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Lena Dunham (born May 13, 1986 in New York City, New York) is an American actress, writer, and director.

A protege of Judd Apatow, Dunham is perhaps best for creating, writing, directing, and starring in the HBO series Girls, for which she's received a total of seven Emmy Award nominations in four categories note . Girls (as well as her earlier film Tiny Furniture) are considered two prominent works in the "mumblecore" genre, for better or worse.

In 2014, she published her first book of memoirs, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned", which peaked at #2 on The New York Times Best Seller list. She also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, and has guested on the shows Scandal and Adventure Time.

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Her parents are artists Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons, the latter of whom appeared as her fictional mother in Tiny Furniture. She's also been in a relationship with musician Jack Antonoff since 2012.

Dunham tends to attract controversy with her candid statements about gender, sexuality, and race. As such, Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment is strongly encouraged.


Selected filmography:

  • Girls (2012 — 2017) as Hannah Horvath note  (also writer, director, and producer)
  • This Is 40 (2012) as Cat
  • Adventure Time (2014 — 2016) as Betty Grof (voice)
  • Scandal (2015) as Susanne Thomas
  • 7 Days in Hell (2015) as Lanny Denver
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  • Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) as Joan of Arc note 
  • American Horror Story: Cult (2017) as Valerie Solanas
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) as Gypsy


Bibliography:

  • Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned" (2014)


Lena Dunham provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Controversy-Proof Image: As mentioned above, Dunham is no stranger to attracting controversy, which hasn't necessarily been reflected in her accolades and professional credits. Whether or not it's because she's talented enough to overcome it, or that she's just too much of an unknown to the general public is debatable.
  • Fat and Proud: Lena endorses fat feminism (also called body-positive feminism). She stated that she prefers being overweight claiming she was miserable in her slim figure.
  • Growing Up Sucks: The quarter-life crisis and the modern concept of "adulting" is a typical theme of her work.
  • Manchild: Usually plays and/or writes young adults who are uncomfortably immature for their age and mooch off their parents (and knowing what we know about her, it's clearly meant to be Self-Deprecation). Both Girls and Tiny Furniture are in part critiques of millennial attitudes about responsibility and maturity.
  • Nepotism: One of the common source of criticism regarding her credentials. She's the daughter of artist Laurie Simmons, which gave Lena a bit of clout when getting her own career started. Both of Lena's parents funded Tiny Furniture out of their pockets.
  • Production Posse: Dunham has worked frequently with mentor Judd Apatow, and appeared in his 2012 film This Is 40. She also cast friends Alison Williams, Zosia Mamet, and Jemima Kirke on Girls to play her best friends; Kirke in particular appeared in her early film Tiny Furniture. She's even featured her mother Laurie Simmons and sister Grace in multiple projects.

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