The cast, crew and network of Girls showed up to the ATX Television Festival on Friday to talk about the casting of the show and their overall thoughts and feelings now that the girls have ridden off into the sunset.
Kathleen McCaffrey, VP of programming for HBO, got the party started by talking about her first meeting with Lena Dunham. What struck me about McCaffrey's reaction to that first meeting is how impressed she - and everyone - were with Lena's approach to not even her work, but to people. They all spoke of talking to Lena like it gave them insight into themselves as people. Considering the influence the show has had on the TV landscape, this commentary made a lot of sense in terms of casting the show.
A very interesting tidbit from Richard Shepard, a frequent director on the show: originally it was only supposed to be Hannah, Marnie and Jessa. You guys, THERE WAS ALMOST NO SHOSHANNA! A world without Shosh, who became more and more interesting as Girls went on, is not one I want to consider.
There were also plenty of fun insights into character idiosyncrasies. For instance, Laird's beanie was actually Jon Glaser's father's hat, and he just thought it'd be a good touch for Laird. Also the character of Desi was born from a weekend at a beach house with actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach.
The biggest thing to take away from this panel, however, was Jennifer Euston's general approach to casting Girls. She very specifically chose actors that were less conventional choices, particularly Adam Driver, whom she'd been dying to cast in something since he came out of Juilliard. I think this unconventional approach was tailor-made for such an unconventional show. It was a helluva ride, Girls. You were the crack spirit guides for us all.