In 2010, Lena Dunham self-financed the indie film Tiny Furniture. Alex Karpovsky who plays Ray and Jemima Kirke who plays Jessa starred in the film as well as Dunham’s mom, artist Laurie Simmons and her sister Grace Dunham. Judd Apatow was a huge fan of the film and this is where the idea for Girls began.
2. Sean Penn’s Brother Is the Composer For 'Girls'
Sean Penn’s older brother Michael is a successful singer-songwriter, composer and musician and does all the music for Girls. He is also in a band called Doll Congress and has produced music for Aimee Mann, The Wallflowers and Liz Phair.
3. The Real Reason Charlie Was Written Out Of The Show
Christopher Abbot who played the role of Charlie was written out of Girls after speaking badly about the show. He was very open about his disapproval of the direction that the show was taking. He was then written out after the second season for having differences with Dunham.
Dunham's father, Carroll, is a well-known conceptual painter. Jemima Kirke's parents are fashion designer Lorraine Kirke and rock musician Simon Kirke. Zosia Mamet is the daughter of the famous playwright David Mamet and Allison Williams's father is the newsman Brian Williams.Those are some good genes!
Kirke and Dunham became friends when they went to Saint Ann's School in NYC together. Dunham asked her to star in Tiny Furniture because she couldn’t afford to pay her actors and then later asked her to join Girls. Kirke is not really an actor, she is an artist, but because they are such great friends, she couldn’t say no to Dunham.
In Girls, Hannah struggles with OCD and so does Dunham in real life. In her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham opens up about her OCD and how it has affected her life and career. It doesn’t seem to be affecting her too much, as she was a show runner at only 25 years old!
The University of Iowa denied HBO access to shooting on their campus. They felt like the show would portray them in a bad light and they weren’t wrong. HBO then turned to New Paltz State University of New York to double as the Iowa campus and they said yes yes yes!
8. 'Girls' Donated To The SUNY New Paltz Foundation
The Girls production, Half a Yogurt Productions, made a donation to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. As part of the exchange, they used their students as extras and they were able to use their campus for filming locations. Sounds like a win win, especially for the students.
Kirke was not into the wardrobe she was given, so she took matters into her own hands. In order for her to feel comfortable on camera and to help her find her character, she wears her own clothes. She must have an amazing closet to pull that off.
10. Judd Apatow's Daughter Guest Stars in Season Four
Judd Apatow’s daughter, Maude, has appeared in her father’s films, Knocked Up, Funny People, and This is 40. She also appears in the 4th season of Girls. This takes "Take Your Kid to Work Day" to a whole new level.
Showrunner Jenni Konner and Dunham have developed the characters at nauseum and even joked about how the girls would die in the end.
“Lena and I were at SXSW once, and we were in separate hotel rooms but we were on the phone, which is something we do a lot. And we figured out where everyone died,” she said. “It was the Six Feet Under ending. So we know where everyone dies.”
12. The Real-Life Marnie Is An Actress In The Show
The real-life Marnie is on the show but she doesn’t play Marnie. Dunham’s bestie, Audrey Gelman, plays the girl that Charlie ended up with after he and Marnie broke up. But she is the real-life Marnie. So basically he dumped Marnie for Marnie.
When Zosia Mamet’s character Shoshanna was written into the show, she was only supposed to be in a few epsiodes. When she got on set, Dunham loved her acting and the way she portrayed her character so much, that they decided to make her a Girls regular. Good thing, because there would be no Girls without all of the girls!