Episode #33

Lena Dunham

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Monday, January 21, 2013


Dunham, the creator of HBO’s GIRLS, says when she was younger, she thought she’d be a "Gender and Women’s Studies teacher who showed movies at the occasional film festival." Instead she's trying to figure out what to wear to shoot the cover of Rolling Stone. Dunham talks with Alec about getting a dog and her first date with her boyfriend Jack Antonoff.  She’s not ready for children—yet—but they are on her mind: “I was raised to think that the two most important things you could do in your life were to have a passionate, generous relationship to your work and to raise children.”

READ | Interview Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [35]

PJ from MIchigan

Best interview ever...Lena Dunham represents something we NEVER see on television or the compare her show to Sex in the City on any way demeans Girls IMO. Where else in ALL of media can I see a smart, talented woman who is presented as so real who IS NOT trying to sell her sexuality? OMG its more than a breath of fresh air- it ALLOWS me to BREATHE!!

Nov. 29 2014 03:10 PM

You know what, writing something or someone off as hipster is under whelming and mediocre itself... Come back with an opinion and not a catchphrase.

Nov. 19 2013 12:48 AM
Lamar from Brooklyn Hts

She is so over rated. Girls is hipster mediocrity.

Oct. 19 2013 03:42 PM
TOM BOWLER from Manhattan

I like them both and I love "Girls". The interrupting got to me a little in the beginning but she handled it so well that I DIDN'T MIND. HE'S A BIT "FULL OF HIMSELF" AS WE IRISH LIKETO SAY. It was more like overhearing an avid conversation by two people who like each other and are trying to interrelate (is that a word?)

Overlapping conversation reminds me of the house I grew up in. Also Robert Altman's technique from Mash to Gosford Park, I love it.

May. 01 2013 10:17 PM

Love Alec Balwin as an actor but his constant interrupting her is really annoying

Apr. 15 2013 11:48 AM

I love Alec Balwin as an actor but after listening to his interview with Lena Dunham and his CONSTANT interrupting her, I can't listen to him again. An interviewer must LISTEN and to do that requires being SILENT.

Mar. 29 2013 10:49 PM
Tucker from New Jersey

This is a fantastic interview. My husband, a true New Yorker through his 30's, and I (10 years in Manhattan and now combatting subruban life) love Alex Bladwin as he is the epitome of a "New Yorker." Edgy, smart, funny, flawed, raw and angry sometimes, socially conscious others and concerned others-- all of which makes a true New Yorker. "Thirty Rock" was the perfect metaphor for the role he plays for all of us: he has the benevolence and authority of Bloomberg combined with the looks and wit of-- well, Alec Baldwin. Then comes "Girls" with Lena Dunham. My husband and I both literally cringe at many of the scenes while he laugh at how real it is: the loft parties in Brooklyn, the benders every Manhattanite in her/his twenties has experienced, the energy and the angst of a post-college grad trying to afford living and working in the city. As we watch "Girls" we experience the 20's angst with great thankfulness that we are well past it, while also appreciating its ability to capture so accurately those years of feeling confused by itall. When each episode is over, I'm so glad to have watched another memory of my 20's, but watch it when I'm 40, so I can appreciate it for the first time, as it's impossible to appreciate when you're in it. Listening to Alex Baldwin and Lena Dunham is listening to two authentic voices of New York: unguarded, always funny, witty, smart, edgy-- how could you not trust the voices of these two? Flawed, maybe, but that's what makes them so compelling. This interview was perfect. Like a read in the New Yorker. A conversation in a Manhattan coffee shop. Alec Baldwin is the best. I can't wait to see him on "Girls." He is an icon. He seems to acknoweldge, admire and respect that Dunham is becoming one too.

