Jemima Kirke talks letting go of Girls and body positivity

Watch the actor detail working on her confidence and tackling the ill-concieved perceptions of her based on her famous TV persona Jessa, while removing one item of clothing at a time

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As we inch ever closer to the premiere of the final Girls season, Jemima Kirke, known for her role as Jessa, sat down to talk candidly about the show’s ending and her own vulnerabilities.

Kirke took part in the StyleLikeU series ‘What’s Underneath’, in which the camera centres on women slowly undressing to their underwear while discussing their sense of selves. Model Adwoa Aboah previously spoke of her own battle with depression, Charli Howard discussed body-shaming and photographer Petra Collins used the opportunity to talk about body hair and the patriarchal hold over women’s bodies.

The Girls actor opens up on camera about nagging feelings of personal inadequacy and self doubt. “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,” she said. “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.”

She also mulled over the disparity between her true self and her Girls character Jessa. “I have a healthy outlook to what people think about me, but I’m not this ‘free spirit’ by any means,” she explained. “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.”

“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,” she said. “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 season premiere of Girls airs over on HBO on February 12.

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