Sundance 2015: Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling talk making it in Hollywood

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP NewsThese were the crowd’s thought leaders — Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, Kristen Wiig and Jenji Kohan — four of Hollywood’s top female creators who gathered to discuss their careers at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.“America is at its most puritanical,” Lena Dunham proclaimed to a group of (mostly female) patrons at a Sundance panel discussion on Saturday afternoon. “People are forgetting that humor is a tool for debate and a tool for expression.” The panel, moderated by New Yorker critic Emily Nussbaum, was titled “Power of Story: Serious Ladies” and featured four women who have become some of the most powerful forces in comedy over the last five years: Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project,” “The Office”), Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids,” “Saturday Night Live”), Jenji Kohan (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Weeds”).

I think campus’ are a great place to start because that’s where we’re being educated and that’s where we’re told we’re going to be safe.” Dunham, who has been vocal about her disgust at the allegations of molestation by Woody Allen with his adopted daughter, thinks that people don’t assume that comedic men are perceived as being represented in their characters. Dunham teased they were now all too seasoned to fall for “gotcha” questions — like when Nussbaum asked what jokes they’ve cut from their shows for being over the line — and that perhaps each woman was just too media-trained now.

Lena Dunham warned viewers not to take her Girls character Hannah Horvath too seriously as a font of wisdom, “People equate the words coming out of your character’s mouth with a real life philosophy that you don’t possess,” she said, as reported by Deadline Hollywood, “I don’t think Larry David or Woody Allen or anyone else playing some version of themselves is walking around with a million people who think they know and understand them on a deep abiding level … Woody Allen is proof that people don’t think everything he says in his films is stuff he does because all he was doing was making out with 17 year olds for years, and we didn’t say anything about it.” This got a roar from the audience. Kohan, who previously created the Showtime comedy “Weeds” and has an extensive background in television, felt strongly that TV is the better medium.

Dunham was referring to a relationship Woody Allen’s character has with a 17 year old in Manhattan, and perhaps referring to the fact he later married his young stepdaughter Sun Yi. Which isn’t to say her experience hasn’t been a “mixed bag”: Coming up in writers rooms, she acknowledged, one man told her that “if God had meant for women to be in a writers room, he wouldn’t have made [breasts] so distracting.” And yet “it seems like movies are way behind,” she continued. The panel had just discussed how fans often assume Dunham and Kaling are just like the characters they write or play. (Wiig joked that if she were anything like the characters she plays, she would be “really fucked up.”) They agreed that male artists deal with this less, and Dunham decided pushed the conversation further. She theorized that part of that may have to do with the fact that television advertisements are heavily aimed at females, while many movie studios are still interested in attracting 18-to-35 year-old males to their films.

What is disturbing are the allegations that he molested his stepdaughter Dylan while she was only 8 years old might be true, and should be taken seriously. Do you want to write the Strawberry Shortcake movie?’” No matter where your content airs, though, you can’t control the audience’s reaction — something that Dunham in particular seems to struggle with. In addition, she admitted to bribing her little sister to kiss her on the mouth, “Basically, anything a sexual predator might do to woo a small suburban girl, I was trying.” Inexplicably, she reacted with shock and horror when people were offended by this. Because the character she plays on “Girls” is also a privileged, intelligent twentysomething writer living in New York, the actress said many viewers assume the two are one and the same. According to the Guardian, her outburst took the form of an incoherent “rage spiral” with passages like “Usually this is stuff I can ignore, but don’t demean sufferers, don’t twist my words, back the fuck up bros.” But how is quoting right from her memoirs twisting her words?

After muttering under her breath that it was going to sound stupid, Wiig was first to answer the question. “I think it’s important to know where your food comes from. As Dunham put it: “I wasn’t raised being told my sex organs were gonna be a limitation of any kind.” “My parents raised me with the entitlement of a tall, white blonde man,” said “The Mindy Project’s” Kaling. “So picture yourself as Armie Hammer on the outside.”

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