Allison Williams: How 'Girls' Helped Me 'Play Out a Normal 20-Something Experience'

Besides her acting career, Allison Williams is hard at work expanding the non-profit Horizons National

Brit + Co Kicks Off Experiential Pop-Up #CreateGood With Allison Williams And Daphne Oz
Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty

Playing Marnie in HBO’s Girls helped Allison Williams “play out a normal 20-something experience … in a very meta way.”

At Brit+Co’s #CreateGood! kick-off event Wednesday, Williams, 29, talked about how she was lucky to get a college education. Her parents (news anchor Brian Williams and TV producer Jane Gillian Stoddard) always told her she could act after college, so following graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and landed her first audition there as Marnie — only to move back to the East Coast right after to start on Girls.

It’s now been exactly a year since they wrapped the last season, when she and her costars Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet were “weeping together and holding each other,” she said.

This was her first summer not shooting the show since college, and she explained her mixed feelings: “Put it this way, I don’t recommend stopping, because it’s heartbreaking.”

She hopes that the show provides “relief and laughter” and makes women “feel a little bit better about their lives.”

“Marnie had a shower in her bedroom, and that may make you feel good to not have one in your bedroom,” Williams joked to a mostly female audience.RELATED VIDEO: Lena Dunham and Cast Stun at Final HBO Premiere of ‘Girls’

Williams’ mother and grandmother have inspired her all of her life, but with her grandfather’s death Monday, she is reminded of “the strength that is in [her] genes, should [she] need to tap into it.”

“Eighty percent of the emails in my inbox are from my 87-year-old grandmother,” Williams said. “She’s got such a motor on her and she is all action, just like my mom.”

Besides her acting career, Williams is hard at work expanding the non-profit Horizons National, which aims to bridge the gap for kids from low-income families who cannot afford summer camp or enrichment programs. She said expanding the program further “would be the most exciting thing in world. Improving kids’ lives. What greater legacy could you possibly leave?”

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