Lena Dunham chose not to star in her new TV show to 'protect' herself

Amy Sussman

Lena Dunham is returning to TV — but not starring in her new project.

The "Girls" creator, in an interview with the New Yorker, explained why she didn’t cast herself in the lead role of her new show "Too Much," as she did with “Girls.”

She said it was partly a self-protective measure to ward off the criticism of her body she faced on “Girls” in her 20s.

“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. 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,” she said.

Dunham co-created the Netflix romantic comedy with her husband, Luis Felber. The show stars Megan Stalter, known for HBO’s “Hacks” as well as her Instagram comedy, and Will Sharpe from the most recent season of “White Lotus.”

Written and directed by Dunham, the series will feature original music composed by Felber, a musician. They are both among the executive producers.

“This is a show that is very close to my heart — created with my husband Luis, cast with my favourite actors — the geniuses that are Meg and Will, along with a bevy of friends — and partnering again with Working Title, who are behind the romantic comedies that formed me. Netflix has been so deeply supportive of the vision, which is to create a romantic comedy that makes us root for love, brings joy but also has the jagged edges of life,” Dunham said in a statement to Netflix.

“Too Much” marks Dunham’s first television project since “Camping,” which aired on HBO for a single season in 2018. She’s best known for starring in and creating the HBO series “Girls,” which aired for six seasons from 2012 to 2017.

Other notable works from the actress include the 2022 motion pictures “Sharp Stick” and “Catherine Called Birdy,” both of which she wrote and directed.

Who stars in ‘Too Much’?

Meg Stalter is known for her zany, front-facing comedy videos on Instagram, which have garnered her a loyal following. Will Sharpe was part of "The White Lotus" Season Two's ensemble cast.

Fans seem excited by the pairing, sharing thoughts on the comments of the Instagram announcement. One wrote, “I have never been more ready for anything.” Another user said the series is a “dream,” and thinks it's “amazing” that Stalter and Dunham are collaborating on the project together.

What is ‘Too Much’ about?

Stalter plays Jessica, a woman in her mid-30s who is getting over a breakup — barely. She decides the only way out is to accept a new job in London, where she intends to isolate herself further. Then she meets Felix (Will Sharpe), a musician who is “35 but acting eternally 18,” per Netflix, and realizes they have an unlikely connection.

“Felix upends all her expectations, but it turns out that trusting someone is scarier than trusting no one,” Netflix wrote in a description.

When does ‘Too Much’ premiere?

Netflix hasn't released a premiere date, but said production will begin in 2024.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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