Highly influential and always buzzy, Girls really captured the conversation at the time. What are its stars doing now?
Ten years ago this month, a lightning rod of a series premiered on TV.
Everyone loved to love it, and everyone loved to hate it. With equal parts devotees and detractors, Lena Dunham’s Girls was never far from the zeitgeist.
Whether it was earning plaudits for its snappy and insightful writing about a generation of white, middle-class Gen Y women or whether it was being smashed for being self-indulgent and exasperating, Girls was talked about.
And in part because Dunham, its creator and the so-called “voice of a generation” – or, at least, one of them – was often raw and honest about her many foibles, challenges and opinions. The world doesn’t always like an opinionated young woman, especially a privileged one.
It ran for six seasons from 2012 until it bowed out in 2017, and while its influence waned towards the end as the streaming wars heated up and the field of buzzy TV shows became unsustainably crowded, for a time, Girls was one of the defining shows of pop cultural discourse.
Even now, 10 years later, its influence is being felt and talked about, as it was on streaming service Binge’s podcast Skip Intro.
And that influence is also being felt through the then relatively unknown ensemble that gave life to Dunham’s characters, the actors whose careers were catapulted because they were part of a series with an enduring legacy.
We take a look at where our favourite Brooklynites are now.
Creator, writer, director and star Lena Dunham was Girls’ most visible face during the series run, especially due to her prolific and provocative presence on social media.
After she and creative partner Jenni Konner shepherded Girls through six seasons, they teamed up for an American remake of British series Camping, starring Jennifer Garner and David Tennant. They also continued to write their Lenny Letter for a few years.
Once Dunham and Konner went their separate ways, Dunham had an onscreen cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood but has mostly worked behind the scenes and guested in episodes of Travel Man and American Horror Story.
She directed the pilot for Industry and was an executive producer on Generation, but her big project has been the movie Sharp Stick, which she wrote, directed and produced. It stars Kristine Froseth, Taylour Paige, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jon Bernthal and premiered at Sundance in January with a wider release scheduled for mid-year.
But not content with just one, Dunham also has another upcoming movie which she wrote and directed called Catherine, Called Birdy, which stars Billie Piper, Andrew Scott and Bella Ramsey.
Before Girls, Adam Driver had a small role in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar and it was clear his star was on the rise.
Driver is easily the superstar alumnus of the Girls graduating class, having worked with directors including Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Jim Jarmusch while also cementing his status as marquee name in blockbusters such as the Star Wars franchise.
Oh, and he has two Oscar nominations.
His first scene-stealing year of Girls coincided with Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. With Baumbach, Driver would make another three films, Marriage Story, While We’re Young and The Meyerowitz Stories.
Driver proved himself adept across many genres with roles as varied as that of a Jewish cop masquerading as a white supremacist in Lee’s BlackKklansman, a persecuted Jesuit priest in Scorsese’s Silence and as a quiet and thoughtful bus driver in Jarmusch’s Paterson.
He starred in two Ridley Scott movies last year, The Last Duel and House of Gucci, and has even appeared on Saturday Night Live three times.
Coming up, Driver will reunite with Baumbach on the filmmaker’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise and is expected to play Enzo Ferrari in a biopic by Michael Mann.
Jemima Kirke was school friends with Dunham before Girls and even starred in Dunham’s directorial debut Tiny Furniture, but she’s carved out a name for herself since the show ended.
She appeared in a number of smaller films including Untogether alongside Ben Mendelsohn and Jamie Dornan, All These Small Things with Molly Ringwald and Sylvie’s Love with Tessa Thompson.
But it was her guest role as the disciplinarian headmistress on the most recent season of Sex Education that landed her back in the pop cultural consciousness.
Kirke will follow that role up in Conversations with Friends, an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s book which will launch in May. If the frenzy around Rooney’s other TV adaptation, Normal People, is an indicator, Kirke is about to have a busy few months.
Like her co-stars, Zosia Mamet was entertainment royalty as the daughter of renowned playwright David Mamet and actor Lindsay Crouse. So, it’s not surprising she’s been on set since she was little.
While Girls remains her best-known role, Mamet has been busy since the end of the series, notably with a starring role in rom-com The Boy Downstairs and a supporting part in Under the Silver Lake with Riley Keough and Andrew Garfield.
She had a recurring part on acerbic comedy You’re the Worst, a memorable two-episode run as Louisa May Alcott in Dickinson and played a clueless hipster in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
But it’s in Binge’s cheeky murder mystery The Flight Attendant that Mamet has once again found prominence on our TV screens, as Annie, the exasperated best friend to Kaley Cuoco’s flaky Cassie.
Since the end of Girls’ run, Allison Williams highest profile role has been the character of Rose, the duplicitous girlfriend in Get Out. You know, the one who’s has invited to her family home Chris, the young black man played by Daniel Kaluuya.
Of course, Rose isn’t the laidback person Chris thought he knew, but was part of her family’s scheme to literally co-opt black bodies for the endurance of old white folks who want to prolong their life.
Jordan Peele’s ground-breaking, terrifying and incisive horror movie captured the attention of moviegoers the world over, and Williams was a part of that.
Additionally, she starred in another horror movie, The Perfection and a thriller, Horizon Line and was in eight episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Coming up, she will lead M3GAN, a thriller in which she plays a roboticist who created an AI doll for kids. What could go wrong?
Before his role as Elijah on Girls, Andrew Rannells was well known for originating the role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon on Broadway and was one of two leads on a quickly cancelled Ryan Murphy series called The New Normal.
Since Girls, Rannells has been a prolific presence in movies and on TV, nabbing roles in The Prom, A Simple Favour, The Boys in the Band and Drew Barrymore comedy The Stand In.
On TV, he had a starring role across three seasons of Don Cheadle comedy Black Monday, was a regular voice on Big Mouth and was a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. He was in an episode of anthology series The Romanoffs and adapted and directed his own Modern Love column into an episode on the TV show.
Somewhere in between, he found time to write his memoirs, Too Much Is Not Enough.
Girls and The Flight Attendant are streaming now on Binge
Binge is majority owned by News Corp, the publisher of this website
Original Source link