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One of the 'Girls,' Zosia Mamet shines in second season return

HBO's ‘Girls' returns at 8 p.m. Sunday
By FRAZIER MOORE Published: January 12, 2013

Mamet, who turns 25 next month, hastens to add that she is living a much different life from Shoshanna and company. Unlike them, she found her direction early on: “By the time I was 17,” she says, “I was in the flux of this crazy industry pushing to be an actress, which I wanted more than anything in the world.”

Nonetheless, the trial-and-error lifestyle portrayed on “Girls” resonates for Mamet and loads of people she knows as they reach the expiration date for their precociousness.

“There's this inescapable moment in your early 20s, no matter how you get there, of feeling like everything you've known up until then is either wrong or doesn't fit,” she declares, “and suddenly you're faced with this feeling of ‘Who the (heck) am I? How do I do life? HOW is life DONE?'”

Even the characters' well-intentioned efforts at good times are often stressful and humiliating. (And sometimes cringe-inducing for viewers, for whom “Girls,” unlike most TV shows, serves as a graphic reminder that sex between young people can be shockingly unsexy.)