Taffy Brodesser-Akner talked to 24-year-old actress Zosia Mamet, who these days is always getting recognized for—and sometimes even confused as—her breakout role as the earnestly naive Shoshanna Shapiro on Lena Dunham’s HBO hit Girls. But she’s quick to point out that she’s no Shoshanna.
The most noticeable difference between the insecure Shoshanna and the self-assured, articulate Mamet, who’s trying her hand at theater next, is confidence. Mamet, who “says ‘like’ a lot and curses plenty” almost seems like the anti-Shosh (except for the ‘like’ habit), aware of exactly why her show has become the cultural sensation it has but maintaining that she, unlike her character, isn’t lost:
Still, she gets it, in theory. She certainly gets why “Girls” has hit a nerve. “Your 20s are weird, but nobody tells you that,” she says. “I think that’s what Lena’s trying to say. Everyone tells you that your adolescence, that’s going to be hard. High school is going to suck. But nobody tells you that your 20s are going to be rough, that basically you’re cast into the real world and told to figure it out.”
Here’s what else David’s daughter had to say:
On her grungy Girls audition: “I did my tape in one of my father’s oversize sweaters and no makeup and dirty hair,” she says.
On her casual WASP-dom: “The only WASPy part of me is that I like gin,” she says. “Oh, and I ride horses.”
On being really awesome: “if I were not an actress, I would be a pirate.”
Catch Mamet in all her Shoshanna glory when Girls Season 2 premieres January 13.