Lena Dunham Too Much Girls
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath on Girls, HBO

Lena Dunham is currently making a new autobiographical Netflix series called Too Much. But unlike her beloved HBO series Girls, which she wrote and directed, she won’t play the main character.

Instead, she’s cast actress Meg Stalter as the lead. In a new interview with The New Yorker, Dunham explained the reason for not casting herself in the lead role was because she was “not up for” having her body “dissected again.”

The main reason, Dunham says, for not wanting to star in Too Much is that she didn’t want a repeat of the intense scrutiny about her body that she faced while starring as main character Hannah Horvath on Girls, which ran from 2012-2017 on HBO. The series involved many scenes of Dunham nude on camera, and she became the center of much public discourse about her body.

“I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around ‘Girls’ at this point in my life. Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again. It was a hard choice, not to cast Meg —because I knew I wanted Meg — but to admit that to myself,” she said. “I used to think that winning meant you just keep doing it and you don’t care what anybody thinks. I forgot that winning is actually just protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to keep making work.”

Also Read: Sharp Stick Shows That Porn ‘Can Be Really Healing,’ Says Lena Dunham

She also confirmed that the plot is indeed inspired by her own life.

“It’s about an American woman in London who has had a bad breakup in New York and is confused, meeting a recovering punk musician and trying to figure out if they can make a life together. It’s not a huge leap,” Dunham said. “But I knew from the very beginning I would not be the star of it.”

For context, Dunham dated Jack Antonoff, songwriter, producer, and member of the band F.U.N., for five years beginning in 2012 while she was making Girls in New York. She has since married musician Luis Felber and moved to London with him.

Other cast members of Too Much include White Lotus‘s Will Sharpe, Janicza Bravo, who worked with Dunham previously on her movie Sharp Stick, and her Treasure co-star Stephen Fry.

Lena Dunham Reveals She Will Play a Role in Too Much — Just Not the Lead

“No matter what people may think, I got into this because I wanted to be an artist. I actually was never a person who — as much as people may not believe this, because of the way that my work is structured and what it’s about — was unbelievably interested in attention. I don’t like having ‘Happy Birthday”’ sung to me. I don’t particularly like compliments. In that way, I fit in perfectly in England,” she said.

“That level of scrutiny does not make me feel powerful. It does not make me feel, like, I’ll show you. What makes me feel powerful is making my work. It’s the only thing I want to do. It is my only love in life aside from the people who are closest to me and my pets and books.”

However, Dunham will still appear in the show — just not as the lead. She revealed that she and fellowGirls alum Andrew Rannells will play spouses on the show.

“I’m in the show! I think I just accidentally revealed that. But it’s a smaller part. Not a walk-on, but it’s not a lead,” she said.

Calling Stalter her muse, Dunham spoke very highly of the show’s star, known for Hacks and Cora Bora.

“I had seen Meg Stalter’s work, and I was very inspired by her. She’s unbelievable; I think people are going to be so blown away. We know how funny she is. But, then, when she enters a dramatic scene, you’re, like, Oh, we got a little Meryl Streep on our hands! I was thinking a lot about, like, What is it that allows women to be complicated on TV and still be embraced and seen and understood?” she said. “There’s an openness to Meg’s presence that I think goes a long way. She has whatever the opposite of resting bitch face is. She has resting angel face.”

Too Much is set to premiere on Netflix in 2025.

Main Image: Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath on Girls, HBO

Mentioned This Article: