Q&A

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by STEPHANIE SQUADRITO

Allison Williams talks Tom Hanks, type­cast­ing and life after Girls.

A lot of peo­ple con­fuse you with your Girls char­ac­ter, Marnie. Now the se­ries is over, are you keen to dis­tance your­self from her? I used to be wor­ried about be­ing type­cast, but one of the beau­ti­ful things about be­ing on Girls is that it gave me the abil­ity to wait for the right thing to come along, and I didn’t do a film just to do a film. I’ve proven that wait­ing doesn’t bother me, so if I don’t see the right thing, I’ll just hang tight un­til some­thing comes along that is re­ally com­pelling. Adam Driver’s [ Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens] ca­reer has re­ally taken off since Girls, while the show’s fe­male stars have strug­gled to find other roles. What does that say? One thing that we started to no­tice was that jour­nal­ists would ask us what was dif­fer­ent about our char­ac­ters, and would ask Adam more ac­tor-fo­cused ques­tions. It was so in­ter­est­ing to think, “OK, why does no one ask us about our job as ac­tors?” We have the same job, yet he gets asked ques­tions about his craft and we didn’t. I think that’s one way of il­lus­trat­ing the dif­fer­ence in the way we are looked at. In both Girls and your new movie Get Out, you play the role of the pretty, naïve, white girl. How do you feel about rep­re­sent­ing that stereo­type? They are both, on the sur­face, very sim­i­lar, but also not to­tally sym­pa­thetic. Marnie is the most un­pop­u­lar char­ac­ter on Girls and Rose [in Get Out] has a lot go­ing on that isn’t im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent. I think I’d be bored if they were just “pretty white girls”. What’s ap­peal­ing to me is tak­ing the trope of “pretty white girl” and show­ing how messed up it can be. Get Out makes some strong state­ments about race. Is there any­thing to be learnt from that off­screen? One of the big­gest things about Get Out is that it’s best viewed in a the­atre; in a room full of peo­ple you don’t know, who come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds. You can learn a lot from the things you all re­act to or don’t re­act to. For ex­am­ple, if some­one next to you is laugh­ing at a joke that you don’t get, ask your­self, “What didn’t I un­der­stand?” The movie aims to fa­cil­i­tate con­ver­sa­tion about a topic that, at times, is hard to talk about be­cause you worry you’re go­ing to say the wrong thing. It gives peo­ple a way to talk about race that hasn’t been an op­tion in a long time, if ever. Tom Hanks of­fi­ci­ated your wed­ding to en­tre­pre­neur Ricky Van Veen in 2015. What was the fun­ni­est thing he did that day? “Funny” is a weird ad­jec­tive, be­cause it’s a mar­riage and we took it se­ri­ously. There were lighter mo­ments, but he took his job se­ri­ously. Your fa­ther, Brian Williams, is a high-pro­file news­reader in the US. What’s it been like to step out of his shadow? Peo­ple used to say I was Brian Williams’s daugh­ter rather than Allison Williams. That’s dis­ap­peared over the years and [now] peo­ple are some­times sur­prised we’re re­lated. It feels nice now that I don’t have to say, “I’m also an ac­tress and I don’t just want to talk about my dad.”

``Marnie is the most un­pop­u­lar char­ac­ter on Girls ´´

Get Out is in cin­e­mas na­tion­wide on May 4.

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