Allison Williams Explains Why She Thinks Gen Z Relates To Her Cringey ‘Girls’ Character

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Love for Marnie Michaels is getting stronger — and Allison Williams has “a theory” as to why.

Vanity Fair recently set up a reunion between Williams and “The Bear” star Ebon Moss-Bachrach to reminisce about their time working together on the critically acclaimed but polarizing HBO comedy “Girls.”

“The whole show got a lot of flak when it was airing for everyone being too selfish and self-centered,” Williams lamented to Moss-Bachrach nearly seven minutes into their chat.

But Williams and Moss-Bachrach did indeed play two seemingly insufferable characters in the comedy that starred Lena Dunham, who was also its creator. 

The “M3gan” star portrayed the entitled and delusional Marnie for five years on the show, which aired from 2012 to 2017. Moss-Bachrach played the recurring character Desi, Marnie’s bandmate and boyfriend-turned-husband-turned-ex who exudes the image of a sensitive artist but lacks any real depth. 

In the show, Marnie and Desi start a mediocre folk duo called Marnie & Desi and croon songs packed with cringey lyrics and don pretentious and bizarre titles, like “Oaxaca Blues.” 

Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Allison Williams on the set of
Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Allison Williams on the set of "Girls" on June 7, 2016, in New York City. Bobby Bank via Getty Images

Despite the two playing characters that were meant to be satirical takes on white, upper-middle-class millennials, that intent flew over many viewers’ heads at the time the series was airing. 

But both Williams and Moss-Bachrach agreed that viewers’ initial opinion of “Girls” seems to be changing — and a lot of that has to do with people “in their early 20s” discovering the show and watching it for the first time.

Williams noted there’s been a distinctive shift in the way Gen Z views Marine on social media platforms such as TikTok — and she feels it’s because her character was “before her time.”

“My theory is what was coded as selfishness among millennials is now coded as self-care,” Williams said. “Just being aware of what you need and advocating for your needs and standing up for yourself, and so Gen Z, is like, ‘No, we get her. She makes sense to us.’”

Allison Williams with her “Girls” co-stars, from left, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke, in 2017.
Allison Williams with her “Girls” co-stars, from left, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke, in 2017. Roy Rochlin via Getty Images

Williams added that the show’s new audience doesn’t necessarily see the show’s core female characters as annoying but rather as “a bunch of girls trying to create the best environment for each of them to survive and thrive and being wrong, but still trying and caring.” 

“I think that’s a pursuit that is resonant in a new way, whereas before it just looked like [our characters] didn’t know that other countries existed or that anyone had lives that were less fortunate than ours, but that was sort of the point. It just got missed a little bit.” 

Williams may be on to something — at least after a little perusal of the name “Marnie Michaels” on TikTok.

The search calls up videos in which social media users seem to relate to Marnie’s behavior, show appreciation for her more cringeworthy moments and even debate over what Marnie’s astrological signs could be.

Basically, folks on TikTok seem to be fascinated by Marnie, regardless of whether they like or hate her. 

During Williams’ conversation with Moss-Bachrach for Vanity Fair, the “Get Out” alum also weighed in on what she thinks Marnie would be up to today. 

“I think Marnie’s still trying to have a singing career, in addition to other jobs,” she said. “I picture her with another marriage under her belt, I think probably on the verge of deciding to have a baby on her own.” 

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