TODAY   |  January 06, 2014

Allison Williams talks about ‘Girls’ and Elle cover

The actress talks the upcoming third season of the edgy but popular HBO comedy series “Girls” and reacts to her first glimpse of herself on the cover of Elle magazine.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back at 8:40. hbo's award winning series "girls" is about to kick off the third season. allison williams plays marney.

>> i thought i was going to spend my life with him.

>> you of all people should know what that's like. it's hard and it's scary.

>> that's not our style. i gave you my middle name , marie, because it has a legacy of strength and independence.

>> you know what else it has, only one letter differentiates from my first name, which is really weird.

>> how are you supposed to deal with that? good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> so when we find marney, she's splitsville with charlie, taking it all in stride .

>> well, she's trying to make it look like everything's fine, which is her m.o. in life. and things are definitely not fine.

>> this is the third season of "girls." i'm a fan, i watch it. seems to me that marney when she started out was kind of the perfect girl . she had it all together, everything going her way. and you could look at this as a long progression of her unraveling.

>> yes, i think part of it is that she's so intensely trying not to unravel that it makes it unravel more quickly in a way. like if you pull something in a sweater and the whole thing comes apart. i think she'll need to fall apart completely before she can become a human being in a functioning way.

>> i was thinking about it this morning. what's the moral of the story, the lesson there? is there one?

>> i think the lesson is a warning against perfectionism, that it can work against you if you don't forgive yourself. the little things , unique if you want to call them flaws, you may. i think marney definitely will have to learn to love the parts of herself that aren't perfect and acknowledge them. that would be a good start.

>> the last time you were here, you said it was so realistic, so like the lives of the '20s, it was like looking in a fun house mirror.

>> i'm not 1,000 years old, but i'm shocked by what happened.

>> okay.

>> but i feel 1,000 when i watch it because i'm shocked by some of the behavior. you think it's realistic?

>> i do. but i think it's very specific. so i think in its specificity applying to a broad number of people. but it has -- just portraying each girl individually and their specific experiences. and so then i think viewers can pick and choose from things and say, oh, i've done what hannah just did, never done what she's doing just now, i've done what marney's about to do.

>> the writer and creator of this, she's a friend of yours.

>> yeah.

>> she holds your destiny in her hands.

>> it's so true.

>> isn't it -- you should be really nice to her. she could make you do crazy things.

>> that's a compliment. on our show when you're given a scene that's crazy and challenging and terrifying and strange, that's a huge compliment. that's the writer saying we think you can pull this off, please don't prove us wrong. and so i take that with a lot of pride now. in this season, i had many of those moments.

>> and she does it to herself, as well.

>> yeah. and i trust where she's going. wherever she thinks the show should go, i trust that.

>> before we let you go, i was stopping by my newsstand this morning. have you seen this?

>> not in person yet.

>> may i present you with your cover?

>> so exciting.

>> you wanted to be an actress your whole life.

>> yes.

>> does the reality step up to the dream?

>> it exceeds it? i can't believe this. that doesn't make for good television.

>> it does if you read the whole article, it mite get a little slow.

>> yeah.

>> i'll start on page one, how about that?

>> congratulations on the cover and