Lena Dunham talks dating with Hillary Clinton
BY DONNA FREYDKIN
Meet Lena Dunham once, and we defy you to not be smitten.
She's witty, outgoing, crazy-smart, and in an industry built on vanity and artifice, the real deal. She remembers minute details: what you wore the first time you talked, what you ate, and the name of your child. And she brings that same level of detail and attention to her latest venture, the Lenny Letter newsletter, co-created with her Girls producing and writing partner, Jenni Konner.
A teaser issue dealt with moms talking about abortions, before Roe v. Wade decriminalized the procedure. An upcoming one features an interview with presidential contender Hillary Clinton.
"Hillary — it was a remarkable experience. We were sufficiently honored and sufficiently nervous. She was really honest and vulnerable and candid with us," says Dunham. "We spent three weeks before the interview thinking about not just what we wanted to know, but what the Lenny readers needed to know. We also tried to ask her about the issues we've seen come up the most: police brutality, access to the vote, women's rights, issues around Wall Street."
Adds Konner: "She was really unguarded. She talked about Bill proposing to her twice and her saying no to him. It was a fun 20-something version of her that I had not heard before."
The newsletter has its genesis in Dunham's best-selling book of essays, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Learned.
"When I went on my book tour — you're the first interview I did on the first day of my book tour — we got all cuddled up. I met so many amazing young people who were so passionate about such a range of issues," says Dunham. "We wanted to find a safe space online for those people to get content that was meaningful to them. That was what I said to Jenni. It was a loose elevator pitch."
The two women are running the newsletter not as an ad-hoc, fly-by-night venture, but as an actual business, with an editor in chief and a CEO.
"It's been a steep learning curve for us. We're learning all kinds of new terminology: unique subscribers. We're pretty fancy," says Konner.
And yes, topics will be deep: equal and reproductive rights will feature heavily. But so will nail art. And other more, ahem, superficial issues.
"There's a place for all of that. RevitaBrow brought my eyebrows back. People think I'm the face of RevitaBrow. I'd love to be the face of RevitaBrow but that's not an invite that's been extended to me. I love the product. It saved my eyebrows. It was recommended to me by the makeup artist on Scandal. Week six, I'm going to say I got 70 new hairs on each brow. I told Jack that I feel like I hit a plateau. I told my boyfriend that I don't feel like my eyebrows are growing anymore," says Dunham. "I used to have eyebrows. I lost them in the Great Plucking Incident of 1995."
Dunham and Konner's HBO series Girls returns in January. What can they say about the new season?
"What we will say is that Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is headed to Japan. We did not try to hide it on our Instagram," says Dunham. "We were real show-offs about that. More wildness from our usual cast of characters. Oh yeah, Allison (Williams) is married in real life. Couldn't be happier. We approve. We can say you'll be seeing Hannah experiment with a new relationship."