ELLE meets Lena Dunham

She's smart, talented and oh so funny

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Do you have plans on Monday night? Great! Now cancel them. Why? Because Girls finally starts on Sky Atlantic and trust us, you do not want to miss it.

Girls is a dark, hilarious account of twentysomethings in New York struggling with terrible boyfriends, awful jobs, unwanted pregnancies and useless friends.

‘I grew up watching Sex and the City,’ says Lena Dunham, the 26 year old writer, director and performer who created Girls for HBO – original home of Sex and the City, The Wire and True Blood – basically every TV show you’ve loved over the last few years.

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‘The best New Year's Eve of my life was watching a Sex and the City marathon with my mother. I thought I would move back to New York, have a really elegant boyfriend and an incredible shoe closet – but this was my reality…’

‘It's closely based on my own experience of getting out of college, working at a baby clothes store, not having a sense of whether I would ever get to do the thing I wanted to do, and being really miserable,’ Dunham explains.

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A native New Yorker, she grew up in Soho with bohemian artist parents. She escaped her lousy day job by making last years indie smash-hit film, Tiny Furniture, which Bridesmaids producer Judd Apatow saw, loved and pitched to HBO.

‘I remember asking my mom, like, four times one day, ‘Do you think that I will ever have enough money to live outside of your house?’ And she would say, ‘I just don't know.’’

Dunham’s character Hannah totters between failed job interviews and terrible sex with a guy who barely knows she exists.

‘My Mr Big doesn’t have bed sheets,’ she laughs. ‘Hannah’s like me. You could place two decisions in front of me, tell me one leads to delicious candy and bunnies, and the other leads to me on fire and I would be like, ‘What?’ I have no clue.'

'There are moments when I tell the writers' room a story of an actual personal humiliation that is so awful they tell me it would not seem believable on the show.’

In another scene from the opening episode, Hannah talks urgently to her parents – ‘I think that I may be the voice of my generation….Or at least a voice of a generation. Please don’t cut off my allowance…’

<Girls> starts on Sky Atlantic on Monday 22 October

Watch the trailer for season 1 of Girls here:

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