Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 02:30 am est

‘Girls’ star branches out with writing, directing

Posted on February 19, 2013 | by Will Landman



Alex Karpovsky is a very busy man. In addition to starring in HBO’s “Girls” as Ray Ploshansky, Karpovsky directed, wrote and starred in two movies — “Rubberneck” and “Red Flag” — which will be premiering as a double feature this Friday at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. But he does not find his schedule overwhelming.

“Usually I’m on [a project] for one or two to three days,” Karpovsky said. “So it really doesn’t take up that much time. At least it doesn’t feel that way.”

Despite the large number of projects and characters that he takes on, Karpovsky makes sure to fully commit to each endeavor.

“My big thing is to make sure I understand what I’m doing in a fundamental, comprehensive sense,” he said. “I want to know if I totally understand what this character’s about, what his motivation is during the scene [and] how this will seem appropriate to the bigger picture. I just want to make sure I get it, that I get everything.”

In “Rubberneck,” Karpovsky plays a Boston research scientist named Paul. Months after a weekend fling, Paul continues to lust after his coworker Danielle (Jamie Ray Newman).

This role came naturally to Karpovsky. “My dad’s a scientist,” he said. “I grew up in a community of scientists, so it was easy for me to draw from that and the general personality traits from these scientists.”

In “Red Flag,” however, Karpovsky’s part reflects his own personality. In the film, he is a newly single indie filmmaker who is traveling to promote his film “Woodpecker,” a film he actually directed in 2008. Alex is forced to suffer through a series of humiliations, each one more absurd and comical to watch than the last.

“I took my genuine fears and insecurities, basically amplifying them for comedic effect,” Karpovsky said. “I find that stuff funny. Woody Allen used to do that. Louis C.K. kind of does that with his show. At this point, I feel I know a portion of who I am and I have enough perspective on some of my traits to caricature myself for comedic effect.”

Karpovsky was also eager to share his advice for the aspiring writers, directors and actors of NYU.

“I think, right now, more than any other time, there is no excuse not to make your film,” he said. “There are many ways to raise money, and we don’t have to bend over to executives as much anymore. The resources are there, your excuses are empty. Go out and make your movie. Take your time, do it right, but set a deadline.”

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 19 print edition. Will Landman is a contributing writer. Email him at


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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