The stars of “Girls” on nudity and Jessa’s sexuality

[Spoiler Alert: Plotlines from last night’s season premiere of Girls are discussed in the following]

If you saw last night’s season 3 premiere of Girls, you may (or may not) have been surprised how Jessa went about getting herself thrown out of rehab by, well, going downtown on a closeted lesbian.

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In last night’s episode of the controversial but popular HBO series created by Lena Dunham, Jessa, as played by Jemima Kirke, first confronted Laura (Danielle Brooks, “Taystee” in Orange Is The New Black) in group about being gay, which Laura initially vehemently denies but later we see Jessa pleasuring her orally only to be walked in on by rehab administrators.

At last week’s Television Critics Association panel for the series, AfterEllen asked Kirke if we can expect sexuality to be a big part of Jessa’s journey, she replied, “Yes. Well, I think so.”

HBO Winter 2014 TCA Panel

Talking more about her character’s history and how that influenced who she is when we meet her on the series, Kirke said, “I think it’s interesting that she’s often described as the sexually precocious one and yet she’s the one who has the least sex that we see…but I don’t think that’s a mistake. I think we don’t need to see her doing it to know that it’s had quite an impact on her life, just her relationship to it. It doesn’t matter how much she’s had, but her relationship to it is obviously something that needs help.”

We followed up by asking Kirke whether she defines Jessa as gay or bi to which she replied, “No. No. She’s just…I think she’s very  just sexually damaged, yeah.” Dunham jumped in and added, “And that energy, she’ll kind of put it…it’s like her sexuality’s just like kind of a rushing river and it needs, like, sort of vessels to contain it.” Kirke looked at her co-star and said, “I couldn’t have said it better…I just wish I could have come up with that.”

Before talk of Jessa’s sexuality, things got heated between the panelists and the room when The Wrap’s TV Editor, Tim Malloy, asked the following question:

“I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it. They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.”

Seemingly taken aback, Dunham replied, “It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive, I think, and I totally get it. If you are not into me, that’s your problem and you are going to have to kind of work that out with… whatever professionals you’ve hired.”

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 1

Producers Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner quickly showed their displeasure at the question with Apatow first asking if Malloy had a girlfriend (he said he did) and Apatow saying, “Let’s see how she likes you when you quote that with your question, and just write the whole question as you stated it… then tell me how it goes tonight.”

Later in the panel, before she could answer a different reporter’s question on another topic, Konner clearly hadn’t let Malloy’s question go and admitted to not being able to focus on what was being asked of her. “I literally was spacing out because I’m in such a rage spiral about that guy that I literally could not hear. I’m so sorry. I really don’t mean to disrespect you,” she said. “I just was looking at [Malloy] and going into this rage, this idea that you would talk to a woman like that and accuse a woman of showing her body too much. The idea, it just makes me sort of sick, and so I apologize to everyone. I’m going to try to focus now, but if I space out, it will be because of that guy.”

HBO Winter 2014 TCA Panel

Outside the heated topics and talking about the other characters on the show in the new season, Allison Williams, oozing sexy in the show’s music video for Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” as seen in last night’s episode, said that she’s very pleased with the direction of Marnie especially now that her former boyfriend, Charlie, is gone. “I know that when I found out that [actor Christopher Abbott] had left and we were not too far away from starting to shoot, my first question was like ‘Are you guys good?’ to Jenni and the writers and Lena, just to make sure,” the actress said. “It was kind of an opportunity only insofar as it was a new situation that we hadn’t foreseen [and] what they came up with for Marnie to do this season has been the greatest gift.”

Girls airs Sundays on HBO at 10 p.m.

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