Photography: Autumn DeWilde
You may know her as Shoshanna, the fast-talking chick who went peeling down a Brooklyn street half-naked after an unwitting crack binge on HBO’s Girls. Or perhaps you remember her in Mad Men, as the jaunty, flirtatious lesbian photo editor from LIFE who serves as Peggy Olsen’s entrée to the bohemian Village scene. But this month finds 24-year-old Zosia Mamet, daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright David Mamet, not only returning for the second season of Girls, but cutting her Off-Broadway teeth in Really Really, a coed drama written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and directed by David Cromer (and begins performances January 31) that examines Generation Me and its hedonistic, self-centered underbelly. We got acquainted.
On the secret to Shoshanna’s manic delivery: “I actually stopped drinking coffee this summer. One of the first notes Lena [Dunham, director and creator of Girls] ever gave me was, ‘I want you to open that door like you just drank an entire case of Red Bull.’ I mean, it’s funny, sometimes I can’t dub myself [in post-production] because I just talk so fast.”
On lasting impressions: “Growing up, I once met this crazy old fabulous ballerina who is now a choreographer. He was in his seventies and said this great thing that I never forgot: ‘So many people turn away success and happiness because it doesn’t look how they thought it would look.’ Which I think is so true.”
On Generation Me: “I went to a really artsy school where, until sixth grade, they have this thing called ‘Creative Spelling,’ where they don’t correct kids when they spell things wrong because they want to help them foster their creativity. Kids go to sixth grade and they don’t know how to fucking spell anything. That, to me, is such a representation of what this generation is like. Everyone gets a trophy, ‘A’ for effort, you don’t need to learn how to spell.”
Girls airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m. EST. Really Really runs February 19 through March 10 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan.