Howard Stern. Manny Carabel/Getty ImagesLena Dunham. Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
When you’ve made a name for yourself creating a super-edgy series – even by cable standards – and for not shying away from TV sex scenes despite a less-than-perfect body, you’re probably a pretty good sport. And “Girls” creator, writer, and star Lena Dunham proved she was just that when she called into “The Howard Stern Show” on SiriusXM Radio on Wednesday.
The Dunham-Stern hubbub started after Stern initially criticized the acclaimed HBO series on the air, saying that he didn’t like it and didn’t like that fact that Dunham was constantly taking her clothes off in nude scenes that “feel like rape.” He also said he thought the “little fat chick” looked like Jonah Hill and was a “camera hog.” Later, after watching more episodes with wife Beth Stern, however, he changed his tune, admitting he’d become addicted to the show .
"I felt bad because I really do love the show ‘Girls’ and enjoy it, and I admire the girl who writes it,” Stern said on Monday’s show, after learning that Perez Hilton posted his initial comments about Dunham to his website earlier this month. “I would like to explain myself to her on the air and apologize to her because I do love the show and it makes me feel bad that she is getting the impression that I somehow think she's just a talentless little fat chick.”
Sure enough, Dunham gave him the chance by calling into the show on Wednesday, three days after taking home two Golden Globes.
“I don’t even know where to begin with all of this,” Stern told the 26-year-old. “The reason I felt so awful was because when Perez Hilton wrote his article, he told half the story.” The shock jock later explained his change of heart. “I started to compare you to Woody Allen … the whole thing came together for me.
And then, more accolades: “I guess I just want to tell you I love you and I think you’re terrific.”
When asked how she first learned of Stern’s first round of less-than-flattering comments, Dunham explained that her co-star Jemima Kirke, who’s a huge fan and daily listener of the Stern show, was the one who clued her in, telling Dunham that Stern, “said he hated the show and that you look like Jonah Hill.”
“I thought that was a good line actually,” Stern, 59, chuckled.
Dunham on the show. (HBO)
Though the interview was mostly a lovefest, with Dunham reciprocating Stern’s raves by showering him and his show with her own compliments and sharing how much she enjoyed his 1996 film “Private Parts,” she did take umbrage with one thing.
“I’m not that fat, Howard,” Dunham insisted. “I don’t mean to take major issue with you about this. I’m not super thin, but I’m thin for like Detroit.”
After saying he felt like she plays up the “fat angle” on the show, Stern admitted, “You’re not obese or anything.”
“Thank you. Another thing for my gravestone. Howard Stern says ‘You’re not obese or anything,’” Dunham joked.
Stern and his co-host Robin Quivers managed to squeeze in a regular interview too during the call, with questions about pressure to make the cast more racially diverse, how she got involved with Paul Rudd, and why she wore such high – and clearly uncomfortable – heels to the Globes Sunday night. (Next time Dunham’s opting for flats, she claims.)
And after discovering that Dunham’s current boyfriend, guitarist for the band fun. Jack Antonoff, previously dated Scarlett Johansson, Stern couldn’t resist asking if his past love was intimidating for her.
“It doesn’t give me that much anxiety … I feel good. I feel OK,” she explained. “When somebody makes you feel special, I don’t think you’re that concerned about things like that.”
But, as he always does, Stern got in the last word and made sure he and Dunham parted as friends, saying: “I certainly apologize to you that you got the wrong impression about my feelings. I do really find your show fantastic. I’m a fan and I love what you’re doing and thank you for entertaining me.”
Now, if Howard makes a guest appearance on “Girls,” we’ll know he’s really sorry.
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