You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lena Dunham: ‘Furniture’ hyphenate heads to HBO

10 TV Scribes to Watch

In the span of a little more than a year, 24-year-old writer-director-actor Lena Dunham went from obscure indie artist to acclaimed filmmaker and latenight talkshow guest with the release of her little film that could, “Tiny Furniture” — and is now bringing all her talents to upcoming HBO project “Girls.”

Dunham’s work showcases her blunt self-awareness as a writer and performer, and her raw, self-deprecating sense of humor (in “Tiny Furniture” her sister calls Dunham “over-share-y.”)

Dunham’s parents are both artists, and as a child she wrote stories, drew and put on epic plays. While a student at Oberlin College, she dabbled in poetry and playwriting.

“Neither was truly my medium,” Dunham says. “I was always trying to find the right way to tell a story and hadn’t yet discovered that television and film were options, so I’d tell stories that probably should have been half-hour dramedies, but do it in the form of a weird haiku or overwrought stage play.”

Then she made her first short film. “I’d never felt that addictive, slightly nauseating mix of anxiety and euphoria before,” she says.

All her interests twined in her current gig writing, directing and co-starring in “Girls.” It is exec produced by Judd Apatow, who was so impressed with “Tiny Furniture” that he reached out to Dunham via email.

She was already writing the “Girls” pilot, but Apatow eagerly came aboard to nudge it along.

“He has inspired, expedited, protected, advised, pitched,” Dunham says. “It’s been an incredible working relationship and learning experience.”

Dunham’s also adapting the popular young adult novel “Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.”

“The story really resonated with me,” she says. “It’s about anxious, complicated teenagers coming of age in New York, struggling with issues of identity, disconnection and the insane volume of shoppers at Macy’s during Christmas.”

Down the road, Dunham would love to leave modern times. “I’ve always wanted to make a realistic period piece,” she says, “something that still makes people laugh and cringe the way a naturalistic current comedy can.”

Rising writers take biggest step
Alex Cary | Whitney Cummings | Lena Dunham | John Enbom | David Hudgins | Rolin Jones | Kyle Killen | Chris Provenzano | Emily Spivey | Hilary Winston

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content