Born: May 13, 1986 New York, New York
Occupation: Actress, Writer, and Director
Marital Status: Dating Jack Ontonoff (Lead Guitarist of FUN.)
Education: Saint Ann’s School, Oberlin College
“It’s very easy for me to say what success is. I think success is connecting with an audience who understands you and having a dialogue with them. I think success is continuing to push yourself forward creatively and not sort of becoming a caricature of yourself.”
It’s staggering to think of what Lena Dunham has accomplished at such a young age. She writes, directs and stars in the massively popular and award-winning series, Girls, and recently signed a lucrative book deal with Random House. However the really scary thing is she shows no signs of letting up.
Dunham, the daughter of painter Caroll Dunham and photographer Laurie Simmons, grew up in Soho. She attended Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where she met future Girls co-star, Jemima Kirke. After graduating high school, Dunham attended Oberlin College. During her tenure at Oberlin, Dunham completed three shorts, and would go on to produce her own web series after graduating from Oberlin. The series, Delusion Downtown Divas, followed the lives of three women who were raised in the art world.
Dunham’s path to stardom would begin in 2010 when she produced the short film, Tiny Furniture. It’s a semi-autobiographical story about a college grad that gets dumped by her significant other, and, subsequently, moves back home with her mom and sister. Dunham shot the film in her family’s apartment in just 18 days. It wound up winning the South by Southwest Film Festival’s best narrative feature award.
Tiny Furniture caught the attention of writer and director Judd Apatow, producer of Hollywood hits Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, and Superbad. Apatow is the executive producer of Dunham’s original series, Girls. The show airs on HBO, and follows the disastrous lives of four young women in New York City. Dunham stars in, as well as directs and writes for the series.
Girls tends to push the envelope with its very dark humor, provocative topics, and unforgiving nude scenes–done mostly by Dunham herself. While perhaps being the most polarizing show on television, it has received four Emmy Nominations, and won two Golden Globes.
In more recent news, Dunham singed a $3.7 million deal with Random House for a collection of essays on sex and love. It’s tentatively called Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned. This seems to be only the beginning for Dunham.
Featured Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Hustle