The Dark Recesses of Lena's Brain
A trip down the dark recesses of Lena Dunham’s brain would be incomplete without a bunch of weird cultural references and humble brags. On Bill Simmons’s podcast the B.S. Report, Dunham essentially began the conversation with a rant on Ishtar, the 1987 flop comedy that she harbors fantasies of rebooting with two female leads, loosely based on Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple. Naturally, this fantasy led into a conversation about ‘90s female singer-songwriters, as well as the classic Lena Dunham retort, “well I was at the first Lilith fair.” Ok, Lena.
When she wasn’t rocking out to serious lady vocalists, young Lena Dunham was engaged in intense virtual love affairs with a considerable number of teenage heartthrobs. Dunham lists Brad Renfro and Jimmy Fallon as two of her most serious adolescent crushes, and offers some pretty choice quotes on the other men in her life.
On Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone: “I was very attracted to Macaulay Culkin like when I was six and he was eight. That was what I thought a sexy person was.”
On Jared Leto in My So-Called Life: “The things he awakened in me can never be put back to sleep.” To be fair, this is pretty accurate/universal.
These days, it seems that Dunham’s appetite for pop culture has evolved from solo celebs to celeb couples. In the interview, she describes her passion for seemingly random celebrity pairings. She also reveals that her current boyfriend, Fun.’s Jack Antonoff, was actually one half of a delightfully weird celebrity couple—Scarlett Johansson was his high school girlfriend.
Speaking of pop culture, Lena Dunham’s “life’s great passion is the idea of being a guest star on Scandal,” and she thinks “Shonda Rhimes is a fucking genius.” In case you were wondering.
The hour-long interview featured a few great moments of epic hyperbole, and a handful of Hannah Horvath-esque explorations of the extremely myopic and incredibly personal.
On the premise of Girls: “People coming to New York to make their fortune is literally the oldest story that exists, it’s kind of the basis of almost every sitcom that’s ever existed.” Fact check, please?
On her expanding dress collection: “If I don’t have a daughter, someone better do a museum show.”
On fashion: “I actually get sort of a perverse pleasure from being told I look horrible”
On her Bar Mitzvah year: “I had the busiest social calendar in New York”
More on her Bar Mitzvah year: “Having two dresses for Bar Mitzvah season is like pathetic.”
Near the end of the interview, Dunham and Simmons discussed the Jezebel/Vogue photoshopping controversy. While Dunham said she didn’t have a problem with the site before the incident, she can’t bring herself to fully forgive this “monumental error in their approach to feminism.” She also reiterated that she felt immensely honored to cover Vogue, and that their minimal photoshopping was tasteful and inoffensive.
Dunham also had some serious words to spare on the topic of female show runners and women-centric television. Taking the industry to task, she explained, “networks seem almost pathologically incapable of understanding that women make up over 52 percent of the planet, and therefore programming that has women at its center is not a fad or a trend, it’s a necessary expression, and it’s a necessary part of media.”
For Girls fans, Dunham promised a few major “swerves” in the remaining episodes of the third season. She also mentioned her upcoming book tour, which is sure to be the controversial sound bite gift that keeps on giving.