Vulture just posted an interview with Jemima Kirke about Girls (as if there were any other TV series that mattered at this very moment!) and her recent abortion-themed episode. The user comments are pretty negative, attacking her speech (“Inarticulate, yet very clearly offensive and oblivious” — Aclare), lack of self-awareness (“out of touch and vapid” — Gathly), and general PR skills (“this is why actors NEED publicists” — Coralpants).
Okay, so Jemima says a few questionable things, including but not limited to:
- I’ve pitched things that I would like to do. You know, like, I always wanted to work at a restaurant and I never did. And I was like, “Lena, can you get me to work at a restaurant?” So there’s things that I wanted to do, you know.
- I guess when you’re an artist — painting, let’s say, because I’m a painter…
- You know, we’re not talking about girls living in projects, which there are millions.
Okay. Her publicist is probably cringing. But the following gems are, in all seriousness, un-ironically amazing:
- On abortion: I’ve had an abortion. So, uh, it felt fine. Totally natural. I didn’t have any harsh feelings about it. I was like, “Yeah, this is what happens.”
- On the four leads’ prominent family ties: It looks terrible. Come on! It looks shitty. I don’t think that was on purpose. I think that was a mistake. And let’s face it, Lena’s a daughter of someone who’s connected to kind of a world of celebrity, and so she’s naturally going to have friends who are in similar situations, and that’s who she reached out to.
- On her finances: I’m still living off my parents. I don’t know. I’m still living off my parents.
Out of all the ubiquitous celebrity puff pieces that we’ve become accustomed to reading (“I’m in such a good place!” ”I’ve learned to love my body!” ”I’ve worked so hard to be where I am!”), I find this profile to be extremely honest, brave, and (despite most of its criticism) VERY self-aware. How many actresses have actually admitted to having an abortion (while acknowledging that it’s “totally natural” and conceding that it’s not necessarily a Life-Changing Event but perhaps something necessary, like a dental cleaning), recognizing the role that prominent family members have had in their career (even Jemima’s co-star Allison Williams continues to insist that it was her YouTube video from 2010 that was the impetus for Judd Apatow to contact her agent… and, uh, how exactly did you get an agent anyway, Brian’s Daughter?), or freely telling the world that they still lives off their parents, which Lena Dunham’s character Hannah (whose parents by all accounts appear to be middle-class, certainly not rock stars like Jemima Kirke’s) didn’t even admit to her loser not-boyfriend (who subsists on his grandmother’s charity) until she was cut off?
We constantly berate The Privileged, especially celebrity spawn, for not recognizing that they were born into good fate. (I’m looking at you, Dori Snelling.) To me, this interview indicates that some of them out there actually DO realize and, more importantly, credit nepotism in their professional success.