Lena Dunham, whose hit show "Girls" has drawn criticism and acclaim from critics alike for its depiction of wayward 20-somethings, had a big night Sunday — winning two Golden Globes and kicking off the second season of her show on HBO.
The actress/writer/producer beat out Tina Fey ("30 Rock"), Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep"), and Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl") for the coveted Best Actress in a TV Comedy.
"This award is for every woman who felt like there wasn't a space for her," Dunham said, visibly shaking as she accepted the award. "This show has made a space for me."
Dunham also won Best TV Comedy or Musical for "Girls."
Last year's winner was "Enlightened" star Laura Dern, who wasn't nominated this time around.
Fey and Poehler hosted the show, and NBC broadcasted the 2013 Golden Globes live from the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
These are Dunham's first big wins. She was nominated for four Emmys in 2012 but took home none. Here's what you need to know about HBO's it-girl.
She comes from money:
Her mother and father are both New York artists. Her mother Laurie is a photographer and designer, and her father, Carroll, is a painter. She grew up in Manhattan's trendy TriBeCa, attended Brooklyn's bohemian St Ann's School and attended the equally artsy Oberlin University in Ohio. She's not the only one on the show with a privileged upbringing. Allison Williams' father is NBC anchor Brian Williams, and Zosia Mamet's father is the playwright David Mamet. Jemima Kirke‘s dad is a drummer. The show has been criticized for nepotism, as many have complained that the girls wouldn't have been casted had it not been for their famous parents.
She's BFFs with Judd Apatow:
The 26-year-old, whose unapologetic take on young adults trying to find their way in the world and frequent depiction of awkward sex scenes and nudity, caught the eye of "Mad Men" and "Freaks and Geeks" star producer Judd Apatow. Apatow co-produced season 1 and season 2 and collaborated with Dunham on several other projects, including giving Dunham a cameo in the recently released "This is 40." Apatow helped launch "Girls" into fame and make Dunham a household name. He emailed her after seeing her first feature film.
The young producer doesn't have much experience under her belt:
Yes, she has one film – "Tiny Furniture" – that won a few smaller awards and caught the attention of Apatow. But other than that, Dunham has only a few shorts on her resume. For all the success she has had in her HBO series, she was relatively unknown before the premiere. Her triple threat status as a writer, director, and actress, which she maintained in all of her projects prior to "Girls," has earned her a lot of respect in Hollywood.
Howard's not a fan:
Raunchy radio personality Howard Stern has slammed Dunham for her sex scenes. On his show, the shock-jock said, "It's a little fat girl who kinda looks like Jonah Hill and she keeps taking her clothes off and it kind of feels like rape. She seems — it's like — I don't want to see that." Dunham responded to the criticism diplomatically on David Letterman: "I did find out that Howard Stern really hates ['Girls'], which I'm a Howard Stern fan, and I believe he's earned the right to free speech and he should go for it."
Many critics say "Girls" is unrealistic:
All the characters on the show are white, and Dunham has said that it was deliberate – to avoid tokenisms. In season 2, however, Dunham introduced an African-American character who plays her new boyfriend, perhaps in response to the backlash. Also, the four women on the show don't have paying jobs that would allow them to pay for a Brooklyn apartment. Rather, their parents pay for them to live in New York City's hippest area that is bursting at the seams with 20-somethings. Many have argued that the majority of the world can't afford an arrangement like that. Dunham also deals with body image issues head on. Her character is often uninhibited about stripping down her less-than-perfect body. Meanwhile, another character, Marnie, seems preoccupied with staying thin. Lastly, the show frequently portrays sex scenes that are awkward. Dunham doesn't glamorize sex by any stretch of the imagination.
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