All girls grow up eventually.
With HBO's Girls returning for its sixth and final season Feb. 12, executive producer Jenni Konner conducts a group exit interview with actresses Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and Allison Williams in Glamour's February 2017 issue (on newsstands Jan. 10). In the wide-ranging cover story, the girls reveal everything from who nearly quit to who fought on set.
Here are five highlights E! News gleaned from the cast's exit interview:
1. Jemima Kirke Nearly Quit the Show Before Season 2
Given the choice for a do-over, the actress says she would go back to 2013. "Season 2 was kind of traumatic for me. I think for everyone," says Kirke, who plays Jessa Johansson. "And I know that I was a bit of a tyrant myself." As Dunham reminds her, "That was the season where you said I had to get out of your dressing room or you were gonna punch me, Jem...I think it's time for us to disclose to the world that, like, three days before season two, Jemima tried to quit."
Kirke laughs at the idea of quitting now. But at the time, "My sense of who I was and what I wanted was really thin," the actress, 31, recalls. "I really wasn't sure what the f--k I was doing."
Dunham, who was in a cab when Kirke called to deliver the news, recalls, "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.'"
2. Lena Dunham Felt Out of Place
As the show's creator, Dunham had more responsibility than her co-stars. "Sometimes I would get very lonely, because I wanted to be a part of the group, but there was also the element of, like, having to boss people around. And we would be doing all this as a team, [but] if we got criticism, I felt like it would all come down on me in this s--t-storm torrent. Even though I was surrounded by love," she admits, "there were times where I felt very 'by myself' in the process."
"Making my deal with HBO as a 23-year-old woman, I felt that I had so much to prove," the actress, 30, adds. "I felt like I had to be the person who answered emails the fastest, stayed up the latest, worked the hardest. As much as I loved my job, I really, like, injured myself in some ways. If I had felt like, 'You're worthy of eight hours of sleep, not four; you're worthy of turning your phone off on a Saturday,' I don't think it would have changed the outcome of the show."
Of course, hindsight is 20/20. "I could have worked with a sense of joy and excitement, rather than guilt and anxiety of being 'found out.' The advice I would give any woman going into a job if she has a sense of impostor syndrome would be: There will be nothing if you don't look out for you," Dunham tells her Girls colleagues. "And I can't wait, on my next project, to go into it with the strength that comes from, like, valuing your own body and your own mental health."
3. Allison Williams Wanted More Screen Time
"I started playing one person, then she evolved so much. I got to exercise all kinds of muscles," says Williams, who plays Marnie Michaels. As for "the least satisfying" part of her job, the 28-year-old actress laughs and admits, "I always wanted to be in the show more. That was my M.O. every year. I wanted to be a piece of furniture in Hannah's apartment, if that's what it took."
"Jemima just said, 'That's so typical,'" Konner says. "I was about to say, 'That's so on-brand."
"Listen, I'm consistent," Williams says. Konner replies, "You are nothing if not consistent."
4. Yes, People Fought on Set From Time to Time
"My best memory—I hope this isn't too personal, Jenni—it was on our last episode," Dunham tells her 45-year-old production partner. "You and I got in a small argument. Went in a room. And we managed to cry, apologize and work it out within three minutes, then go back to work."
Konner adds, "And then everyone outside was like, 'We heard you got in a huge fight.'
"Huge fight!" Dunham says in mock seriousness. "But I was so proud. I saw the seven years of hard work we put into [perfecting our communication], because we f--king super-processed."
5. The Cast Would Love to Tell More Girls Stories
Kirke and Williams are still very attached to their characters, and Dunham's Hannah Horvath is embedded in her DNA. Mamet, who plays Shoshana Shapiro, doesn't know that she'll ever be so in love with a role. "So often you work on another project and there's that feeling of, like, 'I think it's gonna be good, and I hope that they want to cut together my scene in a pleasant way," the 28-year-old actress says. "But there isn't just innate, intrinsic trust that exists of, like, 'Oh, no matter what happens on set, even if we all vomited, we would still make a good show.'"
"And sometimes we did vomit," Dunham jokes.
Mamet learned a lot during the hit series' six seasons, and it mad her a stronger actress as well as a stronger woman. "We were allowed to grow. Not only as ourselves but as characters," she tells her four friends. "And if I got to do that for the rest of my life, I would die a happy woman."
For more from the cast, pick up Glamour's February issue, on newsstands Jan. 10.