‘Girls’ Lena Dunham On ‘Interesting, Damaging’ Friends With Benefits Relationships

It didn’t take much for us to be interested in HBO’s new comedy “Girls.” First, it’s a half-hour comedy that revolves around single women in their 20s living in New York City, which reminds us of another show that HBO did really well that we liked a lot. Second, the trailer is awesome.

With the show’s April premiere date quickly approaching, the network sent creator/executive producer/writer/star Lena Dunham to Austin, Texas, to screen a couple episodes in front of the receptive SXSW crowds. MTV News was all over the event, where we spoke with Lena about the inspiration for the show and the very awkward sexual situations her character finds herself in during the first episode.

“Definitely a lot is true to life,” Lena said of her source material. “It definitely is a lot of experiences that I, my friends, my writing staff have had, and then taking some of that experience to their more dramatic conclusions. It’s always nice when you can give a real-life experience a movie ending and tie up some loose ends you weren’t able to in the moment.”

Speaking to the very realistic approach the show takes to women’s sexual relationships with men (i.e. emotionless, friends-with-benefits-esque arrangements with not-very-worthy guys), Lena said she felt that it’s a subject that needs to be addressed, no matter how uncomfortable.

“It’s definitely going to evoke the feeling like, ’Why is this self-respecting woman doing this and if so, is she a self-respecting woman?’ But I do think that relationship statuses are becoming more and more ambiguous in our modern Facebook, texting, Twitter world,” she said. “And those relationships need to be explored because those relationships can be really interesting and can also be damaging, to have these relationships with someone who you don’t understand how invested in you they are.”

And while the show is about women, that doesn’t mean that the men are off the hook or play wholly abhorrent individuals.

“We really try to make an effort to make the male characters not cookie-cutter villains, but to really show they’re sweet and tough and strange,” Lena said of the many suitors that come and go. “It’s just a lot of unformed people trying to come together.”

Will you be watching “Girls” when it premieres April 15? Tell us why or why not in the comments and on Twitter!