Actress Allison Williams says she doesn’t like to get political – a feature, she claims, of being the daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams.
But she has some distinct opinions about how President Donald Trump would have knocked her hit HBO show “Girls” in a dramatically different direction.
In the latest episode of POLITICO’s Women Rule podcast, Williams explains that in today’s political environment, Shoshana would “probably live in a sleeping bag outside the White House.” Marnie, the character Williams played, “would probably run for office.”
And as for the show itself, Williams says she has “a really hard time imagining that the show wouldn’t immediately have to move to D.C.”
“Girls needed to live in the Obama era,” Williams tells POLITICO editor Carrie Budoff Brown earlier this month at the MCON millennial activism conference in Washington. “I think there was a luxury to existential peace and calm that allowed the girls to live the lives they did.”
Williams – who recently starred in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” a horror flick that delves into social commentary on the state of U.S. race relations – says she tries to keep her political views out of the public eye. Even when she chooses to advocate for a charitable cause, Williams says it’s not without serious consideration for her father’s reliability as a journalist.
“It’s a choice I make,” Williams tells Women Rule. “He doesn’t mandate that. But I believe in having him around right now.”
She adds: “To take any kind of credibility away from that and away from what he’s saying would be destructive to the things that I want.”
4:00 Williams discusses how she chooses the causes she advocates for.
She points to her father’s career in journalism as a reason to be more restrained in voicing her political opinions.
“It behooves me, for the causes I care about,” Williams says, “to keep him being honest and impartial so that he can inform as many people as possible without them being able to just immediately write off what he’s saying because of what his daughter believes in.”
7:10 Williams details the causes she advocates for, including the Horizons program, which provides summer enrichment learning programs for low-income students.
And though her causes are fairly apolitical, the Hollywood star says her political views seep into her acting career choices.
“I’m going to act in ‘Get Out,’ and if you go see it, you’re going to end up thinking about race in a way that you maybe haven’t before,” Williams says. “There are people like Lena [Dunham] who are much more eloquent and able to speak out in a kind of advocacy way than I believe that I am. I think that my greatest opportunity to affect change is in the background.”
13:55 Williams gives her take on the Trump era, and what it would have meant for the hit HBO show “Girls” if it were filmed under his presidency.
“It would have been a totally different show,” Williams says.
16:10 Williams, who was a featured keynote at MCON2017, the millennial conference held this month at the Newseum in Washington, champions her generation’s potential for change.
“In terms of activating, energizing, motivating, communicating about things, coming up with ideas, innovation, I think this generation is incredibly powerful,” she says. “We will see, as millennials get older and older and start to gain more power, what that’s going to look like. And it’s going to be, I think, pretty amazing. It’s going to be inclusive and thoughtful and logical, I think.”
15:35 Williams ponders the difference between male and female politicians and tells Women Rule who she believes might have a shot at the White House in 2020.
“The men talk at people and the women seem to talk to people,” she says. “And I think this next election is going to be about communication more than anything else.”
20:38 The “Girls” actress discusses her experience as a woman navigating the Hollywood industry and blasts “sexist” reactions to the HBO show.
She talks about the difference between shooting “Girls” and her latest movie, “Get Out.”
24:50 What’s next for Williams? She says the future is a “big question mark” but also that the uncertainty is an energizing feeling.
“Any time I have no next project on the calendar, I start to think, ‘Okay, I’ve got to do this for myself,’” Williams says. “And that’s the most exciting moment.”