‘Girls’ Showrunner Jenni Konner on the Secrets of Lena Dunham

Jenni Konner Lena Dunham
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For Variety’s latest issue, we asked “Girls” showrunner Jenni Konner to write a tribute for Lena Dunham, one of 50 people to make our New Power of New York list. Here’s why Dunham represents a new generation of movers and shakers that capture the best of Manhattan.  

Lena Dunham texts me every morning the minute she wakes up to make sure I’m alive. That might seem insane to you. I’m not completely sure why she does it. It might be love. It might be a morbid curiosity. It might be her OCD.

Yes. She has OCD. But you already know that, because Lena Dunham has already shared that with you. Just like so many parts of herself, she has boldly given them to you. And you, like me, are so lucky. Because maybe it makes you feel understood. Maybe it makes you laugh. Maybe it makes you feel seen and heard like you never really have. Or maybe it grosses you out (she loves to gross me out, and I’m her best friend).

Maybe it shocks you. But it always has a powerful effect. And that is the gift of Lena. She will offer what you can’t. You might think it, but she will say it. (She says it to me, all day every day, even when all I want to do is nap or read a book.)

Things you may not know that Lena loves: injured dogs, wallpaper, the moment she’s allowed to change into her own clothes after a nude scene, apologizing when she’s done something she knows merits it, pissing off men who remind her of her grandpa, buying tons of tiny things for my kids, justice, babies.

She still has some secrets. She might share them with you one day. Or maybe she’ll keep them to herself. Either way, she still has a hell of a lot left to say. Including the joke above about how she never stops sharing. She wrote that. She just can’t help herself.

Jenni Konner is the showrunner, director and executive producer of “Girls.” Read our full New Power of New York List here, as well as tributes for Leslie Jones (by Lena Dunham), Ben Smith (by David Remnick) and Chelsea Clinton (by Bill Clinton)