Lena Dunham: I don't look like people on TV
April 16th, 2012
06:06 PM ET

Lena Dunham: I don't look like people on TV

If the new HBO series "Girls" feels very realistic to you, that's not by accident.

The show's creator/director/star Lena Dunham didn't have to look far for material. The actress and "It" comedy girl of the moment sat down with CNN during SXSW and explained where she found the inspiration for her tales of a group of 20-somethings navigating life in the Big Apple.

"It's based on my life, it's based on the life of my friends, the life of my writing staff," she said. "It's sort of a hybrid of the experiences of many girls I know and love as they try to make their way in New York."

The show takes a light-hearted look at some pretty heavy subjects, including abortion and sexually transmitted diseases, and so far Dunham says nothing has been off limits. But that's not to say that she hasn't self-regulated with some things.

"I've sort of tried to avoid things that felt like, 'been there, done that' girl TV show things," she said. "I don't want anything where everyone gets their period at the same time, I don't want it where one girl steals another's boyfriend. I want to avoid the sort of traditional areas that have been trod on again and again and sort of keep it fresh."

The new series has been hailed as an authentic portrayal of the lives and loves of young women in the 21st century, not to mention a more realistic portrayal of beauty.

"I don't look like everybody that you usually see on television," Dunham said. "I wanted to make sure to cast actresses who were beautiful, but beautiful the way that your sexiest friend is beautiful not beautiful the way that someone who is on a CW show is beautiful."

Like her show's producer, Judd Apatow, Dunham doesn't think women finding success in comedy is new. Rather, the overwhelming reception of projects like Apatow's "Bridesmaids" is just elevating the discussion.

"It's not news to us," she said. "Not to generalize, but I often feel like women have better senses of humor about themselves. I think people are discovering, not just that women can be funny, but that people are willing to pay to see women be funny."

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. facebook like page

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    April 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kelly B

    Oh a middle-upper class white girl with small, silly, selfish problems...has she seen what is playing on TV recently?
    Just watch the "things girls say" videos on youtube...less time lost and just as funny.

    April 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Beth Berry

    Thought it was hilarious. I know women like this, and yeah, they are pretty damned funny.

    April 19, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ted

    Another unrealistic, really bad show set in New York City with no one interesting or non-white, ran by yet more famous people's children with little measurable talent. It's supposed to somehow be revolutionary because it's about hipsters.

    No one cares that she doesn't look like everyone else. People are peeved because the show sucked after the entire media spent a month giving it unprecedented coverage and kissing its rear end.

    But Lord forbid if anyone point that out. We're somehow being haters for pointing out the truth. The show blows, she got it because of who her parents and those of her cast mate are (as do many famous people) and had it been anyone else it never would have gotten this ridiculous p.r.

    Oh but look she's not average-sized. Let's focus on that. No, Lena, that's not the objection. The objection is your comedy is unfunny, puts you to sleep faster than Tylenol PM, was the most absurdly covered t.v. show ever before it aired and now has been shown to be wretched. Oh, but it's so unfair. You're not regular sized. You can't be expected to actually look around you in NYC, a city 65% non-white and notice anyone who doesn't look like you. Sure you got the job through nepotism, but we're just being mean pointing that out.

    Hollywood sucks. It's losing money. And instead of trying to give people what they want or listening they insist on digging in deeper to a failing formula. Good luck with that. Don't come whining to the audience when that doesn't work and they opt not to watch (which they already have opted not to do.)

    April 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ed

    Hey! It's the coffee shop girl from The Innkeepers. Good for her.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. duh

    don't forget the morons

    April 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hippie Jim

    Hippies can post here too. Mormons AND hippies.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tiny

    They keep blocking my comments

    April 17, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. .•|•.

    @Lisa Respers France, No AI live blog this year? 🙁

    April 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Al Kada

    I got news for you: most people on TV look like cr@p until they spend 2 hours in the makeup chair.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Red Foreman

    women think they have a sense of humor, but honestly, there are not that many funny women out there. kathy griffin is a prime example. just a mean b!tch.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Barbara Schwatz

    I liked it..gritty but real. I see potential in the characters and want to see more.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |

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