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

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Lena Asks Audrey

1. What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I was always inspired by professional women—my mom owns her own business and at an early age I was instilled with a sense of respect for successful and effective ladies. So I knew I wanted to be one of those. If I was normal I probably would have wanted to be something like a unicorn tamer, but I’ve always been a practical dreamer. Read: nerd.

2. What is your biggest fear besides our shared fear of Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes (a non-fiction book about nuclear attack-induced leukemia in Hiroshima)?
I hate surgery of any kind and the idea of undergoing it again in the future terrifies me. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

3. If you lived somewhere besides NYC, where and why?
I definitely want to live in Los Angeles for at least a few years of my life—I resisted visiting LA until I was 21 out of Woody Allen-fueled preconceptions, but immediately fell in love with it. I love the corkscrew turns of the canyons, the art deco apartment buildings haunted by glamorous spirits, the Neutra and Schindler houses, the abundance of doughnut shops, bougainvillea and sage brush, Snoop Dogg and Joan Didion, all that stuff...

4. Do you believe in reincarnation?
I really don’t know enough about reincarnation—is there an episode of Radiolab I can listen to to inform myself? I do feel confident we become our cats.

5. What’s your least favorite part of being female?
The fact that women continue to make 78 cents to every dollar earned by a man. For women of color that gap is much wider—it’s 69 cents for African-American women and 59 cents for Latinas. It’s outrageous to me that wage inequality is still very much a reality in this country.

6. Have you ever thought we would stop being friends?
No. I think our souls are too commingled to ever split. We did have that really bad fight once in your apartment at Oberlin, I think Willie was passed out on the floor outside your room the entire time but managed to sleep through it. [Lena’s note: that fight was awful. You slammed the wall with your fist and I just stuffed my mouth with cheese doodles. Later, you wanted your headband back and said “just ship it to me.”]

7. Who would you invite to your fantasy, living or dead dinner party?
Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Warren, Poly Styrene, John Waters, Bill Maher, Quentin Crisp, Fran Lebowitz, Tracy Morgan, Sally Seton (fictional), Joshua Lyman (fictional), Fox Mulder (fictional), Nan Kempner, Rainer Werner Fassbinder (give him a bib), August Strindberg, Barbara Kopple, Kenneth Anger, Tavi Gevinson all eating crunchy cabbage salad from Souen on plates designed by Judy Chicago.

8. What always makes you laugh?
What makes everybody laugh: videos of people falling, seeing people actually fall.

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