Allison Williams reflects on being called “eye candy on set” during one of her first Hollywood jobs.
THE Girls alum, 35, appeared on the “Women Behind the Words” panel at the Nantucket Film Festival last weekend and recalled some of the comments she received at one of her first Hollywood gigs. Appearing alongside filmmaker Nicole Holofcener and actress Michaela Watkins, Williams recalled working as a stand-in on the Martin Scorsese-directed pilot of the HBO crime drama. Boardwalk Empireaired in 2010.
“There are like 10 stories that make their way from my brain to my mouth that I try to keep out of my mouth,” Perfection the actress told the crowd, as reported by IndieWire. “I guess one of them, very quickly… people often underestimate your humanity as a young, up-and-coming woman in our company. I was a stand-in for the pilot of Boardwalk Empire, which was the coolest experience ever, an amazing driver. It was shot on film. It was amazing. But I was at craft services and a crew member came over and said, ‘So what are you doing here? Are you the eye candy on set? “”
Williams went on to say that the swap was just another example of misogyny she has experienced throughout her career.
“An actor I worked with later watched me eat a pastry and said, ‘Don’t you want to be successful?’ You know, those kinds of comments inevitably come up.”
Williams continued to credit her Girls creator and co-star Lena Dunham for serving as a voice of reason following intense criticism.
“For all that stuff, there’s like Lena who, so gently, and at my age or so, gave me this very unusual experience and was an incredibly talented writer and director, and managed to make me breathe and slow down and do nothing, and in doing so, just trust the material and trust that the talent is there,” she recalled.
In 2017, Williams told Refinery29 that there were several experiences throughout her career in which she was treated differently based on her gender.
“Have there been any instances where I think maybe I’ve been treated differently because I’m a woman? Yeah, mostly by the media,” Williams explained. Despite this, she went on to say that calling herself disadvantaged would be “incredibly deaf and oblivious” because she was “so lucky”.
“I have been disproportionately lucky and privileged, and I intend to spend the rest of my life working on that credit by giving back and paying it back,” she added.
She also spoke to Yahoo that year about gender bias in the workplace, sharing, “It’s very obvious to me: I don’t see any difference in how I should be viewed as a professional woman than boys. on our show should be treated like professional men. Anyone who’s different about this execution won’t work with me for very long. But I’ve met very few personally, but that could be because people know I’m not going to I’m in a really luxurious position where I can choose who to work with — or not — based on how I feel like they respect me or don’t respect me.”