Lena Dunham (born May 13, 1986) is an American actress, writer, director, and producer.
She is known as the creator, writer, and star of the HBO television series Girls (2012–2017), for which she received several Emmy Award nominations and two Golden Globe Awards. Dunham also directed several episodes of Girls and became the first woman to win the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series. Prior to Girls, Dunham wrote, directed, and starred in the semi-autobiographical independent film Tiny Furniture (2010), for which she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
In 2013, Dunham was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2014, Dunham released her first book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”. In 2015, along with Girls showrunner Jenni Konner, Dunham created the publication Lenny Letter, a feminist online newsletter. The publication folded in late 2018. Dunham has starred in feature films such as Supporting Characters and This Is 40 (both 2012) and Happy Christmas (2014). She voiced Mary in the 2016 film My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. On television, aside from Girls, she has played guest roles in Scandal and The Simpsons (both 2015). In 2017, she portrayed Valerie Solanas in American Horror Story: Cult. Dunham’s work and her outspoken presence on social media and in interviews have attracted significant controversy, criticism, and media scrutiny throughout her career. On January 5, 2015, days before the premiere of the fourth season, Girls was renewed for a fifth season, despite dwindling viewership. That year, Dunham launched A Casual Romance Productions, a production company to develop television and film projects. The company produced It’s Me Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise. On February 20, 2015, it was reported that Dunham had been cast in a guest role in an episode of the ABC drama series Scandal, which aired March 19, 2015. Dunham with Avy Kaufman at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In September 2015, Dunham stated that the sixth season of Girls was likely to be the last season. This was later confirmed by HBO. In 2016, Dunham appeared in her mother’s film, My Art, which had its world premiere at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. She also voiced Mary in My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, a 2016 American animated teen comedy drama film directed by Dash Shaw. It was selected to be screened in the Vanguard section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Dunham also filmed scenes for the film Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but they were cut from the final film. In 2017, she portrayed Valerie Solanas, the real-life radical feminist and SCUM Manifesto author who attempted to murder Andy Warhol in the late 1960s, in American Horror Story: Cult. Girls’ sixth and final season concluded on April 16, 2017, leaving a total of 62 episodes in the series. Since 2016, Dunham has been working on a second book that will be published by Random House. In February 2018, A Casual Romance Productions announced that it would be producing Camping, a remake of the British comedy series of the same name for HBO, with Jennifer Garner in the lead and Dunham and Konner as showrunners and writers. On July 25, 2018, the series held a panel at the Television Critics Association’s annual summer press tour featuring executive producer Jenni Konner and cast member Jennifer Garner. The following day, a teaser trailer for the series was released. Camping has been met with a mixed to negative response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 28% approval rating, with an average rating of 5.1 out of 10 based on 32 reviews. The website’s critical consensus reads, “The first season of Camping makes it difficult to determine who the least happy campers are: those on the screen or those watching it.” Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 49 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.” In August 2018, it was announced Dunham would appear in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino, set to be released on July 26, 2019. Dunham will portray the role of Catherine “Gypsy” Share. In October 2018, coinciding with the expiration of their joint HBO contract, Dunham and Konner split as producing partners, dissolved their production company, and signed separate deals with HBO.