“Girls’” Jemima Kirke: “Jessa’s a girl with problems who doesn’t really know quite how to attack them”

On “Girls” Jemima Kirke plays the irrepressible, sophisticated, flaky Jessa, who at the end of last season quickly married rich guy and maybe lame-o Thomas-John (Chris O’Dowd). In Sunday’s episode, Jessa and Thomas-John saw their marriage implode: Jessa acted out at a dinner with his parents, breezily running through all her past and present foibles — a heroin addiction, atheism, a refusal to work — which led to a screaming, award-destroying, how-much-will-it-cost-to-get-you-out-of-my-life fight. At episode’s end, a distraught Jessa climbed into a bathtub with Hanna Horvath — and snot-rocketed into it, through her tears. I spoke with Kirke — who has two small children and considers herself a painter, not an actress — about the fated marriage, and the way “Girls” has changed her real life.

How are you?
I went to bed at 1:30 a.m. and I got up at 4:30 a.m..  Nothing I say should be held against me, that’s for sure. But it will.

How do you like being on “Girls”?

It’s still taking me time to understand how famous the show is, just to speak bluntly. In the beginning I really did not get it. I really didn’t get that anyone had even seen the show. I think I blocked that out of my mind like a trauma.

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“Girls’” Jemima Kirke: “Jessa’s a girl with problems who doesn’t really know quite how to attack them”


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