Lena Dunham Discusses Girls' 'Unlikable' Characters — and Reveals Why She's 'Really Proud of' Her Costars
The Girls creator opens up about her past five years on the hit series
Prior to it’s sixth and last season premiering in February 2017, Dunham recently opened up to Vogue to discuss the past five years of working on the comedy-drama, the proud moments she’s shared with her costars, the doors she’s opened for women in TV and film, and what her future holds.
“When I had my first meeting with HBO and they said, ‘What do you want to do?’ I said, ‘I don’t see anyone who’s like me or anyone I love on television,’ ” Dunham, 30, says in the interview. “And now — I’m not saying we started it, because I think we’re living in this Zeitgeisty movement toward it — but between Amy Schumer, Broad City, Mindy Kaling, that has changed.”
Executive producer Judd Apatow adds: “She completely changed the landscape. There’s an enormous amount of fantastic TV that followed in the footsteps of Girls. There was really no precedent for that level of honesty and boldness.”
Dunham — who previously swore Girls was not the new Sex and the City — along with costars Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke, portrayed a much different reality.
“I’m constantly being asked about these characters being unlikable, and I’m like, ‘What does that even mean?’ ” Dunham says. “Walter White and Tony Soprano literally murder people, and everybody’s like, ‘I love them,’ and all we do is be kind of rude and do drugs sometimes and we’re unlikable.”
Amy Schumer, who originally auditioned for the role of Shoshanna (played by Zosia Mamet), agrees.
“I think the people I am close to are tired of the polished people with their polished lives being upset their husband didn’t carry the laundry upstairs or take the garbage out,” says Schumer. “It’s fun to see people getting fired …”
Throughout the years, Dunham and her three costars have been vocal on supporting individual causes that sit near and dear to their hearts. Most recently being a public-service announcement — which all four women were involved with — calling for a more supportive environment for victims of sexual assault.
“Something I’m really proud of, is I look at this show, and we all started when we were between 22 and 25,” recalls Dunham. “It would have been very easy for all of us to go, ‘Yeah, we’re just going to fashion shows and taking free trips to St. Barth’s,’ but these women have made a really strong commitment to use their platform for something powerful. No one has used this new attention just to acquire handbags.”
As the end of Girls draws near, Dunham’s to-do list seems endless.
With a new book in the works, dedicating more time to her email newsletter “Lenny,” and writing and directing projects to “make space for giving great roles to other women and diverse women,” Dunham’s just getting started.
Girls‘ sixth and final season premieres Sunday, Feb. 12 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.