SXSW 2012: Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow Discuss HBO Project “Girls”
At only 25 years old, Lena Dunham is a familiar face at SXSW.
"Girls" gives a comedic look into the trials and tribulations of women in their early 20's living in New York City. Dunham stars in the show.
Dunham, who specializes in writing based on real life and post-collegiate relationships, explained she creates characters that are tightly linked to real life counterparts.
In “Tiny Furniture,” she even starred alongside her real life mother and sister.
But television is a different world altogether.
“It’s a luxury to be able to spend more time with characters,” said Dunham. “There’s a whole journey to take.”
HBO gave the young director the liberty to explore the ideas she wanted – no matter how daring or risqué. In fact, the entire panel commented on how wonderful it is to work with HBO due to their encouragement of freedom of expression.
Unlike many other carefully planned television shows, the “Girls” script was not predetermined; ideas come to Dunham as she goes, allowing the story to unfold before her eyes. Relationships and conflicts emerged that she never saw coming.
Dunham admits she tends to get either the warmest or most hostile reactions from her female audience. Yet despite any criticism, she stays true to her vision.
“I felt there was a space for a character – not fat, not thin, not confident, not not confident… a woman character not on the extremes,” said Dunham.
“Girls” producer Judd Apatow, most known for directing “Knocked Up” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” said he was attracted to the project because no other show has addressed the awkward period between college and real life.
“It’s a real underdog, coming of age story,” explained Apatow.