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Alex Karpovsky on Casting Girls’ Muzzled Staten Island Dog

Writer and director Alex Karpovsky attends
Alex Karpovsky. Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

At the end of last week’s Girls, we saw Ray (Alex Karpovsky) have a good, soul-searching cry alongside his new friend, a dog. (Like Ray, the dog is homeless and angry.) “They cast against type,” Karpovsky told us at a screening of his movie Red Flag last night. “They could have gone for the rottweiler or pit bull — that was sort of how it was initially written — but they went with a dog that was a little bit smaller and scrawnier. They wanted the dog to reflect me, a dog that had insecurities and self-loathing.” The producers auditioned a bunch of dogs, then introduced him to the five or six finalists. “I kept telling them, ‘Don’t pay attention to anything but his eyes. Just make sure he’s got sad, deep eyes’ … I wanted to work with a dog that was unhinged because, ultimately, he was lonely. That’s what Ray is: He’s a guy that gets really angry and cynical and judgmental, but if you spend time with him, you realize it’s coming from a very sad and insecure place.” Aww, Ray. Then Karpovsky gave us a vaguely perverted explanation for why, as a man, he likes Girls:  

Girls gives me, personally, a very voyeuristic and honest glimpse into the female mind. There is nothing more interesting to me than that. For a host of reasons, it’s something that’s so unfamiliar and forbidden to me. I fantasized all the time when I was a teenager of planting hidden microphones in the girls’ locker room and hearing what they talk about.”

Alex Karpovsky on Casting Girls’ Muzzled Dog