HBO’s acclaimed series from Lena Dunham, whose Hannah Horvath proudly proclaimed herself “a voice of a generation,” turns 10.
It’s been a decade since Lena Dunham was the voice of her generation. Or, well, a voice of a generation.
HBO series “Girls” revolutionized the TV landscape when it premiered on April 15, 2012. The series, created by Dunham, who also starred in, executive-produced, wrote, and directed the show, first debuted at SXSW before its TV premiere and eventual five Emmy Award nominations that year. Jenni Konner served as co-showrunner and producer while Judd Apatow also executive produced.
“Girls” stars Dunham as 20-something struggling writer Hannah Horvath, who has one foot in adolescence thanks to an allowance from her parents. After she’s informed she’s been financially cut off two years after graduating from a liberal arts college, Hannah embarks on navigating New York City by experiencing one mistake at a time.
Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, and Allison Williams play Hannah’s eccentric and at times codependent circle of friends. Adam Driver brings moodiness and angst to the series as Hannah’s love-interest-turned-obsession. Andrew Rannells and Alex Karpovsky round out the ensemble cast, with Christopher Abbott also a staple of Season 1 as the college boyfriend of Marnie (Williams).
Dunham described “Girls” as a series for women who grew up watching “Sex and the City” and thought that “their shitty boyfriend whose bed is on the floor is their Mr. Big.”
“Girls” concluded in 2017 after six seasons, 19 Emmy nominations (and two Emmy wins), multiple controversies, and countless iconic quips. Dunham hinted at the possibility of rebooting “Girls” after “SATC” was revived with “And Just Like That…”, which debuted on HBO Max in 2021.
Dunham reportedly “has engaged in informal talks with HBO about getting the gang back together for an older and wiser version of the quintessential millennial series.”
However, the timing for a new “Girls” series is tricky. “We all recognize it’s not time yet. I want it to be at a moment when the characters’ lives have really changed,” Dunham told The Hollywood Reporter in January 2022. “Right now, everyone would just be wanting to see Kylo Ren [Driver].”
As “Girls” celebrates its 10th anniversary, let’s see what the cast is up to now before any possible reboot.
Lena Dunham (Hannah Horvath)
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
After “Girls” concluded in 2017, Dunham directed one episode of HBO’s “Industry” in 2020 before debuting her third feature film “Sharp Stick” at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022. Dunham additionally produced the series “Camping” and “Generation,” for which she also wrote episodes. As for acting, Dunham had a small role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood” and appeared in “High Maintenance” as herself. She also starred in “Honeydew,” “American Horror Story,” “The Stand-In,” and her own film “Sharp Stick.”
As of print, Dunham currently is directing the medieval period piece “Catherine, Called Birdy” based on the novel by Karen Cushman, which Dunham adapted for the big screen. “Fleabag” breakout Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn, and Bella Ramsey star in the coming of age drama.
Allison Williams (Marnie Michaels)
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Allison Williams portrayed Hannah’s complicated best friend Marnie, whose passive-aggressive tendencies struck a different chord than her wannabe singing career. Williams was perfectly cast as an exaggerated Marnie type in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” before starring in “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Williams also put her pipes on display for the TV movie “Peter Pan Live!” playing the titular character.
Williams led the Netflix film “The Perfection” in 2018, and currently is in production on the horror-thriller “M3GAN” about a realistic doll that comes to life. James Wan is behind the story for the film, with Gerard Johnson directing. Ronny Chieng and Kimberly Crossman co-star.
Adam Driver (Adam Sackler)
While it’s hard to picture Hollywood before the presence of Adam Driver, Dunham recalled a “powerfully odd” audition process with the theater star. “He came into the audition and we were like, ‘This guy’s a freakin’ weirdo,’” Dunham said during Tribeca Talks in 2017, reported by TV Guide. “Girls” co-showrunner Konner added, “He became the handsome movie star that he is now over the seasons.”
And boy, did he ever. Driver went on to appear in “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “While We’re Young,” and “This Is Where I Leave You” before “Girls” wrapped. In 2015, Driver joined the Force in “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.” He went on to work with auteurs Martin Scorsese (“Silence”), Jim Jarmusch (“Paterson” and “The Dead Don’t Die”), Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Steven Soderbergh (“Logan Lucky”), Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”), and Ridley Scott (“The Last Duel” and “House of Gucci”).
Driver is teaming up again with Baumbach for the adaptation of Don DeLillo’s “White Noise,” as well as Beck/Woods’ project “65.” The Oscar nominee is set to play Enzo Ferrari in the biopic of the Ferrari family, written and directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley.
Jemima Kirke (Jessa Johansson)
Dunham’s real-life bestie Jemima Kirke played effortless cool-girl Jessa on “Girls.” Today, Kirke is trading in Bushwick warehouse parties for academic rigor as headmistress Hope Haddon in Netflix’s “Sex Education.”
Post-“Girls,” Kirke made her directorial debut with the short film “Marlon Brando” in 2019 and appeared in the TV series “Maniac” opposite Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. Kirke will be playing Melissa in the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s “Conversations With Friends” for Hulu, alongside Joe Alwyn, Alison Oliver, and Sasha Lane.
