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DGA Awards Winner Lena Dunham: I'm Terrified Every Time I Step on Set

Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham

The "Girls" director, writer and star won the award for comedy series at Saturday's show.

Lena Dunham continued her marathon of awards-season love by winning the DGA Award for directorial achievement in comedy series on Saturday night at the Ray Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The 26-year-old creator of Girls, whose show recently won big at the Golden Globes, was nominated for helming the pilot episode of her HBO hit.

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“We shot the pilot exactly two years ago. I was terrified; I didn’t sleep the night before; I lost my voice,” Dunham told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet before the DGA Awards. “I will tell you, I‘ve now directed almost 10 episodes of Girls, and every time I step on the set, I’m terrified, because if you’re as lucky as I am, you admire the people you work with and you want to bring it hard for them every single day.”

Dunham adds that because of her incredible crew, she quickly came to feel that the set was her home.

Girls, which is currently airing its second season and stars Dunham as a twenty-something trying to figure out her life in New York, has been getting plenty of media attention for its awards accomplishments and for its subject matter. Recently, NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a harsh review at the Huffington Post, criticizing the show for inserting a black character in what felt like a forced attempt at diversity.

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Dunham says the media attention has been “wild.”

“My dad says that he gets worried -- if he opens the New York Times and there’s not something about Girls – that I’m dead,” she said. “Which is an overstatement, but it’s definitely been shocking to see the amount of coverage the show has gotten.”

But Dunham adds that the press only helps, because the show puts a spotlight on the topics facing her generation.

“What I’m proud of is that the show talks about a lot of issues that I think are important and are under-discussed in our current climate, so if we can bring any light to that, I’m pleased,” she said.

At the Golden Globes in January, Dunham won two awards – one for best actress in a comedy series and one for best comedy series – and, during one of her speeches, she sent a special shout out to Chad Lowe, who was forgotten when his then-wife, Hilary Swank, gave her Oscar acceptance speech in 2000.

THR asked if Dunham has plans to thank any other actors she doesn’t personally know.

“Who else has been terribly forgotten?” she said. “I’m really just a champion of the forgotten.”

Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford