After five seasons, GIRLS® is coming to an end—but there’s still one more season of awkward encounters, laughter, tears, and questionable outfit choices to sink our teeth into! Throughout the years when things have gotten really tense between Hannah, Marnie, Shosh, and Jessa we’ve been treated to some levity and no holds barred realness from the delightful Elijah. Portrayed by Andrew Rannells, last season we saw Elijah go through some major self-examination and reflection, so we’re really excited to see how his character arc progresses during this final season. We chatted with Rannells about what it’s been like to bring Elijah to life, and what he’ll miss most once the show has wrapped. Check out our exclusive interview below, and make sure to catch the season premiere of GIRLS® this Sunday, February 12th at 10/9c on HBO®.
Elijah has emerged as the voice of reason—after all he did famously greet Hannah in Season 1 with the line: “Nice to see you, your dad is gay.” And we all know how that turned out! How do you feel Elijah has changed since Season 1?
I love that Elijah has been folded into the group more. I love getting to do Hannah and Elijah scenes, but it’s nice to see him interact with Marnie, Ray, Shoshana and the others. Elijah has maybe been the slowest to mature throughout the series, but this final season he takes a real stab at pulling it together. It was a lot of fun figuring out how he was going to “grow up.”
You’ve done so much work in theater and television—does your creative process change at all depending on what medium you’re working in?
Yes and no. Obviously filling a Broadway house takes a lot more energy, but at the end of the day storytelling is storytelling. You try to just get to the honesty of each moment and just do that. It may sound a little actory, but it’s true. I’ve learned so much going back and forth between GIRLS® and Broadway these past six years. I’m incredibly lucky to have had the opportunities I’ve had.
It was so refreshing to see Elijah in what appeared to be a healthy relationship last season with Dill. Although it didn’t end well, Elijah seemed happy if only for a brief time. I think we’re all rooting for Elijah to find something that makes him “less aimless.” Where can we expect his character arc to go during this final season?
Well he’s still pretty aimless, but I think he grew a lot because of Dill. And you’ll see, particularly in the latter part of this coming season, he really starts to try and figure out what he wants. It takes him a second, but he gets there. But there is still plenty of messy Elijah fun!
Elijah brings a lot of levity to the show. What’s been your favorite part of playing him and what will you miss the most once the show has wrapped?
I love that he gets to tell those girls what he thinks. He gets to be the voice of the audience sometimes and it is SO fulfilling. It’s fun to get to be horrible when you have permission. I love improvising on the show. I am very lucky to get to play around with this cast so much, it all feels very collaborative. Most of all, however, I will miss doing scenes with Lena. She’s an incredible scene partner and we just have something that clicks together. It’s rare and I love it. I will miss working with her a lot.
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