [laughs]. It doesn't always translate - the boyfriend thing doesn't always translate to friendship, so I think they were doomed from the start.