"I want to take these girls to the next phase in their life," she explained to the fans in the audience of the Girls panel at PaleyFest on Sunday. Apatow on the other hand, has "specific story ideas" that are violent "very similar to Breaking Bad."
That's the level of charming absurdity the conversation reached during the panel that also included co-stars Allison Williams (Marnie), Alex Karpovsky (Ray), Andrew Rannells (Elijah) and fellow executive producers Jenni Konner, Bruce Eric Kaplan and Ilene S. Landress.
Check out 17 other intriguing behind-the-scenes nuggets we learned from the panel:
1. Dunham prefers the Girls set to Scandal, comfort-wise: "I did Scandal, and their set is a delight, but I'm not in my underpants at craft services [there]," she confessed.
2. Dunham does a hilarious Kate Winslet impersonation: While rehashing the story about being fired from the remake of Mildred Pierce, Dunham impersonated how Winslet coached the young actress playing her daughter about how to play dead. Dunham's British accent isn't half bad, which makes it a shame that she was fired for her own poor performance. Nothing remains of her part in the film, but "You can see my feet in it," she said. "I got that IMDb credit!
3. Girls has some unsexy sex photos floating around: Before the actors perform a sex scene, Dunham and executive producer Konner assume the position fully clothed for pictures that are then given to the actors to demonstrate exactly what's needed. Dunham added that Williams "asks why and how but doesn't say no. She's game to do whatever."
4. We might see Elijah do full-frontal someday: Rannells says if he were asked to do full-frontal nudity by the producers, "I would trust you. You want me to do that? Season 5!" Apatow added, "I'll send you a picture."
5. Dunham hires someone to tweet for her: Although Dunham tried to laugh off the verbal abuse from the trolls online, she says that after a while, "It does affect you internally.. I'm affected by violence, by theats of rape. I'm a mess." So although she sends out her tweets by proxy, she doesn't read it anymore.
6. One executive producer moonlights at The New Yorker: Bruce Eric Kaplan, whom Dunham describes as the show's "truth-o-meter... who tracks the emotional throughlines and honesty wherever we go," pens New Yorker cartoons under his initials, B.E.K.
7. Dunham and Karpovsky disagree about whether or not they dated: The two went out to an indie movie and then to dinner, but while Dunham thought she was on a date "with a really cool guy from South by Southwest," he saw it as a more business-like outing in which they were just "swapping DVDs and links."
8. Ray's role on Girls is a defensive one: Williams said that the character Ray is to "call the girls out before the critics have a chance to." Dunham describes him as "the voice of reason, but also the voice of disdain."
9. Girls is (sort of) similar to The Sopranos: Landress, who also worked on The Sopranos, said that the two HBO series were similar in the specificity in which certain things were described. For Girls it's outfits, whereas on Sopranos, it's food. In fact, Sopranos creator David Chase had to tell the writers to cut back on how much food they included in the scripts.
10. Dunham still can't believe the show has a budget: Despite the show's success four years in (with a fifth already ordered), Dunham still occasionally holds back when writing scenes that she thinks they can't afford, such as outdoor scenes.
11. Marnie has an unusal foreplay fetish: Williams explained, "The way to get Marnie to have sex with you is to be mean... it's the most sensual thing you can do to her."
12. Dunham hates the subway: Dunham never liked the subway when she was younger and would "sob hysterically" if she had to take it. So, even when she was a broke restaurant hostess, she would spend all of her measly wages on cabs. She checked out the subway again about two years ago, but found it hadn't really improved enough for her to reconsider taking it.
13. Girls is political in a natural way: Although Dunham used to think she was not a political person, she says she does care deeply about politics, in particular when it comes to women, women of color and women's reproductive rights. The show isn't didactic, but "the natural truth of our politics comes through... and tells a story about the world we live in and the world we want to live in." Later, she also added that the show believes that being "complex, annoying and multifaceted is the right of women on TV," which is inherently feminist because it's "a form of representation that we've been lacking."
14. Williams and Rannells want to team up elsewhere: Rannels revealed the he and Williams are "pitching ourselves to be on other TV shows... Nashville, Empire... Allison and I as a married couple on any show."
15. The origin of "badussy" revealed: Dunham says that the slang term "badussy" (which Konner hates) came from the Tim Meadows comedy The Ladies Man, and refers to a very specific smell combo of "butt, d--- and p---y."
16. The Girls gang are fans of Broad City: Dunham is glad that both series about twentysomething women can coexist. Konner adds that if the characters ever met, the Girls girls would feel like they were more sophisticated and give the Broad City girls advice, which "they would smartly not listen to."
17. Girls advocates transcendental meditation: The cast and crew of Girls meditates often together, Konner revealed. Dunham had apparently grown up using meditation and says that it doesn't involve adopting religious beliefs but is about engaging with yourself.
Girls airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
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