Girls Power: How Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner Became Hollywood's Best Duo

Ingela Ratledge
lena dunham, jenni koner, girls
Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

If Sex and the City was a love letter to female friendship, Girls is more like a drunken text. But behind the scenes, it’s a very different story for showrunners Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. “We wouldn’t be able to make the show if we had the dynamic that the characters do,” Dunham says. The pair were introduced through their agents and spent their first meeting talking for six hours straight.“We have really similar tastes and sensibilities,” says Konner. At the time, Konner was an industry vet in her 40s—Dunham was 23 and at the beginning of her career. “I remember saying that she was this rare orchid, and it was my whole job to protect her,” Konner says. “Now, she’s like a full-grown human lady. I don’t worry.”

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While their series may be winding down, Konner and Dunham’s partnership is doing anything but. They have multiple projects in the pipeline—including an HBO pilot about second-wave feminism in the ’60s—and they run Lenny, a popular female-centric online newsletter. “Lena and Jenni do tons of work, but it’s joyous for them,” says Apatow. Case in point: When asked for a sampling of topics they’re apt to discuss over dinner, the two women are quick to chime in. “We’ll talk about food the whole time we’re figuring out what to order, then while we’re eating we’ll talk about other things we’ve eaten and what our next meal is going to be,” Konner says. Adds Dunham, “There’d be some work talk, some life talk and some inexplicable giggling.”

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 Girls, Season premiere, Sunday, Feb. 21, 10/9c, HBO