Lena Dunham: “I Want To Be An Agent Of Change For Women & Girls”


She is known as the ‘voice of a generation’ and for good reason. Lena Dunham has defied all the odds in Hollywood, and is certainly kicking ass at it, while showing plenty of her own ass (that’s joke only ‘Girls’ viewers would get…).

Her countless magazine covers, including Vogue, has shown that this world, and especially millennial women want to see more normality in the media they consumer, and see diversity in talent.

This past week she was a keynote speaker at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. She gave some pretty strong points about why Hollywood needs to change and didn’t hold back at all.

The thing that bugged her the most was that the success of ‘Girls’ has given cast member Adam Driver a lot of success in other projects, yet the other 3 lead characters on the show aren’t being given the same amount of great opportunities. It makes her mad, and is one of the reasons she is so passionate about writing for women.

“I think about this [issue] in relation to the cast on my show, which consists of three very talented women and also some very talented guys. Our male lead, Adam Driver, has had a bang-up year in movies which could not be more deserved because he’s a ferocious genius with an incredible work ethic, and I’ve learned so much from him. But the girls are still waiting patiently for parts that are going to honor their intelligence and their ability,” she starts off.

“The world is ready to see Adam as a million different men — playing good guys and bad guys and sweet guys and scary guys. The world is ready to see Adam do all that. It’s not ready to see Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet or Jemima Kirke stretch their legs in the same variety of diverse roles. Allison is relegated to All-American sweetheart. Zosia is asked to play more flighty nood-nicks. Even though both are capable of so much, they’re not asked to do it. And this is not a knock on Adam’s talent, which is utterly boundless and he’s exactly the actor who should be doing all this. It’s a knock on a world where women are typecast and men can play villains, Lotharios and nerds in one calendar year and something has to change and I’m trying.”

Something has to change and I’m trying.”


It sucks that a show that is so successful still doesn’t do women in Hollywood justice, when it comes to translating that on-screen female presence into other like-minded versions of what film studios produce. But Lena says this is exactly why her passion lies in writing, and not necessarily acting long-term.

“There’s no place for me in the studio system.”

The famously outspoken star also admitted that, ‘unfortunately’ for HBO, she ‘absolutely does not care’ about ratings.

“I just want to make people laugh. I want to be of service to the causes that are dear to me and to be an agent of change specifically for woman and girls.”

So what are her solutions for change in the industry?

“The best advice I can muster after exactly four years in this business [is]… don’t wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary.”

“Tell the story you know…Stand up for your work and voice… Saying no is an amazing, amazing tool, but it’s also important to say yes.”

The world is round people! Yes Cate Blanchett said those now-famous words during the Oscars this year, but they meant more than just being a viral hit or meme fodder.

Being a double Golden Globe Award winner and seven-time Emmy Award nominee, Lena is coming from a place of authority, and shows how important is that we as women use our time wisely on this earth.

Lena is Glamour Magazine‘s April covergirl and revealed that she views writing parts for women more important than starring in a show.

“I don’t know if I’m going to want to act anymore. I’m always relieved on the days I don’t have to. I’d rather give parts to other women than be the woman having the parts.”

She also admits she prefers to go makeup-less in favor of natural beauty, which is a whole other reason why we love this hilariously real, down-to-earth, talented chick.  But seriously girls, we may not all be writers, but we should all be doing our part to advance the cause of greater female representation in all industries. How can the next generation be what they can’t envision?

Great reminder from Lena that a woman’s work is never done… not yet anyway.




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