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'I Would Watch It Every Day': Allison Williams Dreamed of Being Peter Pan

Allison Williams is known for her role in HBO's "Girls," but will be flying high in NBC's live production of "Peter Pan," airing Thursday night.
Image: Peter Pan Live! - Season 2014
PETER PAN LIVE! Season: 2014 Pictured: (l-r) Allison Williams as Peter Pan, Christopher Walken as Captain Hook Nino Munoz/NBC

Actress Allison Williams admits she has some pretty big tights to fill — acting-wise — when it comes to playing the title role in "Peter Pan Live!"

The beloved musical, which NBC is airing in a special live production at 8 p.m. ET Thursday, originally starred Mary Martin in the iconic role on Broadway, and later Sandy Duncan and gymnast Cathy Rigby in later versions.

Williams told NBC Nightly News correspondent Harry Smith that Peter Pan has been a free-spirited character she long cherished after receiving a VHS tape of the show when she was 2. "I would watch it every day," said Williams, now 26, adding, "I was Peter Pan, and if you did not address me as thus, things weren't going to be great for you."

Williams, the daughter of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and co-star of HBO's "Girls," has been practicing since September in a role that combines singing, dancing and sword fighting. While both fans and critics of the musical will be watching closely, Williams said, she's more concerned with making the show as magical as possible. "It won’t be for everybody. Not everyone is going to like me," she said. "But the thing is, we have all been working so hard and we have been having so much fun putting this together that I just can’t wait for people to see it," she added.

"Peter Pan Live!" follows NBC's live production of last year's "The Sound of Music," which attracted 18 million viewers. Williams said that if she's doing it right, viewers unfamiliar with Peter Pan and his never-grow-up attitude won't notice that the eternal boy is — once again — being played by an adult woman. "There’s a reason people connect to Peter Pan, and hopefully, we will remind people of what that is," she said.