Mar. 07 2013 12:48 PM

its cool to be concerned about providing a good role model to girls watching the show. it is a great show, and fun to watch characters aspiring towards, if failing often, towards a common definition of morality. but bringing morality into entertainment is a bit confusing, why is it wrong to be sleazy/prostituty, but totally chill to eat meat, for instance? where is the line between grappling with issues and preaching one's subjective views?
i would posit there is a genre of character that is sleazy and has gravitas at the same, Anton Sigur, Chuck Bass, etc. which comes from a refusal to accept a common definition of morality, (in a system where 10,000 cows are killed everyday and more black people are in prison than came over as slaves et al even if the reasons are not articulated as such.) even though girls is a welcome addition to the entertainment world, i still greatly appreciate a dose of sleaze as well.

Feb. 16 2013 09:09 AM
Kim from Missouri (pronounced ee)

I love this podcast. It's like Alec is the talky guy at the party and he's got the cool kid cornered and I'm listening in.

I end up liking everyone he talks with but Lena is the best so far. The two of them are like kindred spirits on different ends of six or seven spectrums.

Keep it up Alec. You're enlightening us all and exposing me to people I never knew I wanted to know.

Feb. 14 2013 09:00 PM
Jamie NYC from NYC

This interview is the best of Here's The Thing. Many other interviews on this show don't compare. The Andrew McCarthy interview is my second favorite so far.

Feb. 13 2013 04:37 PM

Alec, I'm a New Yorker wandered abroad. I've recently stumbled on your show and find it a lovely slice of home. Lena is a nice example of writers you've had on the show. One of my favorite performances of yours was in Prelude to a Kiss. For me, Craig Lucas, though not often enough talked about in this light, is one of the extraordinary American playwrights. I, for one, would be very interested to hear you interview him.

Feb. 09 2013 08:14 AM

He is NEVER going to stop interrupting. He is who he is, he likes who he is, he is doing shows for people who like him just the way he is. We either have to get over it (which I'm working on) or move on to someone else. Them's our choices, period.

Feb. 08 2013 08:35 PM
Jean Moore

Hey, it's Alec. This is like listening to a great conversation, not an interview. BTW I'm three times Lena's age, and I LOVE "Girls." Talent and artistic energy crosses all boundaries.

Feb. 05 2013 06:22 PM
Barbara from Washington, D.C.

I'm 12 minutes into the interview and I'm not finding Alec Baldwin to be interruptive in the least. I wonder what Lena thought!

Feb. 05 2013 02:00 PM
Laura Lippstone

Pleasantly surprised by this interview. Given the ages and worldviews of Baldwin and Dunham, I thought it would be awkward. But they connected in a way that was informative and entertaining.


Feb. 05 2013 09:11 AM
Lori from Brooklyn

I'm closer to Alec's age than Lena's, but I never miss an episode of "Girls". I can still remember having a freshly minted BFA and trying to figure out what next. I found the interview insightful, conversational, funny and leaving me wanting more.

Jan. 31 2013 12:35 PM
Jane from Australia

"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward Bulwer-Lytton 1803-1873, politician, poet, playwright, novelist. Keep interrupting in the kind way you do Alec, it's what gives your interview/conversation integrity.

Jan. 29 2013 05:23 PM
Mitch from Brooklyn

I cannot believe Alec mentioned the bizarre goldmine that is "Stairway To Stardom"! My friend and I are the guys who rescued and resurrected the show from oblivion by getting in contact with the show's former host. I've been interviewed about it on NPR, and in The Village Voice. There's a youtube channel with almost 90 clips, and I've even put together a 3 dvd box set of the "best" stuff culled from the approximately 40 episodes that have survived. If Alec would be interested in a copy, please have him email me and I'll send him one for free.

Jan. 29 2013 03:10 PM
Andrea from New York

Why doesn't anyone on this show or on Fresh Air know or find out that her parents are two of the most important and successful living visual artists? - And, it's relevant to her work - mother's a feminist and father explores intellect/sexuality. Much more interesting than her current boyfriend, if you want to pick a personal question to ask.
I am glad she talked with Alec about how she found herself in the mainstream. I went to Oberlin and I feel like I know her. In her case, creative success and confidence has been modeled for her. Lena Dunham and her story are great and inspiring and I'm SO happy to have this voice in the world. Maybe her "generation" - or people in it - is like her though there have been people like her for a few generations now, how great that it IS finally in the mainstream.

