“People often say being an ambitious artist is being a dogged artist. I am not an ‘at any cost’ person; I care about the cost. I was prolific in my 20s in this duck kicking under the water, exhausting way. Now, I feel I have a more even understanding of my abilities—and how to channel them.”
-Lena Dunham, episode 285 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today we’re joined by Lena Dunham! We start by discussing her new film, Sharp Stick (6:20), the 1970s cinema that inspired it (9:50), and how it offers a “three-way mirror” to the female experience (12:41). Then, Lena reflects on meeting Judd Apatow on the heels of Tiny Furniture (15:39), her rapid ascension following Girls (17:39), the pain and power of grappling with OCD on the show (23:11), the genius of season five’s “The Panic in Central Park” (29:35), and how she’s continued to learn from public criticisms (35:27).
On the back-half, we sit with the end of Girls (43:59), the aftermath of that decade (49:57), the new creative path Lena had to forge (55:46), the prophetic presence of her father (1:00:27), the inspiration that is her mother (1:01:47), and the dreams she has for the years ahead—on the screen, and off (1:06:54).
- Purchase tickets to see Sharp Stick in theaters.
- Watch Girls on HBO and Lena’s first feature film, Tiny Furniture.
- See The Panic in Central Park from Season 5 of Girls.
- Follow Lena on Instagram and Twitter.
- Listen to her Luminary podcast, The C-Word.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Jon Bernthal, Laura Dern, Ethan Hawke, Jenny Slate, Steven Soderbergh, Janicza Bravo, Pedro Pascal, and Questlove.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi. Reference photograph by Jeff Vespa.
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