Ebon Moss-Bachrach Speaks of Madness and Marnie
Where do we find Desi in at the beginning of Season 6?
We find him in a similar place we left him. He’s unconventional and isn’t too concerned with traditional labels in the ways of categorizing things. I mean, are [Marnie and Desi] together? Are they not together? From day to day, from hour to hour, it’s all sort of a madness that Desi embraces and welcomes, and probably uses as artistic fodder.
What’s the most challenging part about playing Desi? How much of the part is improvisation?
We mostly do improv during rehearsals. Then the nice bits get written down and incorporated. A lot of the time, the hardest thing is not laughing when I’m acting with the other folks. Lena Dunham [Hannah] makes me laugh a lot and Andrew Rannells [Elijah] makes me laugh like crazy.
In Episode 1 of the season Marnie thanks Desi for really seeing her. Do you believe Desi knows Marnie in a way other people don’t?
100 percent -- that’s the thing that keeps them together. When you have an artistic connection with somebody, it’s very special. They both feel they see things in each other no one else can. Especially in the third and fourth season, it’s obvious how dismissive Marnie’s friends are of her aspirations to be a singer. So when you see somebody who really wants something, and the people who are supposed to love her making fun of it, you get protective of that impulse. I think that is the foundation of their relationship.
The scene in the cabin gets pretty intense -- did you do your own stunt-work for the window punching sequence?
There probably was a stunt person waiting nearby, but yeah I did it. The cabin [set] was inspired by Straw Dogs, which is a really horrifying movie. I don’t think ours was all that scary. My favorite line was when Hannah says it looks like “someone in the Pacific Northwest knitted a man.”
What was it like filming the final season?
I was always happily surprised when I'd get the call saying, “You’re going to be coming back.” It was a fairly emotional season filming-wise. I came into this show late, and I’m happy with my character’s last moment. The attitude and feeling on set between the crew and the cast was like savoring the last bits of something home-cooked.
Is there a character that you wish Desi had more screen time with?
I was really sequestered in the Marnie storyline. I wish I could have worked with everybody more. For selfish reasons I would have liked to work with Andrew [Rannells] more because he makes me laugh a lot, but I’d also be interested in seeing more from the dynamic between Desi and Ray.
What are you looking forward to fans seeing from the final season?
Just the melting and the mess.