Pregnant 'Girls' star Jemima Kirke poses topless, talks fame

Jemima Kirke, in a safer-for-work pose during her Vice magazine shoot.
Jemima Kirke, in a safer-for-work pose during her Vice magazine shoot.Richard Kern / Vice / Today

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Courtney Hazlett, TODAY

Lena Dunham isn't the only "Girls" star heading out sans-culottes. In a photo shoot and interview for Vice magazine, Jemima Kirke (who plays Jessa in the HBO series) goes pantless and topless. Oh, and let's not forget to mention she was eight months pregnant at the time.

Motherhood, obviously then, is a central theme in the interview. Kirke, 27, has a daughter who was born just six weeks before "Girls" started shooting its first season, says "sudden fame" has changed her life, at least financially. "One of the best parts is that I can sufficiently support my kids. At my age that’s pretty hard to do without struggling or taking money from my parents, and I don’t have to do either. But it has taken a lot of time and energy away from my work as an artist," Kirke said.

Kirke, a painter, began acting when she agreed to do Dunham's first film, "Tiny Furniture," and she doesn't see herself being an actress long term. "Acting is secondary -- I don’t feel like it’s going to stick around because it’s not something I want to do forever. My art has always been my top priority and I have far more experience in that field than I do in film," she told Vice. "It's hard to explain without sounding like a d---. I’m not that person. I’m really grateful for such enjoyable work, I just don’t feel as though I have any clout as an actor. I haven’t earned it, and I don’t intend to."

That frankness about her professional life spills into Kirke's personal life and her opinion about what kind of mother she wants to be. "I'll probably be freaking out on the inside, but I'd like my kids to feel like capable and independent human beings," she said. "I'm here for guidance or if they need me; I'm not going to tell them who they should be."

Related content: