Since the beginning of Girls' third season, we've learned that Shoshonna has moved on from her break up with Ray by getting laid. Apparently, a lot. But until this past Sunday, we hadn't gotten to see her in action -- let alone meet any of the guys she was hooking up with. In the most recent episode, we finally see Shosh having some R-rated adult fun time with one of her new suitors, Parker, a very chill dude who Shosh allegedly once said was "so dumb that he couldn't find the library." Played by actor -- and Zosia Mamet's real-life boyfriend -- Evan Jonigkeit (the two first appeared together in the critically-acclaimed play, Really Really), Parker seems to be a dim-witted, easy-going yin to Shoshonna's analytical, high-strung yang. Curious to know more about Shosh's new love interest, we spoke to Jonigkeit about his new role, what it's like filming sex scenes with your significant other and what's ahead for the young actor.
How did the role come about?
Lena [Dunham] and [executive producer] Ilene Landress came and saw Zosia and I perform in Really Really a year ago. They saw how Zosia and I work together and they asked me if I wanted to do it -- I didn't have to audition. It started as a walk-on role in a different episode and they wound up liking the character and expanding it. That's how Sunday's episode came to be.
How did Lena describe the part to you?
That [Parker's] sort of douchey and stupid. [Laughs] He's certainly not an intellectual equal to Shoshonna.
Were you aware going into it that you guys would be having a pretty intense sex scene?
Yeah. But Lena's really great about [those scenes]. When somebody's in a sex scene, she makes sure to find out peoples' comfort level and what they are and are not okay with. I was game. My only caveat was I didn't want [Parker] to be cruel to [Shoshonna] in any way during our sex scene. Lena was like, "Of course, of course, of course."
Is it difficult filming scenes like that with your real-life girlfriend?
Yes! It's really weird! There's forty people in the corner of the room and you're like, "Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and take my pants off now. Zosia, you ready to go?" It's a little uncomfortable but everybody on the set is a pro and we had a good time. Everyone was really chill about it.
In your mind, why do you think the Shosh and Parker are drawn to one another?
The way I imagine it is that Parker is sort of simple and he needs to eat and he needs to sleep. These are his motivating factors. And for Shoshonna, who's so cerebral about everything and is trying to figure things out and moving at such a rapid pace, he offsets her in a nice way. Even though [their relationship] doesn't seem destined to be anything because they're so different, they are kind of good for each other. We'll see.
Had you been watching Girls before appearing on it?
Oh yeah. But I got on the train a little late. I started watching around the end of the first season or start of the second season so I had to catch up -- but I love it. One of the things that I think often happens with TV shows is that someone makes a show and they do the first season and then they get a writing team who dilutes the essence of what the show is. Whereas Lena's been able to maintain [her voice] and hasn't tried to fit in or conform to what anybody might expect or want. She's been true to the storytelling that she wants to tell.
A little while back there was a funny video floating around showing a fake trailer for a Girls spin-off, Boys. Do you think anyone will ever make a real spin-off like that?
I'm not sure to be honest. There are things that are wonderfully specific and unique to a woman's point of view on growing up and going through her twenties and men are so compartmentalized and don't have the [range] of feeling girls have. But maybe I just haven't thought about it long and hard enough. That's just my initial thought.
What's next for you?
I might be shooting something in April out in Montana but it's pilot season right now and this is my first time experiencing it because I've been fortunate enough to be working during my last two pilot seasons in New York. I'm also still auditioning for Broadway shows.
And you'll also appear in X-Men. How was shooting that?
It was a wild, wild experience to be part of such a large production and something that's so beloved. We shot in Montreal, which is such an incredible city.
Did you have some good poutine?
I did have some good poutine. It was fantastic.
Photo by Matteo Prandoni / BFAnyc.com