What 'Girls' Fans Always Get Wrong About Shoshanna, According To Star Zosia Mamet
Of all the characters on HBO's Girls, perhaps none has grown as much over the course of the show's five seasons as Shoshanna. The NYU grad and current coffee connoisseur has matured from a bubbly, naive college kid who based her life off Sex and the City to a confident, savvy adult determined to live solely by her own rules. Yet despite this obvious growth, some Girls fans refuse to see Shosh as anything more than comic relief — and star Zosia Mamet is quick to say exactly what it is that people get wrong about her character.
"Her intelligence," Mamet says matter-of-factly, speaking to Bustle at the Bryant Park Hotel in June in support of her new campaign with Secret. "I think she’s easily written off in that way."
Yet thanks to the writers of Girls, Mamet adds, "That’s also a way in which she’s been able to grow. The show has let out of the bag a little bit more as the seasons go on [that] she’s really smart."
Girls Season 5 saw Shosh get a chance to show off this intelligence in a major way, as she explored life in Japan, juggled complicated romantic relationships, and brilliantly transformed Ray's Coffee into a New York Times Styles hotspot. After seasons of attempting to figure out her strengths and her passions, Shosh finally seemed to have found her niche. Yet as Mamet explains, the character's journey didn't come easy.
"We met her at the beginning of the show in a place of very, very consistently high stress, because she was always so terrified about doing things right, wearing the right thing, being perceived in this particular way that she had created in her mind as the perfect image," Mamet says. But, she adds, "as the show has progressed, and as she’s started to find herself, she’s started to think about what she actually wants and what matters to her, and other people’s opinions and their voicing of them towards her has started to affect and matter less."
Even Ray, who once had such an influence on Shoshanna romantically and otherwise, isn't able to affect her like he once was. The Season 5 finale saw Shosh choosing to re-brand Ray's Coffee not because it'd impress Ray or make him happy, but because it was something she wanted to do for herself. It marked a significant (and welcome) change in Shosh's attitude, but that isn't to say that she no longer cares for Ray, or that the duo will never find their way back to each other.
"You never know," Mamet says, when asked if Ray and Shosh have a chance. "I have stopped trying to predict things that will happen on that show, because they always surprise me."
If Ray and Shosh do eventually get back together, you can bet that Mamet will be pleased; says the star, "The day that we filmed out breakup scene, I, Zosia, cried, because I was so sad that they were breaking up."
Whether it's ending up with Ray, someone else, or no one at all, though, Mamet just wants her character to end the series on a positive note. "I just want her to be happy," she says. "I’ve grown to care for her so much, I think that she’s a real human living somewhere. She’s been through a lot, and she’s put herself through a lot, and I just hope that she ends up happy."
In January, it was announced that Season 6 will be the show's last; producer Jenni Konner revealed to Bustle shortly after that she and show creator Lena Dunham already know how it's all going to end. Mamet won't reveal any details of the upcoming episodes, but says that she'll miss the show, and her co-stars, once Girls goes off the air.
"It’s been an incredible ride that none of us really expected, and I think particularly because of that, we’ve all grown very, very close," says Mamet. "I think it’s gonna be a little bit of a void for a second, but I hope to find it again some day."
It's hard to imagine another show ever taking the place of Girls, but hopefully, the series' stars will be on our screens for a long, long time.