Lena Dunham’s open mouth covers Interview mag: annoying or cute?

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham covers the February issue of Interview magazine to promote the second season of “Girls.” After Lena’s awkward yet pretentious turn at the Globes on Sunday, I decided to watch some clips of the show in an effort to dislike her just a little bit less. Boy, did that plan fail, but at least I can’t say that I dislike Lena any more after watching her go jogging, only to sit down in the middle of the street, pull off her Asics, and recline there while her “clever” boyfriend pontificates upon how much ice cream is really just “sweet mucus.” Basically, I am guessing that she really is her own “Girls” character in much more than just a semi-autobiographical way. Mind you, Lena writes much of the material for the show itself, so she must really think she’s something special.

Even though this Interview piece was just released, Lena couldn’t resist posting the cover on her Twitter page last week. The photoshoot features Lena in a series of poses with her mouth hanging open in nearly every shot, but at least it’s much more flattering than that recent awful Terry Richardson shoot with the toothpaste-laden “money shot.” The feature article itself is surprisingly bland, and the interview is conducted by Miranda July, the ultra-twee, independent filmmaker who is apparently a close personal friend of Lena’s (just like Zac Posen). Here are some excerpts:

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

The weird side of fame: “Well, because of the show, I’ve started to get used to people feeling like they already know me when they meet me. I’ve obviously only experienced it within the past year of my life, but it’s really interesting to have so many people who you’re not familiar with act familiar with you. So you do have to come up with a strategy for how to handle that, and mine has been to try to match that familiarity by being familiar back. I’ve decided that instead of feeling like it’s creepy, I can feel like it’s really kind for people to go out on a limb like that and be familiar with someone they’ve never met. The only flip side to that has been that I’ve had this thing happen where I’ve been really familiar with someone and they will feel like we’ve started a close friendship, and then I’ll feel like I’ve disappointed them in some way by having a boundary in my life. Then it also makes me self-conscious because I’m worried that the close friends that I do have will think, “Oh, we’re not as close as I thought because she’s–”

Why does she create? “I know that in my family–despite the massive amounts of acceptance–it was thought that in order to be a person who is really contributing something to the world, you had to be generating things creatively. So performing was only really interesting to my parents in the context of things that you create. I think if I’d wanted to be like a straight-up actress, then as much as they might love watching movies and respect the work of Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep, they would have been flummoxed by the decision, because it would not have involved an appropriate amount of, to their minds, control and expression. In fact, it’s only recently that I even realized that performing was a part of the process that I enjoy. I always behaved as though I was acting in my own work out of some sort of strange utility, and once I found an appropriate stand-in, then I would stop. I think I’d aligned the idea of liking it with having a horrible ego or something, and admitting that I liked it or that it was important to me–even to myself–just didn’t feel okay. Then I always had these two things of feeling really respected and connected at home, and going to school and feeling like I just could not get it right. I didn’t feel like the other kids got me, but then I was also sort of bored and annoyed by them, so I knew that a large part of it was my problem. I actually had to switch schools because I didn’t have friends. I remember my parents saying, ‘She is so victimized at her school, so she has to switch.’ But I was like, ‘I’m switching schools because I’m an a-hole.’ So in answer to your question, I did feel seen by my parents, but I sometimes felt overly seen.”

She never got decent parts in school plays: “Yeah, like I always wanted to be in the school play, and I was constantly preparing for auditions in a way that was crazy–reading the book that the play was based on, fantasizing, working on things in the bathtub–and then I’d literally get cast as, like, a bouncing ball or a fat man or security guard.”

On her “artistic” upbringing: “That’s an interesting question. Who knows if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but you read about a kid who grew up in the Playboy Mansion or somewhere really wild, and they’re always like, ‘I didn’t know anything else. I just thought this was life.’ But I never felt like that. I always felt like it was really special to have parents who were artists and to live the kind of life that we lived in a big loft–which wasn’t actually that big, but felt big because I was small. But I thought there was a kind of romance to it. So I don’t know if it’s good to be engaged in that way with your own life, but I always sort of was. I’ve seen the other version of it, too, though.”

