Real Life Girls: Lena Dunham Talks to Her Best Friend, Audrey Gelman 

lena-001.jpg

Photographed Peter Ash Lee
Styled TJ Gustave
Make-up Julie Harris
Hair Sam Leonardi
Shot at Brooklyn Studio


We’ve loved the work of Lena Dunham for awhile now—she was, after all, one of our Young New Yorkers to Watch, back in 2010. And look at her now: her breakthrough feature Tiny Furniture (which she wrote and directed) was infuriatingly good, and now she’s starring in her own HBO show, Girls, about the life of four post-collegiate women in New York City, which has some eerie parallels to Dunham’s own life. We were lucky enough to convince Lena and her best friend Audrey Gelman (who just happened to be one of our Young New Yorkers to Watch in 2011—she’s Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s press secretary) to let us eavesdrop on a little heart-to-heart look at their friendship so far.

Audrey Gelman and I have been best friends for almost eight years, though we have been circling each other for more than a decade. We grew up somewhat parallel on the isle of Manhattan and her reputation preceded her (she let someone pierce her nose at camp, ok?). Not only is Audrey my best friend, she’s a huge inspiration for my work. She’s acted in nearly every film I’ve made, from the time I began in 2006, taking time away from her various ambitious internships (now jobs) in the inscrutable field of politics (her brain and what she does fascinate me endlessly, and my only way of understanding her are The West Wing and The War Room, both of which she got me to watch). My new HBO show Girls is very much a love letter to/group therapy session about female friendship, namely ours. She kindly let me pillage some of our greatest moments and darkest memories, and she also plays a recurring frenemy of my best friend character on the show (too meta!). We are very different in some ways, but there is also no one with a cultural/emotional vocabulary I understand so well. Guys always tell me how hot she is and I’m like “YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST PERSON WHO HAS EVER THOUGHT THIS, OK?” Maybe because she wears glasses sometimes they think it’s a discovery.


Slideshow
Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman
Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman

Lena Dunham and Audrey Gelman

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