Ever since Hannah Horvath's declaration in the Girls pilot, the "voice of a generation" line has been tossed around ad nauseam when discussing Lena Dunham, a figure who continues to provoke handwringing. But a new profile by Brian Hiatt in Rolling Stone, just one of the many magazine covers Dunham's been on recently, reveals that Dunham sees herself as a different breed than the stereotype of her generation. Here's her new defense in the interview, before it drops online:
Lena Dunham Is Not Aimless
She doesn't drink, doesn't like to get high, and has "been known to undergo intravenous vitamin drips."
She breaks her time down into multiple detailed to-do lists: life goals (have a kid), seasonal goals (she really wants to organize her bookshelves into already-read and to-read categories this winter), Girls goals.
"It's funny to me that I'm writing a show that people consider to be the voice of twentysomething people," she say. "Because I don't feel that connected to it all the time." She sometimes has to remind herself that she's still young, only a couple of years older than the feckless characters on her show. "I'll sleep late, and say, 'This is disgusting, I'm an adult woman.' Then I realize a lot of 26-year-olds go out and get hung over."
Lena Dunham Has OCD
The profile goes onto deal with some of the rote Dunham-think-piece questions of nepotism, sex and race in Girls, but the profile dwells on the image of Dunham as a child diagnosed with OCD — and on "massive doses" of antidepressants in high school. (Though she had gotten off meds, she says she started a small dose of Lexapro and keeps Klonopin in her back even though it frightens her.) Dunham was obsessed with the number eight for a while. Though her mother says Dunham was "kind of a weirdo" she decided she wasn't going to be phased by her daughter:
In the throes of her number-eight obsession, Dunham put that ethos to the test. "I remember saying to my mom when I was little, 'I just had to imagine having sex with you eight times,'" she says, "and she really took it in stride! She was like, 'Well, it's your imagination; it didn't really happen.'"
Lena Dunham Doesn't Want to Fit in
Despite her current dressed-up appearances at major Hollywood events, Dunham actively tries not to fit in, something that started early on:
She's willing to admit to similar role-playing now, like letting stylists put her into awkwardly high heels — which fits a little too well with her anti-glam image. "I feel like I do push that angle," she says, shrugging. "It's like, if you have to take all of these things off, just don't wear them!"
There is a way in which she says she does relate to her own generation:
"Some of my anxieties might be solved by a better awareness of what's actually befalling this planet and what makes everything run and what's come before us," she says. "But it overwhelms me too much. It makes me want to take a nap." She takes a breath. "And in that respect, I really relate to people in my generation."
The rest of the profile is worth a read if you want to read it in print, if for nothing else than Dunham saying and doing a number of things that are going to piss off various people. For instance, in discussing rapper Shyne's Judaism—there is a little context—she says, "I know this is not something that I'm supposed to say given the criticisms I've received, but when, like, black people convert to Judaism, it slays me. 'Cause why would you ever choose to be Jewish? I would not be Jewish if I had not been born Jewish. I can't get away from it now." After that bout of self-loathing, she goes onto criticize Mel Gibson's presence at the Golden Gobes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.