Jan. 29 2013 11:50 AM
Ron from Manhattan

I re-listened and heard no interruptions by Alec, in fact, I heard insightful, intuitive questions that lead the conversation to entertaining and interesting places. Lena is a sharp, intelligent young woman, with lots to say. I felt that Alec's experience in the business enabled him to guide Lena and the conversation to places that the audience wanted to hear about.

Jan. 28 2013 10:03 AM
Mayor Bloomburger from NC

I'm one the 1% who's life is affected by Alec's work

Always Be ..... Categorically Awesome

Jan. 26 2013 12:43 PM
Heather from Brooklyn

What was most entertaining/embarrassing was when Alec insinuated that he and Lena were leading parallel lives, or at least were on similar paths. Still an enjoyable show.

Jan. 25 2013 07:05 PM
kevin from ULS

charlie rose..?? he may not interrupt quite as much,but he derails conversations all the time. he's got this nauseating habit of saying,with that grotesque smirk of his, "life is good",as if imploring his guest to agree with him. it would seem as if,in his world,that people who appear outwardly confident and succesful,did not have a right to their inner angst. charlie rose is dreadful!

Jan. 25 2013 09:36 AM
Christopher Springmann from San Francisco CA

I would suggest that the folks who are concerned with Alec's engaging, intense conversational style, which includes, yes, interrupting vs. just letting the talent run, take the time to read the transcript instead.

It's a whole different experience and may be more pleasing.

Charlie Rose is a great act, too, but he works in slow motion, lobbing softballs. Different style, different strokes. But I agree - the Alec & Charlie Hour would be a hoot!

Jan. 25 2013 05:14 AM

She's so delightful, bright and charming. Alec Baldwin is surprisingly good interviewer, but needs to watch more Charlie Rose-the master. (don't interrupt so much; we know you're smart too.)

Jan. 25 2013 01:00 AM
graton from Sao Paulo

Love the show. This girl is awesome.

Jan. 24 2013 11:21 PM
Az from Brooklyn

I'd like to see Baldwin & Rose attempt to interview each other in an televised interrupt-off.

Jan. 24 2013 02:41 PM
Kellyann from Brooklyn

Give Alec a break. It is a conversational show, not a traditional interview show. He is earnestly excited to talk to Lena.

Jan. 24 2013 02:18 PM

Ditto: Alec you need to get someone to come on and interview you - maybe Lena because this is a nice conversation.

Jan. 24 2013 12:58 PM
Melissa from Asheville, NC

I LOVE Alec. I LOVE his energy. But he interrupts all his guests way too much. This interview had me yelling at my iPhone for him to PLEASE let her finish a thought. Pleeeeeease!

Jan. 24 2013 11:39 AM
Arnold from Windsor Terrace

Another hideously entertaining show. Although I couldn't help feeling (for the first time) like Alec was sort of... auditioning for his guest. (I was going to say something a bit less polite, but then, why would he need to do that?)

Jan. 24 2013 10:21 AM
Annie from Stockholm, Sweden

Agree with the other commenters. Baldwin needs to stop interrupting.

Jan. 24 2013 10:08 AM


Jan. 23 2013 05:37 PM
kevin from ULS

i wonder if alec were a she,and were interrupting guys,would people be as bothered by it.... humnn..? i sort of don't think so,by what do i know.

Jan. 23 2013 09:50 AM
Lola from Toronto

Alec, stop interrupting her... she was on such an interesting train of thought (RE: her parents and parenting) and you distracted her!!
Otherwise very insightful interview.

Jan. 23 2013 07:37 AM

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