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"Girls" is a pretty revealing show by nature, but you still probably didn't know these behind-the-scenes secrets. (Credit: HBO / Mark Schafer)


HBO's 'Girls': Secrets of the Lena Dunham-created show

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'Girls' was a pretty revealing show by nature, but we can still bet you don't know everything about Lena Dunham's creation.

Is Zosia Mamet anything like Shoshanna Shapiro? Who almost left the show before the second season? And how much Café Grumpy coffee did the cast drink on set?

We give you answers to questions that most likely crossed your mind while watching the show, plus spill a few behind-the-scenes facts from your favorite "Girls" actors.

Your favorite Elijah scene was supposed to be

Credit: HBO / Craig Blankenhorn

Elijah wasn’t supposed to be a recurring character

Your favorite Elijah scene was supposed to be his last. Andrew Rannells told amNewYork his character was only expected to have a cameo appearance in the first season. "I was just going to do that one scene with Lena," he said, referring to that scene when he tells Hannah her father is gay. "We really hit it off and they asked me to come back and then they asked me to come back again, so the role was sort of shaped, or written on me."

Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia

Credit: HBO / Craig Blankenhorn

The girls didn't film together often

Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet only filmed on set together a total of 12 times throughout the span of the entire series, Williams revealed during a New York Times Facebook Live interview. It "was sad to me every day we weren't together, but I know it wasn't realistic" to expect to film separate scenes simultaneously at Silvercup Studios, she said.

Each character's style evolved with them through the

Credit: HBO

Creating each character’s look was a collaboration

Each character's style evolved with them through the years. Changes in their look mirrored events in their lives. "Wardrobe is an arc over the season. It gets messier. It gets brighter. It gets darker. It gets more fitting," Alex Karpovsky, who plays Ray Ploshansky, said. "All these things really do make a difference whether it is subconscious or conscious in the audience's mind."

The actors worked closely with the wardrobe design team to help establish their character's unique sense of style. "In the fitting, especially a closet fitting or the first fitting for the character, the actors and I play, discuss, adjust and tailor the looks I've pulled until we get just the right combination that brings the character to life," said Jenn Rogien, "Girls" costume designer. That's not to say all of the actors would actually wear their character's clothing in public, though. Rannells told us he would never be caught wearing Elijah's wacky sweaters in real life.

Hannah's family home is a real house in

Credit: HBO / Craig Blankenhorn

The Horvaths' home in Westchester was recreated

Hannah's family home is a real house in Westchester, or at least it used to be in the first season. Scenes featuring Hannah visiting home in the first season were shot on location. As the Horvaths were written more prominently into the plot, set designers had to recreate parts of the home on set at Silvercup Studios, said Matt Munn, "Girls" set designer. "Every season we do either a phone call home or something with the parents, so we had to recreate a bathroom and an upstairs attic space for them," he said.

The inclusion of Café Grumpy came straight out

Credit: HBO

Because Café Grumpy is the 'best coffee in the city'

The inclusion of Café Grumpy came straight out of Dunham's personal experience in Greenpoint. It also helped that the coffee shop is located right next to Broadway Stages, a production studio where "Royal Pains," "Blue Bloods" and "The Good Wife" are taped. "It's the best coffee in the city, probably. Plus, at the time, we were shooting in Greenpoint and that was the place to go for coffee," Munn said.

As a popular filming location, the shop wasn't aware its name was going to be featured in "Girls." "We didn't even realize we were going to be a character on the show," owner Caroline Bell said.

Jemima Kirke almost made us live in a

Credit: MCT

Jemima Kirke almost left the show

Jemima Kirke almost made us live in a world where Jessa isn't an essential character on "Girls." After revealing in a Glamour interview that the second season was "king of traumatic" for her, Kirke confirmed that she almost left the show altogether before it really even began. "I remember being in a cab. And Jemima called me. She was like, 'I have to tell you something. It's not a big deal. I don't want you to freak out. I want to quit the show,' " Dunham chimed in. Kirke chalked it up to not knowing who she was or what she really wanted at the time.

Karpovsky spent most of his time filming at

Credit: Café Grumpy

The cast was given to-go bags from Café Grumpy

Karpovsky spent most of his time filming at Café Grumpy in Greenpoint. Being the manager of the coffee shop, you'd think he would have downed tons of java over the years, right? Wrong. Karpovsky said he's a one-cup-per-day kind of guy and never drank on the job. But the cast was given to-go bags from Café Grumpy to brew at home, he said.

Marnie's performance of

Credit: HBO / Craig Blankenhorn

That awful music video was Allison Williams’ favorite scene

Marnie's performance of "What I Am" in the third season may have made us cringe, but it made Williams smile. "It was one of the most creatively fulfilling and satisfying experiences I had ever had," Williams said during the New York Times live stream. "I got to get out of my system everything I hated about other amateur music videos that's always bothered me because I'm embarrassed about my own amateur music videos." She may have been referring to a 2010 YouTube video featuring Williams singing the "Mad Men" theme song with a twist.

Everyone knows Dunham created her character based on

Credit: HBO / Geoff Johnson

The cast put unique twists on their characters

Everyone knows Dunham created her character based on her own experiences with anxiety, social disorders and sexual abuse. But she's not the only one who influenced the direction of her character's development. According to Rannells, Mamet added Shoshanna's speech pattern to the mix on her own, something her character has become known for. "That weird Shoshanna speech pattern ... that's definitely something that Zosia created. I don't know how anybody could ever imagine that," Rannells said.

Actor Billy Morrissette opened up his former Fort

Credit: HBO / Craig Blankenhorn

An episode was shot in actor Billy Morrissette’s real home

Actor Billy Morrissette opened up his former Fort Greene pad to "Girls" in the fifth season. The episode ("One Man's Trash") features Patrick Wilson as Hannah's of-the-moment love interest. It has a parallel universe feel and was written to reflect an idea of what Hannah's life could have been, Dunham said in HBO's "Inside the Episode." Many of the paintings featured on the walls in the episode were brought in as props to help create the illusion that Hannah had fallen into a dream world. "The one above the bed of a woman sleeping ... we kind of felt maybe this is a dream Hannah is having and added it to give an otherworldly feel to the whole episode," Munn said.

Credit: HBO / Geoff Johnson

Almost everyone kept something from the set for memories

"Girls" wrapped up filming its sixth and final season in the Hamptons last September. After that final shot ended, the cast and crew decided to take something home from the set for memories.

Rogien took her fitting photos from Jessa's wedding (one of her favorite shoots) and bought Shoshanna's gray chair at a set sale. Munn gave Dunham a poster from Hannah's room that read, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Human Rights." He also gave Mamet a few small souvenirs her character brought home with her from her stint in Tokyo.

Karpovsky said he took home a few mugs with his face on them from when Ray ran for a community board position -- but he doesn't plan on drinking out of them. Rannells said he was given a few of Elijah's costume pieces, including his character robe (used during scenes involving nudity) and lady bug sweater from the fourth season.


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