Kirke is also in pre-production on “City on Fire,” which acts as a “Girls” reunion with John Cameron Mitchell who previously played Hannah’s e-book editor on the series. Nico Tortorella, Ashley Zukerman, Omid Abtahi and Kathleen Munroe additionally star in the AppleTV+ series about an NYU student who is shot in Central Park in 2003. “City on Fire” is helmed by HBO Max “Gossip Girl” executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna Shapiro)
Originally intended as a guest character, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) became a “Girls” mainstay and a surefire fan favorite. Mamet starred in “Parenthood” and “Mad Men” before appearing on “Girls.” She also appeared in films “The Boy Downstairs” and “Under the Silver Lake,” in addition to other TV roles in “You’re the Worst” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Mamet played Louisa May Alcott in AppleTV+’s “Dickinson” and starred in the Netflix revival of “Tales of the City.” Most recently, Mamet brought a bit of Shoshanna wisdom to “The Flight Attendant” as Kaley Cuoco’s reasonable lawyer BFF, Annie. Season 2 of the hit HBO Max series premieres April 21.
Up next, Mamet appears in writer-director Katie Holmes’ “Alone Together,” also starring Jim Sturgess and Melissa Leo. And Mamet is also set to lead Antonia Dauphin’s adaptation of “The Affair.”
Andrew Rannells (Elijah Krantz)
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Hannah’s former boyfriend turned roommate Elijah (Andrew Rannells) has a vast Broadway history. Onscreen, Rannells appeared in films “Why Him?,” “A Simple Favor,” and “The Intern,” before tapping into his musical roots with “The Boys in the Band” and “The Prom.”
Rannells most recently stole scenes in Peacock’s “Girls5Eva” and “Black Monday,” plus voiced characters in “Big Mouth” and “Invincible.” The Tony-nominated star is currently filming the series “The Immigrant” opposite Dan Stevens and Juliette Lewis, about the true story behind the Chippendales.
Christopher Abbott (Charlie Dattolo)
Christopher Abbott portrayed Marnie’s boyfriend Charlie in the first two seasons of “Girls.” Abbott returned for a standalone episode in Season 5 to provide closure for his character after departing from the series. He previously starred in “A Most Violent Year” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” before leading the TV series “The Sinner” and “Catch-22.” Abbott also appeared in films “Vox Lux,” “Black Bear,” and “The Forgotten.”
Currently, Abbott is filming Marvel’s “Kraven the Hunter” opposite Ariana DeBose, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Alessandro Nivola, and Russell Crowe. Abbott also is set to star in Yorgos Lanthimos’ Victorian horror drama “Poor Things” alongside Emma Stone, Margaret Qualley, and Mark Ruffalo and centered on a female version of Frankenstein.
Additionally, Abbott is tied to “A Crowded Room” series featuring true stories of people who have grappled with mental illness. Tom Holland, Emmy Rossum, Sasha Lane, and Amanda Seyfried star.
Alex Karpovsky (Ray Ploshansky)
As Marnie’s ex and manager of Grumpy’s, Ray (Alex Karpovsky) was a “Girls” standout. Since the series, Karpovsky appeared in Jim Gaffigan’s comedy “Being Frank” and Jess Bond’s “Rosy.” Karpovsky collaborated with Jason Reitman for “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman, plus even guest-starred in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Karpovsky lent his voice to “Cryptozoo” and also led the Prime Video series “Homecoming.”
Karpovsky is set to star as Jeff Glasner in the miniseries “Angelyne,” based on the life of billboard icon Angelyne, played by Emmy Rossum. “You” actor Lukas Gage also and Jefferson Hall also star.
Gaby Hoffmann (Caroline Sackler)
Sthanlee Mirador/Sipa USA
Former child star Gaby Hoffmann played Adam’s sister on “Girls” while simultaneously appearing in “Transparent.” Hoffmann starred in Mike Mills’ 2021 festival favorite “C’mon C’mon” along with Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman. Currently, Hoffman portrays Claire Rothman in HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.”
Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Desi Harperin)
Marnie’s husband and musical partner Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) was a polarizing love interest (remember her Ralph Lauren-inspired “heritage” wedding?). Since “Girls,” he appeared in the Marvel series “The Punisher,” “NOS4A2,” plus Paramount+’s non-linear crime series “Interrogation” opposite Oscar nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee and Peter Sarsgaard.
Moss-Bachrach also reunited with Dunham for her film “Sharp Stick.” He also broke the Theranos corruption story in Hulu’s “The Dropout” alongside Amanda Seyfried, and next stars in the thriller “Geechee,” written and directed by DuBois Ashong and now in post-production.
Becky Ann Baker (Loreen Horvath)
Becky Ann Baker played Hannah’s mother Loreen, who even moves in with Hannah to help raise her child by the end of the series. After “Girls,” Baker appeared in the series “New Amsterdam,” “Council of Dads,” “Big Little Lies,” “The Blacklist,” “Billions,” and “Younger.” Her film credits include “The Half of It,” “The Chaperone,” and “Table 19.”
Baker will reunite with fellow “Girls” alum Zosia Mamet for the upcoming Katie Holmes film “Alone Together,” plus star in Sam Esmail’s TV movie “The Resort” opposite Cristin Milioti, Skyler Gisondo, Nick Offerman, William Jackson Harper, Debby Ryan, and Dylan Baker. Ben Sinclair is slated to direct.
Peter Scolari, who played Hannah’s father Tad, died of cancer in 2021.