On criticism of ‘Girls’ as self-obsessed: “Not like I listen to every piece of feedback, but there are definitely people who feel like the characters on ‘Girls’ are intolerably in their own heads and don’t understand the purposeful part of that. I know that when I have moments like that, it occurs to me how much I’ve been viewing a situation through my own convenient lens, which is the most exciting kind of revelation to have–and the most distressing kind of one to have about yourself.”

[From Interview Magazine]

What a bunch of naval gazing, right? Lena didn’t even say anything that was obnoxious or offensive here, but she still comes off as grating because it’s all about her. Sure, she is the one being interviewed, but I just get the feeling that she’s been rehearsing answers to such questions in the mirror since she was a preteen. It must be nice to have the luxury to be so self involved in life.

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Photos courtesy of Interview Magazine

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88 Responses to “Lena Dunham’s open mouth covers Interview mag: annoying or cute?”

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  1. maria says:

    Eh, I hope that as she ages, she grounds a perspective that involves some level of social cognizance. Self awareness is great, but, there’s a fine line between knowing yourself and being self involved…

  2. Riana says:

    I don’t get the open-mouth gripe, why does that bug people.

    It’d be one thing if it was a clip of someone with their mouth just open for 5 minutes but a still shot during an orchestrated photoshoot….?

  3. maria says:

    Damn autocorrect!

    Meant grows, not grounds.

  4. KLO says:

    I dont understand the need for being mean while writing about this particular interview. Whats wrong with being self aware?
    Whats wrong with living the way you want to live?
    I think those are the things that annoy people about her most. You are not supposed to be a thinking person in charge of your own life, it isnt ok.
    But its ok in society to just follow others and never think.

    • cr says:

      Because she’s not coming across as self-aware, she’s coming off as self-absorbed. Which isn’t new for her.

    • Vanladeelite says:

      I agree KLO. She’s incredible. A bit spoiled but so what? She is so incredibly talented and witty. Happy for her success.

    • Sweet Dee says:

      Since you asked…

      You make a false connection between being self aware and being an individual, free-thinking person. Just because she is so self-absorbed does not make her unique, it makes her a sheep in the rich girl flock.

      People who are unique are often so because they have interests and knowledge outside themselves. They are not only self aware, but socially and globally aware as well; this is beneficial to society, is it not? If Lena Dunham possesses any of these traits, she has not displayed as much in her interviews or TV show.

      • Vanladeelite says:

        You don’t run around in artistic circles do you Sweet Dee? Not trying to be mean but it does not seem like you know any artists but this is your idea of how an artist “should be”.

      • Sweet Dee says:


        You can be mean all you want, it’s of no consequence to me–you just made a pile of assumptions without reading what I wrote, so why would your opinion hold any import for me?

        To clarify, I’m not discussing “artists,” and I don’t view Lena as one. This actually shouldn’t need clarification, because I never once mentioned artists in my post.

        I was discussing people. It is better for the wholllle wiiiide world when people are aware of what is happening around them, engaged in reality and and not perpetually inside their own head. Even artists. As humans they count as people, too.

      • Tommy says:

        @Sweet Dee

        Isn’t that precisely what you’re doing? Making assumptions about Lena Dunham?

      • Lee says:

        I honestly don’t understand why people interpret Lena as being self-absorbed/narcissistic. To me, she comes across as someone who likely has a mild anxiety issue (which I can tell you from personal experience, having anxiety causes SO MUCH internal reflection to an occasionally debilitating degree and it’s not really something that can justly be shrugged off as someone being self-important). Maybe that’s me projecting too much of myself onto her, but I’m fairly sure I’ve heard/read her say before that she has issues with anxiety.

        Also, how can someone talk too much about themselves in an interview where they are being asked questions about themselves? ‘I know you just asked me where my inspiration comes from and what my family life was like, but I’d rather spin that into an answer about Darfur and the polar icecaps’. Wouldn’t that sound even more self-important?

    • Tiffany says:

      I like her. She is young, so of course she is going to think about herself, who she is and who she wants to be. I think these photos look great, actually. Love the black and white, it brings out her eyes.

