Lena Dunham Scores First Vogue Cover As Hollywood’s “Hardest-Working Millennial”

Truth rating: 10
(Annie Leibovitz/Vogue)

By Shari Weiss

(Annie Leibovitz/Vogue)

(Annie Leibovitz/Vogue)

Lena Dunham has scored her first Vogue cover, appearing on the magazine’s February issue as the “New Queen of Comedy.”

The “Girls” creator and star, who posed for a spread shot by famed celeb photographer Annie Leibovitz, is dubbed “the hardest-working millennial in show business.”

In the accompanying interview, Dunham opens up about balancing her work load with her private life, and why she still has trouble adjusting to the Hollywood scene.

“I like Los Angeles, but more than two weeks and I start to get a very sad feeling. You eat well there, and you take hikes, and my dog loves it, but ultimately it’s not the right place for me,” she confesses.

Dunham goes on to give an example.

“I went early on to a party at a really famous person’s house. They had a private chef there making pizza, and I remember the dog was wearing a bow tie,” she recalls. “Every time I looked around, it would be like, Is that someone I know from camp? No, that’s Ashton Kutcher.”

Dunham continues, “It was such a weird scene. I remember thinking, I don’t feel at home here, and no matter how long this is my job, I will never feel at home here. And if I do start to feel at home here, someone should really worry about me.”

The star’s achievements since then hasn’t changed things much in that regard.

“I still go to a party and say something embarrassing to someone, and then write them a weird e-mail about it the next day, and then write them a text because I think they didn’t get the e-mail,” she says. “No matter what happens with your level of success, you still have to deal with all the baggage that is yourself.”

What helps, however, is having “a really great private existence, almost more like a memoirist or a columnist would, and less like an actor would… which I enjoy, because I can’t overstate how much I hate leaving the house,” notes Dunham.

She explains, “No one would describe me as a private person, but I actually really am. It’s important for me to have a lot of time alone, and to have a lot of time in my house by myself.”

“My entire life sort of takes place between me and my dog, my books, and my boyfriend [Jack Antonoff], and my private world,” says Dunham. “To me, privacy isn’t necessarily equated with secret-keeping. What’s private is my relationship with myself.”

Of course, Dunham infuses “Girls” with many of her personal experiences, and the show has, at times, received a backlash for its frank takes on sexuality and dating.

After the show’s debut, she says, “I expected ‘I like it!’ or ‘It’s annoying!’ But the kind of ‘What’s this doing to our culture?’ conversation was shocking.”

Dunham recalls getting flack for a storyline where her character has a relationship with a doctor played by Patrick Wilson.

“Critics said, ‘That guy wouldn’t date that girl!’ It’s like, ‘Have you been out on the street lately?’ Everyone dates everyone, for lots of reasons we can’t understand,” she says, pointing out, “Sexuality isn’t a perfect puzzle, like, ‘He has a nice nose and she has a nice nose! She’s got great breasts and he’s got great calves! And so they’re going to live happily ever after in a house that was purchased with their modeling money!’”

She continues, “It’s a complicated thing. I want people ultimately, even if they’re disturbed by certain moments, to feel bolstered and normalized by the sex that’s on the show.”

Dunham has also gotten blowback on Twitter for some controversial jokes, but she doesn’t plan on holding back anytime soon.

“If I placed that many censors on myself, I wouldn’t be able to continue to make the kinds of things that I make. And so I just sort of know there are going to be moments where I take it one step too far,” she admits.

And all the criticism in the world doesn’t get in the way of Duhnam realizing she’s living her dream gig.

“I wanted to be a fashion designer. I wanted to be a babysitter. I wanted to be an architect,” she tells the mag. “Every fantasy job you have as a child is encompassed in the act of filmmaking.”

Of stumbling into her relationship with Antonoff of fun. — thanks to a blind set-up — Dunham confesses, “I’d been like, If I never date again in my whole life, I’ll be fine with it! I want to work and rescue rabbits and be a notable eccentric!”

“I had a whole romantic idea about singledom, and then, of course, that’s the moment when you meet someone that you really care about,” she says.

Though most of her cards are already on the table, Dunham plans to share even more in a memoir set to be released this fall.

And after that?

“I really will have exhausted my personal life as a subject after this book enters the world,” she says. “And I kind of feel OK about that.”

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