“All my memories are tied up in the show and that’s really powerful!” proclaims Lena Dunham looking back on her series “Girls.” In our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), she adds, “I moved out of my parents’ house. I entered my first long term relationship. I had my first job. I had my first heartbreak. I had my first moving in with a boyfriend. I had my first creative differences. Friend breakups. Everything happened against the backdrop of the show. To me, growing up and making ‘Girls’ are completely indistinguishable from each other. I can watch an episode and while somebody else just sees one where Hannah does cocaine, I see ‘oh that was the one where me and my best friend got into a terrible fight.'”
After playing Hannah Horvath for six years on the show she created, Dunham reveals it was hard saying goodbye: “The last scene we shot was when Hannah was walking home pants-less being followed by the police officer. Of course it was very fitting that my last scene was without pants. As I started to realize that it was the last scene, I started to cry. Since the scene didn’t require crying, finally we had to put a stop to it. Because once they started, there was no way they were going to stop. When they called cut I felt pride and excitement, but I also felt terror about what was next.”
Dunham also felt terror when they called action on her first day of the series co-starring Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and Allison Williams, but for different reasons: “I was like ‘can I do this? What if I f*** this up? What if I prove to people this is why you don’t give shows to 25-year-old girls. What If I screw everything up?’ I was terrified.” She explains, “There’s a huge pressure on women. Every woman who’s given an opportunity in Hollywood is viewed as a litmus test for everyone’s opportunity. When a man has a failure it’s considered his own. When a woman has a failure it’s considered a failure for women at large.”
In the final season of the show Dunham tackled sexism head on with the ‘American Bitch’ episode of the series. She says, “That was the episode where I put out all my feelings about misogamy. From the casting couch to anywhere. Where women feel pressure to have a romantic interaction rather than a creative one. I wanted to have a nuanced conversation and have a suspenseful story that felt like its own film. We wrote that long before the Trump ‘grab them by the pussy’ situation. And we were actually shooting the episode when that came out. it was really wild to be shooting that episode while the person who was a frontrunner for President of our country was caught glorifying sexual assault on tape. It was painful to put that episode out and hear how many women had those experiences.”
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