Allison Williams

Who she is in real life: Born in Connecticut, the 23-year-old daughter of television producer Jane Stoddard and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams couldn’t seriously pursue an acting career until she fulfilled her promise to her parents to graduate college. During her four years at Yale, Allison was part of the improv troupe Just Add Water and was inducted to the school’s secret society, St. Elmo.

Late in 2010, only months after moving to L.A. after getting her bachelor’s degree in English, Williams was invited to audition for Girls by the show’s producer Judd Apatow, who believed she possessed the aura that captured her character Marnie after seeing her in the video Mad Men. . . With a Twist.