Actress Allison Williams might be best known for playing self-obsessed characters like the well-meaning but hapless Marnie Michaels on Girls or the sociopathic Rose Armitage of 2017 breakout hit Get Out. Yet, in real life, the HBO actress couldn’t be any further from her narcissistic signature roles. On Tuesday, Williams kicks off her annual 10 Days Of Giving social media campaign, which supports Horizons National, an organization dedicated to closing the education gap for lower-income students with six-week summer camps across the country. Horizons’ children attend the program — which focuses on everything from STEM skills and reading to art and swim classes — from the summer before kindergarten all the way through high school.
It’s clear from talking to Williams she’s just as passionate about her charity project, which runs from today until July 27, as she is about her acting career. Throughout the second year of 10 Days Of Giving, the Girls alum will post two videos a day co-staring her Instagram-famous dog Moxie; one video drops at noon Eastern Time, the other at 4 p.m. Both clips will announce a surprise product her followers can purchase until supplies run out, with the entire proceeds of the sale going directly to Horizons. The details of the product, down to even the brand it hails from, are a total secret until Williams’s grand unveiling on her Facebook page and Instagram account. Hey, what’s charity without a little razzle dazzle?
With 10 Days Of Giving now in full swing, Horizon ambassador Williams spoke to Refinery29 about what fans can expect from the project this time around, whether Get Out will get a much-deserved sequel, and the surprising similarities between Jordan Peele’s masterpiece and Marnie’s scariest moment on Girls.
Why is Horizons National important to you, and why do you think our readers should be excited about it, too?
"Horizons National is important to me because I feel like we do a really bad job of making sure that the kids who need the most support get the education that they need and deserve. They are hit particularly hard by summers. There’s a phenomenon known as "the summer slide" that disproportionately affects kids from low-income families and, also, kids from non-English speaking families. Summers are incredibly important and summer programs, especially summer programs for kids from low-income families are really important. … Kids return year after year for six weeks every summer to see their teachers again and make sure they’re all caught up to what they just learned the previous semester and to get slightly ahead of the next semester. I’ve always been involved with it. It started in my hometown. My mother was always involved. My grandmother was involved. It’s something I grew up into."
And why do you think people should be excited about 10 Days of Giving?
"It gives them an opportunity to give to the kids of Horizons. And it gives [the organization] the opportunity to grow to everywhere in the country where kids need it."
According to your IMDb page, it looks like you’re taking a little breather from acting after having one of the busiest years in Hollywood as well.
"It’s been really nice. I’ve been working on some stuff on my own. But the way that this business works, the minute I have free time for a long vacation, I will probably get a script that I love and will be off to shoot that. Get Out was incredible, and I was so lucky to be on Girls for all those years. I feel like I owe it to those roles to wait and find something that’s just as awesome. If not, almost just as awesome because those two are hard to beat."
The Refinery29 Entertainment team was playing "Which Girls girl are you?" last week, and I was dubbed a Marnie with Shoshanna rising. So, what advice do you have for all the Marnies out there right now?
"Oh man, well. It’s a time where for control freaks this is a weird moment in our world. I would just say keep calm and carry on. I’m thinking of you."
Also, I was watching Get Out last night. The ending is obviously haunting. Do you feel like there’s any room left over for a sequel since Rose is still possibly breathing?
"I’m not sure, but for my future employment purposes, I sure hope so. It would have to be the same magical crew back together. Knowing Jordan [Peele’s] mind I would guess he’s already moving on to the next thing, but if he ever wants to get back into it, as unpleasant and difficult it was to play Rose, I would do it again."
In the "Hostage Situation” Girls episode in Upstate New York, you were on the opposite side of that type of thriller with [a high, stalkerish] Desi Harperin (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). What was it like to be the hunted instead of the hunter in that?
"It was really funny because I just shot Get Out, and then went to shoot that episode. It felt very different not to be the aggressor in that situation, but the tone of it was decidedly different which made it a lot less terrifying to shoot."
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