Lena Dunham stole the show at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards last night when just a few seconds into her speech she said, “I have to take my shoes off you guys, I’m so sorry.” She then removed her skyhigh Brian Atwood heels and the audience fell in love with her even more. It is these very honest moments that make us think Lena can be the next Nora Ephron, her own version of course, and build an entertainment empire of television, movies, plays and books.
In a new interview with Esquire she said she wants a career as vast and multi-dimensional as Ephron’s. She told the magazine:
“I admired her so much, but I imagined she lived on the hundredth floor of a beautiful building uptown where no one could ever reach her. And you hear these stories about her being kind of tough and scaring the bejesus out of people, and those stories made her even cooler, because she was able to make so many people feel happy, at home, and welcome but also able to make crew guys cower in their boots and get what she needed to get done, done.”
But Dunham is quite cool because she is honest and does what people want to do but are probably too scared to do it, like take off their shoes at awards shoes. She has a “refreshing breed of confidence and humility,” says Rebecca Adams of The Huffington Post. During her speech she also said, “I mess up and I fall down and I tweet dumb shit and I forget my Spanx…” Who can’t relate to that?
It is that mix of confidence and humility that allows her to create so-called unlikeable characters, especially female ones. “I don’t always like myself, and I don’t always like the people that I love, and I don’t understand why I have to like the people on TV,” Lena said.
People didn’t even know Dunham’s name three years ago and now arguably she is a household name or at the very least an “it girl.” I cannot think of another show that got people talking, even before it aired, as much as her show Girls. In New York Magazine, before the pilot aired, Emily Nussbaum wrote:
“When a TV critic reports on a new show… one shouldn’t go native. One should probably also talk in the third person. In this case, however, I’ll have to make an exception. Because from the moment I saw the pilot of Girls, I was a goner, a convert.”
Clearly Dunham has gotten a lot of people to go native with Girls as it was nominated for 5 Emmy’s and renewed for a second season on HBO. Dunham also just got a $3.5 million memoir/advice book deal so I’d say an empire is very likely.
But as much as Dunham has been praised she has equally been criticized for her sudden rise to notoriety. She told Esquire:
“People are ultimately threatened by young people taking positions of power. But there’s also this feeling of I could do that, too. People don’t feel rabidly jealous of Larry David or Salman Rushdie because they don’t think, I could do that. And with what I’ve done, I think a lot of people think, I could do that in my sleep. If I’d just met one person along my path, I would have that TV show.“
Well, I think it’s a little more than Lena Dunham just meeting Judd Apatow but she makes an interesting point. I do think Lena will build an empire, she just may not do while wearing heels.
Photo: Patricia Schlein/WENN.com