The show was created by Tiny Furniture writer, director and actress Lena Dunham; Girls, like her debut feature, is semi-autobiographical. Some have complained the series is driven by privilege and nepotism, as all four lead actresses hail from well-connected backgrounds. An altered series promotional poster -- highlight each actress' famous connection -- made the viral rounds shortly after the show premiered to mostly positive reviews.
Until the joke poster serviced, many viewers may not have known that Allison Williams is the daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. But skeptics can hold their horses: Nepotism exists in just about every industry, for one thing; and it certainly looks like Williams did not just wake up one day and decide to be an actress (well at least not any day recently).
Here are five facts about the Girls star.
She's an improvisation veteran.
Williams joined the Yale University improvisation group Just Add Water while a student. She credits her improv experiences with helping her land the role of Marnie Michaels in Girls. Part of my audition for 'Girls' was doing an improvised scene with Lena that lasted maybe ten minutes, she told the Yale Daily News in 2011. If I hadn't been doing improv for the four years that I was at Yale, I would have been completely unequipped to handle the scene.
She's spoofed Kate Middleton, in a truly funny and not cringe-worthy way
Williams took a funny stab at the royal couple by writing and performing in Funny or Die episodes titled Will & Kate: Before Happily Ever After. She played the future Duchess of Cambridge. One episode features the couple getting ready for an on-camera interview. Her Kate is concerned about the lighting on William's head.
You look like a globe, she tells him.
His diminishing hairline doesn't help matters, either.
I had no idea he was this f**cking bald, she vents.
She's made waves on YouTube.
Williams starred in a professionally-made YouTube video titled Mad Men Theme Song With a Twist. She sang Nature Boy to the tune of the hit show's theme song. Don't worry, it's not another Black Friday. Williams looks a wee bit uncomfortable in front of the camera, but her melodic voice is worth listening to.
That video caught a certain directorial eye.
Williams told the Huffington Post that Judd Apatow, an executive producer for Girls whose film resume includes Superbad and Knocked Up, called a few days after the video aired and asked her to audition for the show. She said she then became acquainted with Dunham's Tiny Furniture film and loved it. Obviously I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself, Williams told HuffPo of her audition.
Her parents were cool with acting, on one condition.
Williams was barely out of diapers when she realized she wanted to be an actress, but her folks wouldn't let her do it full-time until she got a degree. She told the New York Post in a 2011 interview that her parents would be morally and emotionally supportive of my career as an actress if I promised I wouldn't start professionally until I graduated from college.