PaleyFest 2015: Our Live Coverage Of The Girls Panel




Sunday, March 8th (1:00pm)

Moderator: Judd Apatow (Executive Producer)

Panelists: Lena Dunham (Creator & EP), Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells, Jenni Konner (EP), Bruce Eric Kaplan (EP), Murray Miller (EP), Ilene S. Landress (EP), Sarah Heyward (Co-Producer), Jason Kim (Staff Writer)



  • The Girls panel is moderated by Girls executive producer Judd Apatow. This is the first (and only) panel that is moderated by someone who actually works on the series in question and suggests either that no one wants to touch it, or that there is a very specific interpretive agenda that they’re trying to push. (Or both.)
  • Jennifer Konner first came to PaleyFest as a fan of Freaks and Geeks.
  • Apatow asks Dunahm, basically, about what her life has been like since she started working on Girls. He also launches a challenge against “criticism.” Dunham says the cast and crew is like her family.
  • “I don’t mean to say, like, ‘I’m so important I can’t handle my own Twitter.’ But it just became too much.” And I’m annoyed already.


  • Lena Dunham discusses how one of her friends stalked and harassed a Twitter harasser in kind as if we are supposed to find this funny or empowering. Just, no.
  • Apatow asks Kaplan to discuss his history working in television. Kaplan says there is a vast difference between working on other shows and Girls. “There’s a lot of effort and desire to be really truthful in this show.”
  • Dunham: Kaplan is “the person who tracks the emotional true lines and makes sure it’s honest everywhere we go.”


  • Alex Karpovsky talks about how the most remarkable thing is that Lena Dunham has not changed at all since he first started walking with her on Tiny Furniture.
  • Lena Dunham is now publically shaming Alex Karpovsky about her believing they went on a date once and Karpovsky not believing it was a date.
  • “Alex’s character would be the voice of other people’s interpretation of how the girls behave.” -Apatow
  • Jenni Konner claims Karpovsky’s character is the moral compass of the show.
  • Apatow: “Certain writers don’t understand that we know what we’re doing with the characters.” These people aren’t up on themselves at all.
  • Dunham on Karpovksy: “His improvisation sounds like a Shakespearean sonnet.”


  • Andrew Rannells was confronted with the line “Your dad is gay” early morning in a doughnut line once.
  • “So much of Sopranos was about the details” and that carries over into Girls because “so much of the show is in the details.” -Ilene Landress
  • “We wrote in mimes one time and they appeared and I was like ‘where the fuck did those mimes come from.'” -Dunham
  • A black light room was “our first real big thing.” -Landress
  • “She says ‘cut,’ and then runs to the monitors and looks at it, and then says hello to the makeup lady or whatever.” -talking about how Dunham has to do so many things at once.
  • “There’s a lot of people on the show who haven’t gone through the nightmare Hollywood experience.” Apatow says there is a “lack of bitterness” on the set.


  • Dunham was cast in the HBO Mildred Pierce series. “I asked my mom for advice, (never gonna do that again).” Her mother’s advice was apparently: “They hired you because they want you to be yourself.” She apparently got fired very quickly.
  • Karpovsky was surprised by all the relationships his character gets into on the show. “I think Ray is infatuated with a different side of Marnie than he is with Shosh.”
  • Jennie Konner says the Marnie/Ray relationship makes sense because both characters are so opinionated.


  • Allison Williams calls her character’s arc “a gift.”
  • “The writers have done a really really good of writing a continuous person while the soul of the character is still there.” – Williams
  • “We’re at the point now where me masturbating is so boring it gets cut.” -Williams
  • “Allison is very involved with her nudity covers.” -Dunham
  • “I don’t think anybody has read anything in these that doesn’t seem like it belongs in the world.” -Rannells


  • “Jenni turned to me and she said ‘I think we’re working on a porn film.'” -Kaplan
  • Apatow asks what it’s like having people recognize them from the show.
    • Karpovsky says he’s kept his same routine so he’s got a defense mechanism. He also says people only come up to the actors if they like the show.
  • And now Dunham is telling embarrassing stories about Karpovsky because she apparently must shame all of her friends in passive-aggressive acts.
  • Dunham has now called at least two unrelated things “the best thing that ever happened.”
  • Rannells: “New York is sort of good in that way because I feel like you can sort of be anonymous but be out there.”
  • Dunham illustrates her obnoxious privilege by claiming to spend all of her money on taxi cabs while she was “broke and waitressing.”
  • Dunham now says how upset she is that she thinks she upset Karpovsky, as if her faux remorse is supposed to make her cute.


  • Apatow tries to give Dunham a platform for addressing the vast amount of criticism of her character and herself.
  • “While we don’t set out to be didactic … the natural truth of our politics comes through.” “We don’t just tell stories about the world we live in, we tell stories about the world we want to live in.” -Dunham
  • “It’s more real to watch people wrestle with that.” -Williams on political ideas in stories
  • “Changing your mind is a natural and very healthy part of human .” -Dunham
  • “Anything you say on anything almost half the country is really pissed off.” -Apatow
  • Williams keeps trying to shave the rough edges off the massively narcissistic asshats who make up so much of the rest of the panel.


  • Audience question: “Where did ‘badussy’ come from?” It apparently came from some stupid bro comedy and Dunham’s boyfriend got it into her life.
  • Konner and Dunham were introduced by their agents. “I always say that’s embarrassing, it’s like saying you met on” -Dunham
  • Audience question: “How do you strike a balance between women characters who are real but sometimes annoying while also pushing for feminist values?”
    • “Being complex, annoying, and multi-faceted is the right of women on television.” -Dunham; what a fascinating point since so many shows actually do that now (re: Shonda Rhimes’ shows as well) but apparently Dunham, as Dunham, believes she’s the only bastion of this kind of representation of female characters.
  • Asking what Rannells’ dream on Broadway would be, he answers “Sometimes the unknown thing is the best.”
  • Williams and Rannell: “You and I want to do Phantom of the Opera where you play both Raul and the Phantom.” Which might actually be watchable.


  • “Would the girls in Girls be friends with the girls in Broad City?” The general consensus is yes, but the Broad City girls are “more mature.”
  • Audience question about whether Marnie will ever do drugs. Williams discusses how much Marnie drinks and says “Marnie on any kind of hallucinogenic would be so destructive it would end the show.”
  • Audience question: “Are there any other improv lines that have turned into storylines?”
    • An early prank that rewrote a scene as a soap opera-style drama turned in later seasons into an actual storyline.
  • The cast and crew often does “group meditation.” Apatow, ironically, claims to be the head of the cult. “For us, transcendental meditation is just being quiet for 20 minutes.”
  • Apatow asks where Dunham wants the show to go. She says she wants to take the characters to the next phase in their life.
  • Apatow has “very specific ending ideas that they very violently disagree with.” Dunham: “And we violently disagree with them because they are violent.”



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