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'Girls' Star Jemima Kirke Admits ‘It Sucks’ Juggling Single Motherhood With Acting

·3-min read
Photo credit: Ben Gabbe - Getty Images
Photo credit: Ben Gabbe - Getty Images

Girls alumni Jemima Kirke is mother to Rafaella, 11, and Memphis, nine, who she shares with ex-husband Michael Mosberg - the couple divorced in 2017.

The 37-year-old is also a successful actor, with acclaimed shows such as Girls, Sex Education and Conversations with Friends under her belt.

But now, she has confessed that the chore of juggling single motherhood and her career is a struggle.

She told Harper's Bazaar: 'I know there are single mothers who are actors, but I just don't know them. There's sort of no way to do it harmoniously.'

Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jon Kopaloff - Getty Images

Kirk, whose breakout role was in the hit coming-of-age comedy drama Girls, alongside creator Lena Dunham, continued: 'It sucks as a parent and it sucks as actor, because when you're not shooting, you are still supposed to be doing your homework— learning your lines and thinking and practicing.'

Kirk played free-spirited, high-risk and impulsive Jessa Johansson in all six seasons of the series. More recently, she landed the role of urban writer Melissa in romance drama Conversations with Friends, starring Joe Alwyn.

While she originally turned down the latter series to prioritise spending time with her family, she felt obliged to reconsider her initial decision.

She explained: 'When I get back from shooting, I want to make up for lost time.

Referring to character Melissa, she said: 'I thought, This character is nuanced in a way I haven't had the opportunity to do very often.

'She felt like less of archetype.'

Photo credit: Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images

In 2017, Kirk's Girls co-star Dunham revealed that the London-born New York-raised actor tried to quit the series after just one season.

Speaking to Glamour at the time, Dunham (who plays main character Hannah Horvath), said: 'I think it’s time for us to disclose to the world that, like, three days before season two, Jemima tried to quit.'

She added: '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."'

Kirk then explained her initial feelings about leaving the series, saying: 'My sense of who I was and what I wanted was really thin.

'I really wasn’t sure what the f**k I was doing.'

Photo credit: Paul Bruinooge - Getty Images
Photo credit: Paul Bruinooge - Getty Images

She went on to admit that had she left at that point, it would have meant missing out on her favourite on-set experience: 'My best day was the day that I experienced what it’s like to be picked up [in the air] by Adam Driver,' she said.

Dunham herself has been open about the subject of motherhood, though her experience relates to her difficult IVF journey.

After writing a candid personal essay for Harper's Magazine, she recalled the moment she learned fertilising her eggs wasn't possible, writing: 'The dark room, the glowing dish, the sperm meeting my dusty eggs so violently that they combusted. It was hard to understand that they were gone.'

Photo credit: Steve Zak Photography - Getty Images
Photo credit: Steve Zak Photography - Getty Images

She later opened up to People about her infertility, specifically after having her cervix, uterus and an ovary removed at 31 due to chronic endometriosis.

'This journey has forced me to rethink what motherhood will look like,' she told the news outlet.

The Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood star said: 'My entire career, the thing that has felt like a driving factor for me in many ways has been this thought of, "What can I do to normalise challenging topics that many women may feel like they are alone in experiencing but are actually universal and yet women have been made to feel shameful about?"'

'Never has been that truer than in grappling with my infertility and the loss of my fertility, and the pain and the shame that came with it.'

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