I was shocked to learn that you were living with your parents while you were writing, producing and starring in the first season of HBO’s “Girls.” Moving back in with Mom and Dad after school is one reason that Gen Xers like myself privately disparage people of your generation.
When I was graduating, I remember my parents’ surprise. They were like, “Do you realize that none of us would have accepted help from our parents?” They were shocked by what my friends were settling for. But I really love living with my parents. Few people who aren’t in my family understand it.
Christian Oth for The New York Times
So are you still living with them?
This is my next to last night at my parents’ house. I just got back from my new apartment in Brooklyn, where I’m doing some vague remodeling and painting of dank walls.
Are you moving to cool, young Williamsburg or established, family-oriented Brooklyn Heights?
Family-oriented Brooklyn Heights. We lived there all through my high-school career, so I have an intense attachment to it. Other people think of Brooklyn Heights as where you become elderly, but I think of it as where you try pot for the first time.
There’s a scene early on in the show where a man performs oral sex on one of your friends, and then a couple of episodes later, we see the penis of Peter Scolari, who plays your father. Are you trying to make people say, “Wow, I never thought I’d see that on television”?
If we have done nothing else for you, you cannot say that we didn’t show you Peter Scolari’s penis. But I don’t think it’s a shock-value thing. I seriously consider television to be the people’s medium. Like the idea of seeing your parents naked or having somebody go down on you and worrying about whether you smell or worrying about whether your body is weird or what goes across the face of a person who’s supposed to be experiencing pleasure but isn’t — those are things I’d love to normalize on TV.
The show has received a lot of criticism for featuring no characters of color. Should we expect to see an episode in which the girls get a black friend in Season 2?
That would be bananas. I mean, it’s not going to be like, “Hey guys, we’ve been out looking for a black friend or a friend in a wheelchair or a friend with a hat.” The tough thing is you kind of can’t win on that one. I have to write people who feel honest but also push our cultural ball forward.
Is there anything that’s happened in your life that you would never put in the show?
There hasn’t yet, but I’m hoping there will. I always imagined that having a baby is something that I’m going to keep in a private place, but maybe my curse is that all I’m going to want to do is tell everybody about what my birth process was like and what my children’s nightmares are.
It seems as if your character doesn’t know what she’ll grow up to be. Where do you see yourself at 40?
I’d like to still be making movies and TV shows, and I’d like to have written a book, and I’d like to live in Brooklyn with my husband or life partner and our two children and see my parents a lot and have been to all of the continents and have a dachshund and engage in more weight training, because I feel like I’m O.K. with cardio but not with weight training.
What do you think HBO has learned by handing the reins of a comedy over to a relatively inexperienced 25-year-old?
My biggest nightmare is that I do something where they’d be like, “That’s why you don’t give shows to 25-year-old girls.” I’m always afraid that I’m being unprofessional, yet I continue to sign all my e-mails “xoxo.” All my freakouts have been pretty private and directed at family pets and/or people I have been dating for too short a time to freak out at in that way.
So are you taking it all out on a Shih Tzu?
Not at all. But I did come home from a long day recently, and I laid down on the couch next to my dog, and I was so happy to be with a companion that’s not expecting me to do anything. He’s licking my face, and I looked down, and he had the biggest erection. I just punched him. I was like, “I just can’t with you right now.” Everyone needs something from me.