Allison Williams attended the Nantucket Film Festival this past weekend and joined a fascinating panel alongside Nicole Holofcener and Michaela Watkins, moderated by Ophira Eisenberg and sponsored by J.Crew, called “Women Behind the Words.”
Williams has spoken at length about how she and actresses in general may be perceived by audiences, written up by reporters, and trolled on social media — and whether anything has changed in the six years since ‘Girls’ ended.
“People thought the four of us were in a documentary about girls in our twenties when we were actors doing a show,” Williams said. “While I think some of the men on our show got a lot of credit, as they deserved, for their performances, for playing characters as actors, while people took a couple years to go, ‘Oh, she’s not Marnie .’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, no, I have a different name and identity.'”
“In a way, that’s obviously a huge compliment if people start thinking of you as your character so much,” Williams continued. “But then in another way, professionally, I was getting movies that were just like ‘Marnie Drives Cross Country,’ ‘Marnie Goes to the Ocean,’ ‘Marnie Goes to the Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays or Saturdays.’ It’s like that’s what I’ve been getting for a while. I had to wait for that sociopath to show up (in ‘Get Out’).
Eisenberg did note, however, in a follow-up question that he had read an article where his character, Gemma in “M3GAN” was initially referred to simply as Allison Williams.
In response, Williams said, “When Gawker wrote articles about ‘Girls,’ they only referred to our characters by our first names. So they were like, ‘Lena and Adam walk into a bar, and Lena, Adam Driver…’ No, I think maybe the kids should be called by their characters’ names, but the rest of us have been called by our names. . So I got used to this but yeah it still happens. It’s fascinating. I mean, it’s deeply offensive, but I use words like ‘fascinating’ instead.”
Williams also said she’s still lurking on social media, though she’s not there posting herself.