  5. carrie says:

    she’s pretty on the pics
    i didn’t read the quotes or her interviews because the first time i read an interview with her, she looked very very egocentric and in love of herself

  6. Lucy2 says:

    Nice photos but I am tired of her, way too much media attention lately, and all of it us ALL about her and her life.

  7. Launicaangelina says:

    I know everyone is going to think I’m bananas but I like Girls and she doesn’t annoy me. I’m Latina, too. I did think it was shitty last season, when there was a lack of diversity but I thought much of the show rang true; confusion after college, learning who you are, being self-absorbed, etc. I’ll wait and see how this season goes.

    It appears the “Hate Anything Girls” bandwagon is cruising around and people are jumping on it.

    • KC says:

      I don’t think there’s a “hate anything Girls” bandwagon, just individuals that don’t like Lena Dunham and/or Girls. (There are people that only like one of the two out there too.) I didn’t like her when everyone was on the loving everything Girls bandwagon. I assumed I was in the minority and didn’t care because that was the way that I felt.

      To be clear: I assume that you genuinely like Girls and aren’t just going along with “love everything Girls” bandwagon, which is completely fine, we obviously just have very different tastes.

  8. poppy says:

    of course her parents taught her that they were special because they create art. naturally they believed she was victimized at school not through anything she said or did, just the mere existence of such a talented and gifted creature caused the ignorant non-ahrteests discomfort and the cretins took it out on their poor brilliant darling. SHE IS AN AHHHRTEEEEST of GENUINE AHHHRTEEESTS.
    really, if you dislike lena, read the interview with the mother (laurie simmons) in the new yorker. then google dad’s (carroll dunham) “work”. they are hacks. UGH -it explains much. get ready for more lena-types if this is what helicopter-parenting causes. because we are so fabulous OUR child is the (never failed or even tried) MESSIAH!
    i do appreciate lena said she had some responsibility in making it difficult for people to like her. still doesn’t negate all the other pretentious entitled bull she’s spewed. nature or nurture?
    sorry, they all drive me nuts.

    • Crack Fox says:

      Oh Mylanta,

      I just looked up Carroll Dunham’s “work”. He’s the Terry Richardson of painting.

      • Amelia says:

        In my head I had an image of a canvas lit up by a skeevy white porn light so I went and googled . . . just – look, I know some people have a huge appreciation for the human body and all it’s little mechanisms are certainly interesting, but really?
        That’s art?

      • littlestar says:

        I had to Google his work too to see what it looks like. Many articles I’ve read (and Celebitchy too) point out that Lena Dunham’s parents are well off. I don’t understand how his work could make any money at all. And I’m not trying to be rude, as I think a true talented artist should be able to make a living off of their work, but I’m flabbergasted. Each painting is basically the same – some woman bent over showing off her nether regions. Hack indeed.

      • DeltaJuliet says:


        I’m not bothered by the nudity aspect but seriously, it looks like a child, and an untalented one at that, drew those pictures.

        But then, no wonder she thinks so highly of herself. She grew up in a household where that crappy art made a ton of money. How could she ever have a concept of reality?

  9. Miss Kiki says:

    I can’t warm to this girl. I haven’t watched ‘Girls’ yet so I can’t comment on the show but Lena Dunham really winds me up.

  10. GoodCapon says:

    I watched a one-on-one interview of hers on TV and she wasn’t half-bad. Understandably she talked a lot about herself but she didn’t come off as annoying or arrogant as she usually does whenever I read some of her interviews. I think it also helped that the host (I forgot who it was) always steered her to the right direction and prevented her from going off on a tangent.

  11. Leek says:

    She really gets excited to answer questions about herself.

  12. Bijlee says:

    If you watch the post globes interview session you know how privileged she is. Before the show she shared the same agent as Judd apatow. That’s how he saw her movie. She also collaborated on the show with some woman who made a show with apatow. I was frankly really surprised by all that. Just the agent thing alone shocked me. I knew she had connections, but honestly her connections are really good. I don’t think anyone sees that especially her. Girlfriend is privileged and connected and that’s how she got to where she is. And I mean zac Posen is a close friend as are others. I like her less and less as time wears on and it’s nobody’s fault but her own.

