Terry Gross interviewed Lena Dunham on NPR’s Fresh Air. During the interview, she played a clip of a scene from Girls, which Dunham then expanded on. The scene is one of my favourites from Season 1, and I liked Dunham’s elaboration so much I typed it out for you. Here it is…
Clip — Lena Dunham’s character Hannah, speaking to the guy she’s interested in: “I don’t even want a boyfriend. I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time, and thinks I’m the best person in the world, and wants to have sex with only me. And it makes me feel very stupid to tell you this because it makes me sound like a girl, who wants to like go to brunch and I really don’t want to go to brunch, and I don’t want you to like sit on the couch while I shop, or like even meet my friends. I don’t even want that.”
Lena Dunham: I think that there there’s a way that Hannah – and by extension myself – she has trouble with certain kinds of earnest expressions and maybe that’s a generational thing, maybe that’s her own anxiety that if she expresses herself in a true way she’s going to get shut down. But I think it was important for her, even as she said this incredibly sort of sweet, heartfelt thing, which is ‘I want you to want to spend time with just me, I want you to want to be with me’ I mean, she wants just what everybody wants which is –
Terry Gross: She wants a monogamous boyfriend.
Dunham: A monogamous loving partner, and yet she feels that she needs to explain that while she wants the thing everybody else wants, she is not like everybody else. And I think that is the important distinction to her, is that she thinks with the desire for a boyfriend comes all of these other trappings of being a sort of like bougie woman that she doesn’t think of herself as. She’s like ‘I’m a writer, and a thinker, and so anything you equate with being a boyfriend is not what you’re going to get with me.’ Even though once they were together she probably would want him to meet her friends, she probably would want him to sit on the couch while they shopped, and, god forbid, she would want him to go to brunch – but in this moment she sort of needs to define herself as this completely other type of woman, even as she wants what women want.