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Lena Dunham avoids starring in new Netflix show to escape body scrutiny

Lena Dunham avoids starring in new Netflix show to escape body scrutiny

Lena Dunham is taking steps that prioritize her mental health and creativity.

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, the 38-year-old “Girls” alum shared her decision to stay behind the camera for her upcoming semi-autobiographical Netflix rom-com series, “Too Much.” Dunham is co-creating this 10-episode project with her husband, Luis Felber. The series features comedian Meg Stalter of HBO’s “Hacks” and Will Sharpe of HBO’s “White Lotus.”

“I knew from the very beginning I would not be the star of it,” Dunham explained. “First, because I had seen Meg Stalter’s work, and I was very inspired by her. She’s unbelievable; I think people are going to be so blown away by her. We know how funny she is.”

She added, “I also think that I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around ‘Girls’ at this point in my life. Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again. It was a hard choice—not to cast Meg, because I knew I wanted Meg—but to admit that to myself.”

Dunham reflected on her journey, saying, “I used to think that winning meant you just keep doing it and you don’t care what anybody thinks. I forgot that winning is actually just protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to keep making work.”
After years of writing, producing, and directing, Lena Dunham returned to the screen in “Treasure” with her first acting role in seven years. Sebastian Reuter, Getty Images

Dunham, known for her roles such as Hannah Horvath on “Girls” and Cat in 2012’s “This is 40,” has been focusing more on directing, writing, and producing. Recent projects include 2022’s “Catherine Called Birdy” and the Max show “Generation.”

“I got into this because I wanted to be an artist,” Dunham stated. “I was never a person who—as much as people may not believe this, because of the way that my work is structured and what it’s about—was unbelievably interested in attention. What makes me feel powerful is making my work. It’s the only thing I want to do. It is my only love in life aside from the people who are closest to me, my pets, and books.”

This summer, she returned to the screen in “Treasure,” marking her first acting role in seven years.

In the same interview, Dunham revealed that she had bowed out from the upcoming Polly Pocket movie after working on the script for three years. Her decision was influenced by Greta Gerwig’s success with the film “Barbie.”

“I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie. I wrote a script, and I was working on it for three years,” Dunham said. “I think Greta managed this incredible feat with ‘Barbie,’ which was to make this thing that was literally candy to so many different kinds of people and was perfectly and divinely Greta.”

“I felt like, unless I can do it that way, I’m not going to do it. I don’t think I have that in me. I feel like the next movie I make needs to feel like a movie that I absolutely have to make. No one but me could make it. And I did think other people could make ‘Polly Pocket.'”

A Mattel spokesperson commented, “Polly Pocket is in active development, and we look forward to sharing updates on the project soon. Lena is a remarkable writer and creator and we wish her all the best!”

The live-action Polly Pocket movie, announced by Mattel Films and MGM Studios in June 2021, is about a young girl and a pocket-sized woman who form a friendship. Lily Collins was cast as Polly and is also producing the project.

Dunham also praised filmmaker Nancy Meyers for her taste, which “manages to intersect perfectly with what the world wants,” and the late writer/director Nora Ephron, who encouraged her to “Go be weird. Don’t kowtow to anyone.”

Though Dunham is working on another Netflix show about “the idea that organizations like the CIA and MI6 are tapping college students in, earlier and earlier,” she anticipates her next commercial project will be “another romantic comedy.”

“My New Year’s resolution this year was, like, ‘I’m going to try to think more commercially thirty-seven percent of the time, just because it’s an interesting challenge,'” she noted.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lena Dunham won’t star in her new Netflix show to avoid having her ‘body dissected’

Source: USA Today, The New Yorker