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'Girls' Star Allison Williams Talks Lena Dunham, Playing Marnie And More

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GIRLS MARNIE
"Girls" star Allison Williams talks Lena Dunham and playing Marnie. | Getty Images

Marnie Michaels is arguably the bitchiest, least likable of HBO's four "Girls."

Allison Williams is the face behind the flawed character Lena Dunham created and regardless of how crazy or uncomfortable a scene may be, Williams never turns Dunham down.

"You're not going to say no. She's a genius!" Williams said while chatting with HuffPost TV via phone in honor of her partnership with Simple Skincare. "She always has the final say."

Read on for Williams' feelings about Marnie, working with Dunham, and what it's like to be a woman working in TV.

Do you like Marnie? Would you be friends with her in real life?
I do like Marnie. And I think that's because I work really hard at taking material that's inherently unlikable and trying to add an element of sadness or empathy to her. Even if you're looking at her and thinking, "God, you annoy me so much," you look into her eyes and think she's a little bit lost and a little bit scared and she's just keeping a panic attack at bay. That's something people can relate to, or at least sympathize with.

I think a friendship with her would be a little bit contentious, and I think her attempts to boss me around would probably drive me crazy. But at the same time, if I ever fall off a bike in the middle of nowhere in Brooklyn I would be really happy that she was coming to my rescue.

Marnie hasn't had the best time of it between her job situation, her breakup with Charlie, and this new relationship she's starting with Booth. Do you think she's learning from her mistakes?
I certainly hope she's learning something, but I think she's someone who has a lot of padding in terms of accessing her brain and feelings. I think she's relatively out of touch with herself in terms of what she's passionate about, what she wants in life and who she wants to date. I don't think those are even things that she knows, and I also don't think the idea of soul-searching is all that important to her. But at the same time, I think she's probably on the right track in terms of living a little bit more, having more experiences and trying to figure out what she likes and doesn't like.

The moments I yearn for are the ones where she's being emotionally honest with herself. I don't care if she's talking to someone when she's being honest, I just like knowing that things are hitting her. And thus far, I think she's been relatively protected from herself in terms of having to feel anything. There's a kind of numb quality to her that Audrey recently referred to as a "Stepford Psycho." That quality manifests itself mostly in the fact that she's kind of out of touch with what's wrong.

Is there anything that's been written for your character that you've said no to?
Nope. It's Lena Dunham, you're not going to say no. She's a genius! There were scenes we talked about a lot that didn't end up in the show, or scenes that ended up getting cut. But she always has the final say.

Now that you've guest starred on "The Mindy Project," you've worked with two of the top female showrunners. Do you feel like Lena and Mindy types will continue to pop up in the years to come?
I hope so. There are a lot of them already. Tina Fey, Whitney Cummings, Liz Meriwether who runs "New Girl" -- just high achieving, really smart women. Last night, I actually saw Arianna Huffington at the screening of "Makers," which is an amazing documentary series about the female empowerment movement over the past 50 years. It's actually sponsored by Simple [Skincare], but I would have been there anyway. It's an incredible series and was a reminder of how far we've come. I think it's easy for our generation to lose sight of the ground that's been laid before us in terms of having equal pay, which still isn't a reality somehow. But seeing Gloria Steinem up there last night was surreal, and a reminder that Lena having this show is nothing to scoff at, it's a really amazing thing. I'm proud to be associated with any of those women.

Tell me a little bit about your partnership with Simple Skincare.
I was recently named one of the ambassadors for Simple Skincare and I'm legitimately, truly and overwhelmingly excited about this. It's a brand I've been using for a long time. A friend of mine who lives in the UK introduced me to it and I fell in love with the products.

About a year ago, they launched in the US, which I was very excited about, then I found out they wanted me to be one of their ambassadors. I was so excited because I'd fallen in love with what the brand stands for, which is a holistic approach to skincare. They don't just focus on what you put on your skin; it's more of a whole body situation. What you eat, how much you exercise, if you get enough sleep ... everything is taken into consideration.

They have what's called a Simple advisory board that helps put these piece of advice together so they can figure out how to live their lives in a healthy way that will benefit their skin the most. I think that's really rare. And as someone who has sensitive skin and wears makeup a lot, the way I treat my skin has become really important to me when I have control over it. I use the exfoliating wipes every time I fly. The minute i get on a plane I wipe my face off with makeup removing wipes. They focus on putting really good types of nutrition in the products. I'm really excited to be involved. I think a lot of people in the US will start using them.

"Girls" airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.

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