  13. Marissa says:

    It’s so f-cked up, but every time I see this girl, or hear about her, I involuntarily, “UGHHHHHHH!” She’s so annoying. And her show f-cking sucks.

  14. Lauren says:

    I think she fits the cover because when I think about what Interview Magazine was when it was first put together by Andy Warhol her feature on the cover just seems like an issue that may be attempting a return to its roots focusing mainly focusing on the artsy more eccentric sorts in popular culture. Lena seems to want to be portrayed in this fashion as an eccentric out there human being so I guess it all works out.

    And I don’t usually think she is all that attractive (imo) but these photos look decent. They almost remind me of a 60′s warhol/twiggy/ even edie sedgwick (i’m stretching it a bit) sort of influence in terms of the style they were going for.

    That’s all I have to say though as I don’t particularly care for most of her interviews. She seems to like to prove that she is ‘a cut above the company’ so to speak and that’s off putting.

  15. Noel says:

    I feel like too many people are hard on her, to be honest. It’s sort of the ‘cool’ thing for people to do now, be pissy about someone who is famous and actually achieving something instead of partying, doing drugs, and making an ass out of themselves.

    She isn’t someone’s taste, c’est la vie, but to constantly berate her seems unnecessary.

  16. Ralph says:

    I feel like people see this girl and whatever they say is automatically wrong and stupid, no matter what.

    She does speak for a generation of people, and that says something about people than it does her, methinks.

  17. Jules says:

    She’s the same age as Blohan. I’ll take Dunham anyday. At least she has talent.

  18. BeefJerky says:

    I thought her interview answers were thoughtful, self-aware, and also self deprecating. Why the hate? She’s being asked questions about her life- how can she NOT sound self-involved? And honestly, we all are- when you decide what necklace to buy, where you want to eat, your career—everyone is, so I don’t get how it’s a bad thing. And let’s not pretend that NO ONE ELSE has ever benefited from having connections…

    Also, Larry David made a career out of detailing his life- why doesn’t anyone call him self-involved? I think this all is just women hating on women. Good for Lena for doing something with her life, no matter her connections or whether you like it.

    • M.M. says:

      Here is a young, not skinny-minny women who has managed to be successful by utilizing talents other than boobs and butt and all she gets is crap for it. I agree with the other commenters that the degree of derision seems way out of line with her offense. She is very young but has managed to create material that is funny and representative of a certain segment of young people (yeah, who are sometimes annoying). Louie ck is a naval grazing fattie who is popular right now but nobody is constantly going on about grating he is – and actually I think he is. Another commenter mentioned the naval grazing of Larry David – and how about back in the day Seinfeld. I read this blog all the time and I am pretty disappointed about the coverage on Lena. It’s just so nitpicky.

      • redd says:

        Apparently you have not watched an episode of Girls. Lena is quite often naked- if she is utilizing her talent as you claim- why the need to be naked on almost every episode? this girl is reeking with narcissism. she is a rich kid with connections, she got lucky with the first season, the second season will tell on its own whether she has any talent. I have watched all the episodes and it seems to me that the first episode is entirely off key with last season. I will say the photo shoot and photo shop don’t resemble Lena’s round self that she is so confident in sharing every week.

      • M.M. says:

        Actually I have seen all of season 1 of the show. I think you are really overstating the point of her nudity on the show. Sexual appeal isn’t what she is primarily capitalizing on – in other words, I don’t think people are largely tuning into the show to get a hot glimpse of Lena’s thighs. And like I previously said, it’s not that I never find her or the show annoying, it’s just the amount of harping about her is really overblown. Like, let’s talk about grating Justine Bieber instead.

      • Becky1 says:

        @ BeefJerky…I completely agree with you and have had the same thoughts re: Larry David. Why is it okay for Larry’s humor to revolve around being self-absorbed but not okay when it comes to Lena Dunham? Another poster mentioned Louis C.K…he also has a similar sort of naval gazing/self absorbed type of humor. I really think some of the backlash is because she’s young and female.

