Allison Williams Thinks There's More to Marnie
The actor breaks down Marnie's break up and reveals her hopes for her character's future.
This episode begins with Marnie in a bit of a funk. How is she coping with her break-up with Charlie?
It's tough for her. She's not only dealing with the change of no longer dating him, but also the change of no longer being in a relationship. Then she's also dealing with Charlie having moved on so quickly, and with someone with whom he travels and sees the world. In the pilot, Jessa makes Marnie feel uncultured for not wanting to travel, so Marnie says, "We should just go somewhere," but you can tell that's not really how she's wired. So the fact that he's found someone that embodies that adventurous spirit that Marnie yearns to have makes it hurt all that much more. But also, it's just painful for her to see a face next to his in all these pictures in the place where hers used to be.
Do you think this is a fairly typical response to a modern break-up?
It's a normal thing for people to do, going on Facebook and seeing pictures of their exes with their new significant others. It's a relatable moment in the process of getting over someone and also a very current one. It probably used to be easier to get over a relationship when you couldn't look at pictures of them with their new girlfriend or boyfriend. Now, you hear about people deleting each other from Facebook and their phones. But mostly, she's so sad, it breaks my heart.
Is this the first time she's felt so rejected?
Well, I think she rejected him. She just feels that she was too easily replaceable. Nobody wants to feel that way. Everyone wants to feel like they were the one and only person that the other person could ever fall in love with. Obviously, that's not the case, but it's a harsh realization for her to have.
She seems to be at odds with Hannah in this episode. Is there a fracture in their relationship?
What you see there is a very intricate and relatable friendship dynamic shifting from dorm life to the real world. Whether or not the relationship can survive that transition is yet to be seen, and it's investigated throughout the series. I think that's one of the larger themes that a lot of my friends find relatable about the show. It's a hard thing to do, to have your friendship in the nurtured and specific context of college, and then move it into an enormous context-a tiny fish in the ocean of New York City. Now there are work friends and other people you might not know about. So there's definitely something brewing with Hannah. There was the diary entry, the rent, and just a general feeling Marnie is getting that "Maybe this person is just wired in a way that drives me crazy. Is this a temporary thing that Hannah is doing, or is this just who she is? And is that someone I want to be friends with?"
What about Marnie's relationship with Jessa? Do they usually find themselves at odds?
Having the adventure with Jessa this episode is very eye-opening for Marnie-Jessa is not what Marnie expected. There are some simple aspects of their personalities that completely clash with each other. Marnie would never make plans with Jessa, because they'd probably fail miserably. But she's also jealous of Jessa, because people only see Jessa as a breath of fresh air and someone who's very fun. No one has ever described Marnie that way. She thinks of Jessa as spirited and carefree, and sort of airy. That's not exactly the case-the conversation at the bar is interesting. It's shocking to me that Marnie lost her virginity that early, and that it was before Jessa did, who says, "I didn't have breasts until I was older and I think sex without breasts is weird." That's a moment when Marnie realizes "Maybe Jessa is more complicated than I thought she was." She probably assumed that Jessa lost her virginity when she was 8 years old.
What drives Marnie to kiss Jessa in Thomas-John's apartment?
It's a little bit of being drunk, and a little bit of wanting to do something that surprises not only Jessa, but also herself. I think it's the desire to not feel controlled all the time and turn off her "O.C.D." It was basically an out-of-body experience; an exercise in trying to turn off her brain and see what happens.
How would you like to see Marnie continue to develop?
I'd like to see what she's passionate about. I'm dying to see that. That's basically what I want for everybody, maybe because I feel so lucky to have figured out what I'm passionate about at a young age, and I see how much joy it brings me. I'd love for Marnie to find something that really gets her going, and follow that, and not shy away because it might lead to failure.
What are her ambitions?
She's still figuring it out. She loves the idea of the art/curating path. More than the path itself, she's comforted by the idea that there is one. There's a fairly clear trajectory that she can follow, something that has steps to it that she can check off. I hope she sheds that a little bit and decides to take some chances. I'd like her to be less afraid of failing.