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11/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/17/2021 12:06

Pauline Chalamet Goes Chasing Waterfalls as Smart But Naive Kimberly in THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS

By BILL HARRIS Special to The Lede Pauline Chalamet's character, Kimberly, makes a profound and slightly heartbreaking observation in the first episode of the new HBO Max Original series THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS. Kimberly, who is from Arizona, takes in the picturesque setting of Essex College in Vermont, and considers the fellow students she has met, and acknowledges, "I didn't know how rich everyone would be." Rest assured, THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS, which debuts Thursday, Nov. 18 with two episodes on Crave, is a comedy at heart. But Kimberly's words are poignant, and they kind of set up the push-and-pull of the entire series. Created by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS focuses on four female first-year students who didn't know each other beforehand, but wind up being roommates. Kimberly is the only one of the four who needs to get a job to help support herself, and Chalamet said she relates to her character in that regard. "Yes, 100%, it's just true, and it's very similar to my own college experience," said Chalamet, who is the older sister of actor Timothée Chalamet. "I got into a private college (Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.), and I was like, 'What? There are 10 people in the class? There's a gorgeous campus to walk around? There's transportation provided by the school to get from one point of the campus to the other?' It was like, 'wow, what is this?' So I think that certainly for me, and my relationship to Kimberly, It was definitely a way in." Chalamet was born and raised in New York, but her father is French, and she has studied, worked, and lived in Paris. So on the one hand she fully understands the U.S. college system, but on the other hand she also realizes how odd it sometimes can seem to the rest of the world. "I think for Americans, it's a time in one's life that a lot of stories are based on, because it's kind of a very unique experience of this middle ground, right between childhood and adulthood," Chalamet said. "And I know, for instance, in France, and in other European countries, you go to university, and it doesn't necessarily have to be where you're from, but you'll often come home on the weekends, and there isn't necessarily a campus. In the U.S., there's this idea that you live in a bubble for four years. There's this notion that you grow into yourself in those four years. So it's a prime space for story-inventing." THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS certainly has plenty of stories to tell. Kimberly's roommates are ambitious Bela, played by Amrit Kaur; snooty Leighton, played by Reneé Rapp; and soccer star Whitney, played by Alyah Chanelle Scott. All four are facing their own struggles as they navigate classroom workloads, parental expectations, sexual freedom, and much more. Kimberly is kind of the rube of the group - not in terms of intelligence, she's clearly very smart, but she's a bit naive, and a tad gullible, and has some blindspots when it comes to pop-culture coolness. Chalamet was asked if she expects to hear any feedback from real Arizona residents. "I actually really related to Kimberly on that, too," Chalamet said. "Often growing up, I would be unaware of certain cultural phenomena, or things that were happening in the U.S., or songs on the radio. Like, I recently discovered the song Waterfalls by TLC - you know, 'don't go chasing waterfalls … ' " Chalamet sang the line very stylishly and accurately. "And my friends were like, 'You don't know this? It's a very, very famous song.' And I was like, 'noooooo,' " Chalamet continued. "I think I actually discovered that song while I was on this show. So I really understand. But one does not negate the other. You can be very smart, and very aware of certain things, and yet really not know what's going on with other things. I don't think that's only Arizona." The first season of THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS has 10 episodes. Following the two-episode debut, the series continues with three new episodes dropping on both Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, and the final two episodes on Dec. 9. [email protected] @billharris_tv