Categories: Interviews

Interview: Allison Williams Talks ‘Fellow Travelers,’ the ‘Girls’ Resurgence and Being Horror’s New Queen [VIDEO]

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Actress Allison Williams had her first breakout role on the hit HBO series Girls, which spoke to a very specific 20-something millennial experience. Williams played Marnie, the A-type, perfection-seeking girl in Hannah’s friend group. 

One of the most memorable bottle episodes of the series is “The Panic in Central Park,” which saw Marnie reuniting with her old flame Charlie for a night, only to discover that her once seemingly perfect doting ex was now a hustler and an addict. The episode was a standout moment for Williams, showcasing vulnerability and an emotional arc in 45 minutes, and one that still gets brought up in the world of Girls.

After five seasons on Girls, Williams made an unexpected turn to the horror genre in film, turning in impressive performances in Jordan Peele’s psychological horror Get Out, as the villainous sociopath Rose, who preys on Black men, to lead them into “the sunken place.” In M3GAN, she’s Gemma, the creator of a high-tech robot who becomes the ultimate babysitter and companion for her niece but turns into a murderously overprotective nightmare. 

Now, Williams is back on television in Showtime’s Fellow Travelers, a show that charts a decades-long on-again off, off-again love story between Hawk (Matt Bomer), an employee for the State Department, and Tim (Jonathan Bailey), a congressional aid. Viewers see a secret romance that starts in the middle of the McCarthyism era in the 1950s, as the two weave in and out of each other’s lives throughout the decades. 

In the limited series, Allison Williams plays Lucy Fuller, the wife of Hawk and daughter to Senator Wesley Smith. Portraying a woman from a certain time, and one that must hold the family together amid her husband’s transgressions, there’s a rare refinement and restraint about the character both externally and within her internal life.

It’s another turn for the actress and a performance that demands not only vulnerability but also a delicate balance so as to not suffer from becoming a trope. For the better part of the marriage, Lucy’s eyes are wide open, and the real highlight is seeing Williams find quiet strength. She deftly says everything she has to with a look or in silence and, in another, have gutsy moments of confrontation. It’s a heartbreaking performance worth seeing.

I sat down with Allison Williams to discuss the relevance that Girls still has today, her status as horror’s new queen, and her must-see performance in Fellow Travelers.

Allison Williams is Emmy eligible in the category of Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for Fellow Travelers.

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