  19. INeedANap says:

    I would never have guessed that was her on the cover. They photoshopped her into oblivion.

  20. Dill dough says:

    I’d have sexual intercourse with her mouth

  21. irishserra says:

    I know next to nothing about her, other than I randomly saw “Tiny Furniture” one night while desperate for something to watch when I was sick recently. Not impressive at all; at least not in a good way.

    She has a very Mary Martin as Peter Pan vibe going on here, and I’m sorry to say, but I found Mary Martin extremely annoying.

  22. EBL says:

    I have watched Girls and it is actually accurately written for what it represents: a particularly sad and shallow culture for young single women now a days. Lena’s character in Girls is treated poorly by her boyfriend and it a model of what relationships to avoid. I can’t imagine making that show the one I go watch every week. It is too depressing.

    • Oi says:

      I agree with your assessment that it is sad and shallow representation of a culture that should be avoided. But I don’t think that’s what people, especially 20-something girls, watch it for. They watch it thinking that its normal and even healthy way to be. I don’t think a cautionary introspective tale is what LD’s purpose is for the show either. It’s all about sharing her experiences and her life because she can.

      • Lee says:

        UGH. I could not disagree with this more. I think pointing out the ridiculousness of being so shallow, self-absorbed and unaware is EXACTLY what Girls is trying to do. The show just doesn’t beat you over the head with that point. To each their own interpretation I guess… (And for the record, I am a 20-something girl.)

  23. Peanut says:

    I don’t get the hate. I thought she was funny and exuberant at the golden globes. Although I’ve never seen her show or paid attention to her prior to Sunday.

  24. boo says:

    Yeah, that was really interesting (insert sarcasm), what a vapid little girl.

  25. KellyinSeattle says:

    I think the photos are CHEESY.

  26. snappyfish says:

    lena, shut your mouth, girl; you look foolish.

  27. Nev says:

    She’s as neurotic as Woody Allen. I think that’s why it seems new and that she’s getting noticed.

  28. Ryan says:

    I don’t understand why there had to be an entire photoshoot (and a boring one at that) to accompany the article. This woman isn’t a model and is, from what I’ve seen and heard, barely an actor. One or two pictures just so the reader can put a face to the name, fine, but the rest is overkill. Really self-indulgent.

  29. Kat says:

    I feel like she’s one of these celebs we’re *supposed* to like, but I just can’t. She comes across as entirely too aware of her “genius” which makes her completely disingenuous. Good for her on all the success, I just can’t get past the veil of pretension – or the name dropping.

  30. Amy says:

    The hairdo looks great on her. Last season I always thought her hair looked so thin and feeble. Maybe she got some plugs or maybe its the doo, but she actually looks like she has a full head of hair.

  31. Camille (TheOriginal) says:

    Well I thought of something nice to say about her: she has very pretty eyes.

    That’s all I got. Ugh.

  32. BooBooLaRue says:

    If they ever do a Liza Minelli bio-pic she must be the lead!

  33. emma says:

    I really don’t get all the hype about Girls. I haven’t seen it. But I did see Tiny Furniture, wanting to like it. I didn’t. She can be funny and all that, but the actions of her characters make them unbearable.

  34. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    I really like her. Why no mention of her acceptance of her body in this post or in the commments? We are always talking about how much pressure there is on women to be unhealthily skinny and yet here’s Lena Dunham truly embracing and loving her ‘less-than-hollywood-ideal’ body – no mention of it anywhere?
    I personally find her success encouraging and I’m almost twice her age. Her attitude about her body has been empowering for me. She’s also really funny and honest.

  35. Why is she a thing? Really? I’m asking this from a place of sheer confusion with respect to her show “Girls”. I watched it a few times, and as a female who fits the demographic of their target audience there is NOTHING at all that I can relate to or that I find appealing about its content and characters. As for LD herself, I don’t find her appeal — it’s not about looks, it’s about how she comes across in interviews and so forth. I feel like she’s been thrust upon us like the way Gretchen was trying to make “fetch” happen.