Friday, June 14, 2024

Jack Antonoff Wrote Songs for Kelly Clarkson That Ended Up on ‘Girls’

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Allison Williams and Ebon Moss-Bachrach revealed that some of the songs they performed together as Marnie and Desi on Girls were Kelly Clarkson rejects written by Jack Antonoff. 

The two actors revealed this piece of deep trivia in a new video for Vanity Fair, in which they reunited and reminisced about their time on the show together. Moss-Bachrach joined Girls in Season Three, with his character Desi striking a romantic and musical relationship with Williams’ Marnie; over the next three seasons though, their relationship and marriage fell apart, alongside their musical dreams. 

While Marnie and Desi played a whole bunch of songs together during those three seasons, Moss-Bachrach said he only just learned that most of their tunes “were just discards from Kelly Clarkson.” Williams confirmed this and singled-out one of the tracks, “Breathless,” which Antonoff reportedly wrote for Clarkson, and which Marnie and Desi ended up performing in Season Four, Episode One of Girls.

“I like that song,” Moss-Bacharach mused, while Williams added: “It’s a great song, she should’ve done it! But we got it, as a result.” (Antonoff and Girls star/creator Lena Dunham dated for most of the show’s run.)

“Breathless” likely represented the high point of Marnie and Desi’s oeuvre, with Williams noting that the songs they performed together frequently struck a balance between “really beautiful” music and super “cringey” lyrics. She specifically highlighted “Oaxaca” (from Season Five, Episode Eight), which contains the mortifying lyric, “Yeah, you’ll find me in a dark bar/Where no gringos are.” 

“Marnie singing the word ‘gringo’ should be illegal,” Williams quipped. 


Williams went on to note that performing the songs on the show was often “nerve-wracking,” but Moss-Bachrach said the dramatic irony of it all, especially related to Marnie and Desi’s musical talent (or lack thereof), made it easier. “What was nice that was built in, was that they were supposed to be maybe not so great,” he said. “Nobody had very high expectations, so that felt very safe to me just go for it.” 

“But hard to decide how much to try and how good to be,” Williams added, to which Moss-Bachrach deadpanned: “I tried as hard as I could try.”  

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