Design & Living / AnOther Thing I Wanted to Tell You

Zosia Mamet on her Enduring Love for Actor Peter Sellers

The Girls star reveals why Sellers remains "somewhat of a god" to her

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Zosia Mamet by Tina Tyrell
Photography by Tina Tyrell, Styling by Clare Byrne

“Peter Sellers is somewhat of a god to me. A man who can play Inspector Clouseau, and also star in Being There, is a man who makes me want to be a better actor. I discovered The Party around age 17. In the opening sequence, Sellers’ character ruins the biggest shot in a Hollywood epic by accidentally setting off an explosive device while tying his shoe, and the insanity ensues from there. The film is like a dance – it’s wild chaos, but every scene weaves seamlessly into the next. Things are lit on fire, a painted elephant shows up, fights erupt, the koi pond turns into a bubble bath, all at the accidental hand of Sellers’ character. The Party struck a chord with me – it taught me something about letting go, about the magical things that can happen when you aren’t even trying, and about what happens when a human is unabashedly, unapologetically themselves.”

In season one of Girls, when speed-talking Manhattanite Shoshanna Shapiro lost her virginity, the gifted young actress playing her lost her anonymity. Lena Dunham’s wildly successful HBO series has rendered Zosia Mamet instantly recognisable, to the point where strangers tend to overshare details of their sex life with her in the street. With season five commencing this month, we can expect more unintentional pearls of wisdom from her endearingly naive character, but the 28-year-old actress is also proving her range: this year she’ll star in Dominion, a drama tracing Dylan Thomas’s final weeks in New York, and Wiener-Dog, a Dachshund-centric tale from provocative filmmaker Todd Solondz.

This article appears in the S/S16 edition of AnOther Magazine. 

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