On the eve of Girls’ final season premiere, Jemima Kirke sat down with mother-daughter team Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum of StyleLikeU for a charming, devastating video interview. The latest installation of the StyleLikeU’s ever-transfixing “What’s Underneath” series shows the famously candid Kirke at her most vulnerable, and not because she strips down to a flattering bondage-style bra and sheer briefs (pear shapes, take note).
Kirke’s segment follows the established formula (a woman sits before the camera and removes her outfit piece-by-piece while explaining what style — and, in turn, self-acceptance — means to her). In her lilting British accent, the badass who brought Jessa to life explains how, despite being a respected artist and successful TV star, she feels dissatisfied with life and tormented by feelings of inadequacy. Whether discussing her unpreparedness for motherhood or her relationship struggles (words made all the more poignant by her post-taping separation from husband Michael Mosberg), Kirke shies away from nothing in the 13-minute interview. Read on for a few of the women’s health and reproductive rights advocate’s rawest observations, then watch Kirke physically and emotionally undress in the video below. The clip, though dark at times, is oddly calming in the sense that it reminds you even powerhouses like Kirke struggle with mental health issues. We admire Kirke for helping dispel the stigma.
On becoming a mother. “I was still going through my 20s with her as a toddler, and there was something that felt unfair about that to her. I wasn’t ready to stay home every night, and I didn’t have the patience, because I still had a lot of self-centeredness.”
On accepting love. “I used to think freedom was being not attached to anything. I’ve been working on redefining that, that freedom is not about being not attached to people. You can still be free when people love you. And that is something that I learned as a child, that love was very suffocating and entrapping. Alone meant freedom.”
On the assumptions people make about her based on her image. “I have a healthy outlook to what people think about me, but I’m not this ‘free spirit’ by any means. I am riddled with neuroses and self-loathing and fear and feeling inadequate. I have confidence in areas: I can get up in front of people and do things. I’m confident to be naked. I can bullshit people into thinking that I’m showing myself. But my abilities, I’m not confident in. My therapist says that whenever I walk into my studio, there’s a Nazi in there holding a gun to my head saying, ‘If you don’t make a good piece right now, you’re nothing.’ Who are you, that you are so special and great that you don’t have to make shitty work and practice and get on the floor and make things no one cares about and have to throw them out? Sometimes I have studio visits where people come over to talk and critique your work, and I’ll put everything away. I’m like, ‘It’s all in piles. Nothing’s done.’ Nothing’s ever done because if it’s finished, I’m accountable for it. If it stays in progress, then I don’t have to own it. And you just want to be like, ‘Oh fuck it. I won’t make anything.’ But I really want to now. I want to get going. I’m shedding some of that fear of being accountable for things that I make, and so things are opening up to me.”
The final season of Girls premieres February 12 on HBO.
[ via i-D ]