Whether you love HBO’s Girls or hate it, you have to admit that its writer, director, and star, Lena Dunham, is pretty fucking open with her life. Like, the most open ever. To the point that even though her character is named Hannah and not Lena, it seems to be based on her, with her own thoughts and reactions. Which is super refreshing, because even though I can only truly speak for myself, there are things I’ve seen on that show that I have to assume have occurred to many of us…but that I personally would never in a million years have the balls to publicize.
So is Lena the real-life version of Hannah? Or is Hannah completely fake, sharing none of Lena’s personality traits, quirks, or experiences? Or actually — does it really matter? Regardless, Lena is breaking some serious ground, here, and she has every reason in the world to be immensely proud of herself and (I think) what she’s doing for women.
She isn’t a supermodel, but she has no problem getting naked on camera, because that’s how she says she spends most of her time in real life. And even beyond that, she writes in lines where other characters criticize her body, like last week when she gave Jessa and Marnie a conversation about her tiny boobs. This girl is putting it all out there, and she seems to have no problem with that, which I really admire. She fuses really good writing with really solid realism…like a well-written version of reality TV, where I still have the same morbid curiosity about the characters, but I can also trust in the story arc.
In her newest interview, with The New York Times Magazine, Lena talks about living at home, her plans for age forty…and dog boners. Yup. Dog boners. I’ll let her explain that to you in the full interview, and focus on the more family-friendly aspects here. Unbeknownst to me, Lena lived at home while writing and starring in Girls, a fact which she’s apparently taken some heat for. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t seem to bother Lena, as her only response is:
“I really love living with my parents. Few people who aren’t in my family understand it.”
But as carefree as she seems, Lena does have one concern, and that’s that her legacy at Girls won’t negatively affect young and/or female show-runners in the future.
“My biggest nightmare is that I do something where they’d be like, “That’s why you don’t give shows to 25-year-old girls.” I’m always afraid that I’m being unprofessional, yet I continue to sign all my e-mails “xoxo.” All my freakouts have been pretty private and directed at family pets and/or people I have been dating for too short a time to freak out at in that way.”
Sounds exactly like Hannah talks, right? But that said, I can totally respect what she’s saying — she’s all about people in the future getting the same types of opportunities that she’s been given. And to be honest, I definitely think she’s paving the way for some great things, it’s just a matter of whether HBO agrees.