Lena Dunham: The world is smaller thanks to girls

Slate.com spoke at length with young series creator Lena Dunham girls, on HBO, which also embodies the main character: Hana. In this second part of the interview, Dunham talks about his relationship with the cast, his writing, and the influence of Sex and the City. (The first part of the interview is here.)

girls It has been broadcast in France since September 18 on Orange Cinéma Series. The second series will begin in the United States in January 2013.

Dear Reader Beware, this article contains spoilers at the end of Season 1.


MEgan O’Rourke: Let’s talk a little more about the last episode. What I love is that it subverts the classic narrative rules of romantic comedy: Generally speaking, a woman wants a man to move in with her (or marry her), and he ends up accepting, she’s happy. here is Adam [le compagnon de l’héroïne, Hannah] Says “Well, I want to live with youAnd Hana has a very contradictory reaction.

Did you think about this adventure from the beginning or did it come to you while you were writing?

Lena Dunham: I found it while writing. I knew roughly where the characters had to go and what kind of discoveries they had to make. But it was one day, as the show kicked off and its dynamic grew – especially between Hannah and Adam – that things really came into focus. Suddenly, I understood they had to play this kind of escape – me – following you – it was obvious and it would also reveal a lot of things about their personality, even if we have the impression that we already know them excellent. In fact, that ending was the hardest thing to write all season, because I didn’t know if we’d be able to continue the series. I wanted an ending that, if it was to become the final ending, would hold up, and be an outcome that would give viewers a satisfying sense that they understood multiple aspects of the character. And I also wanted to start something else.

I can not say, it was difficult to write and photograph. But I was really blown away by Adam and in the end, it was a real exercise in humility.

Adam Driver and Lena Dunham

O’Rourke: Do you think he will be one of the most popular characters on the show?

Dunham: You know, he’s possessed me. He had no idea what impression he could make on people. The writing of Adam’s character was probably the funniest thing in the series. For the author, she is a marvel, and as an actor, he can do anything. We really got a very small glimpse of Adam Driver’s talent. I also found the character very interesting, and was interested to see if others could see it that way. What I mean is, yeah, he’s sexy, but there’s also something very weird about him that doesn’t necessarily make him attractive to average Americans. On Twitter, many women shyly admitted to me the impact it had on them. I answered them:Hey girl, I must have written a million sex scenes where I have to touch her naked body, so totally get the thing!“.

O’Rourke: He also has a lot of charisma.

Dunham: He is an extraordinary actor. As a playmate he is always eager to explore, he is very generous. Working with him – as an improv and in general, because he is a very caring guy – made me understand a lot about the development of his relationship with Hannah and also affected a lot on my character, in the end.

O’Rourke: So there’s a bit of improvisation, but the series is very scripted, very framed…

Dunham: We always start with a very narrow text. But there are always elements of improvisation that we slip into as quickly as possible. Even if we only keep 0.1% of the optimizations at the end, they’ll generate some of the best, most anticipated and weirdest fonts in the series.

Minor characters for comic breath

O’Rourke: What about the other characters? Did you know that Shoshana will be what she has been from the start, the kind of clown who allows for a very special comedic breath, but who doesn’t prevent connection and recognition as well?

Dunham: From the start, it was clear that Shoshana would serve as a counterpoint to the other girls’ world. But it stopped there. She was not even considered the fourth daughter. I thought we’d really distinguish ourselves Sex and the Cityfrom a kind of “We have three daughters, they are four, that’s it“.

Then Zosia Mamet came on set and she was so amazing… I felt like the show happened need to Of which. It gives her another completely different dimension, which instantly makes her an ordinary person. I had imagined almost from the start that Shoshana was a virgin, but all this inner and strange life that she lived, I hadn’t thought of yet when writing the pilot.

Zosia Mamet

O’Rourke: It’s really weird.

Dunham: Yes, and it’s also funny because it’s totally weird and totally normal, all rolled into one.

O’Rourke: It’s the one that results in the most “female” stereotypes, with the princess room and pink clothes.

Dunham: I think she does it because she feels Is that true Basically a fool. I think she forces herself to have those kinds of tastes that she considers “typical” American, because on the inside, she feels like a foreigner. Somehow, she can’t even admit to her weirdness because of her mentality I’m not like the others, I’m a mutant It annoys her a lot.

Sex and the City, © HBO

O’Rourke: what do you think of Sex and the City? Is it one of the series you watched?

Dunham: clearly. I was relatively young when it started broadcasting, maybe 12 or 13, and I loved watching it. I’ve seen all seasons before I had sex. This series has been very important to me. Watching it with my mother, I got a complete obsession, without attaching it to my life, because of my age and my interests at the time. It was kind of the same with OceanFor example: I really liked the universe, but it wasn’t for me Globalism. But I respect this series very much, and I think it allowed for a lot of discussion. I also think so girls You can’t talk about a lot of things if they don’t exist Sex and the City.

O’Rourke: Do you have a favorite character in girls?

Dunham: No, it’s not Hana! I mean, she’s very close to me and I have a lot of fun writing her character, but I do it without even thinking about it, it’s almost automatic.

My preferences change all the time. I really love Adam, Ray; I really like all the boys in the series. My parents too. But it really changes from week to week. It depends on where I am at a particular moment, and the character I want to write. I will say that I learned a lot from Adam’s character. It was very helpful.

O’Rourke: You are shooting the second season. Do you get the impression of seeing the characters evolve and evolve?

Dunham: Yes sure. We’re still in the middle of it, with the last two episodes finished, but you’re really going to see a shift in the way they look at things, a real maturity. If we continue with Season 3, we may reach a point where the series will be called girlsBut it will include women, not girls. evolve. They still keep their brands, but they change frequently. I’m fuzzy, huh, like I’m protecting spoilers from Lost.

O’Rourke: “Girls” is also a word that has an expiration date.

Dunham: Clear. What I found funny about this title, among other things, is that it could one day talk about characters who are 35 years old, have children, but are still called girls. In fact, this title came after a lot of others, too awful for me to repeat, all of them containing “girls” on one level or another. So I said to myselfAnd girlsshort?“Then I told my dad about it, and then when there was all this horde of shows with the word ‘girl’ in the title, I asked him, ‘”Do we change it? Wouldn’t that be redundant?He answered me.No, I found the meta address, keep itI said to myself.Cool, I found the meta address. Sold“.

O’Rourke: Watching the series live its life, and meet the audience’s reactions, what is the most surprising thing?

Dunham: The thing I liked, and which I already tried to a lesser degree small furniture [film indépendant de Lena Dunham réalisé avant Girls], is that I spent so much time, when I was younger, feeling like an extraterrestrial, that I had great difficulty imagining that my feelings could speak to anyone. at girlsI put a lot of things very personal and specific, the character goes through many emotions mine…and in the end, a lot of girls told me”This is who I am” where “You and I are the sameIt annoyed me.

The world is smaller, and I think that’s the most amazing and most informative thing about this series, to me. It’s amazing to feel such a connection, when I used to feel, I don’t know, isolated… Like a 98-year-old woman locked in the body of a 17-year-old. A bit full.

Megan O’Rourke

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Translated by Peggy Saster

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