Lena Dunham Hires the Real Life Olivia Pope

Illustration for article titled Lena Dunham Hires the Real Life Olivia Pope

After an increasingly dramatic few years and a particularly dramatic few months, Lena Dunham has hired Judy Smith, the crisis management expert whom Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope was modeled off, as well as publicist Cindi Berger, who works with Mariah Carey and Rosie O'Donnell, among others.

This news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, and it indicates a shift in Dunham's handling of her fame. While not long ago she was penning rebuttals to claims made about controversial topics discussed in her memoir on BuzzFeed or via her Twitter feed, she's since deleted the Twitter app from her phone, as attention to her activities has not died down.


Dunham–the child of New York artists who are successful but are definitely not household names–has spent the past few years visibly struggling with the intense fame that first Tiny Furniture and then Girls catapulted her to. Though her natural tendency appears to be to share details of her personal life via the internet and through her art, she is also (in her words) a homebody who has seemingly had a difficult time reconciling the fact that (unlike the way slightly famous artists do) once she shares something with the world, she cannot retreat back to her own private life; people will continue to pay attention to her and care about her actions, probably with greater interest than they did previously. Things have clearly changed for her since Vogue explained her stance on discussing her personal life year ago, when she said she was going to stop writing about her own experiences so much:

Many of her biggest mistakes, Dunham says, have taken place on Twitter. At one point, she upset, as she puts it, "the entire country of Canada," by mindlessly tweeting a quip about dressing up as the victim of a pair of notorious north-of-the-border serial killers—"me, at three in the morning in Europe, being like, 'What's a funny joke about a Lifetime movie?' "

In such moments, she thinks about an observation Antonoff made one day when she was feeling low. "He's like, 'You know what's hard? People want the person who wants to share it all. But they want the person who wants to share it all minus foibles and mistakes and fuckups. They want cute mistakes. They don't want real mistakes.' If I placed that many censors on myself, I wouldn't be able to continue to make the kinds of things that I make. And so I just sort of know there are going to be moments where I take it one step too far."

Smith and Berger, who both head up their own companies, are the best of the best that Hollywood has to offer, and their hiring suggests that Dunham is finally accepting her new reality as a true Hollywood star, with all the drama that comes with it.

Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty

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Well, it's about time. Not that this excuses her, but from how I see it, she's the daughter of a generation of New York City artists who made careers for themselves by being very much unfiltered (and often in a manner that was very candid about the human body and sexuality). It seems like she's trying to take that art world that she grew up in and translate it into Hollywood, and that just does not work. Artists don't have public personalities in the same way that celebrities do, and the type of person who views art and thinks about it is probably going to give you more leeway than your average resident of middle America who is watching HBO at night.