Lena Dunham Says She Won't Be Starring in Her Upcoming Netflix Series After Facing Body Shaming on “Girls”

“Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again,” the actress said

<p>Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty</p> Lena Dunham

Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham is prioritizing her mental health.

In an interview with The New Yorker published on Tuesday, July 9, the Girls creator, 38, explained why she does not plan on returning to acting in front of the camera in her latest projects, including the semi-autobiographical comedy series Too Much.

<p>Noam Galai/Getty</p> Lena Dunham, 2022 Gotham Awards

Noam Galai/Getty

Lena Dunham, 2022 Gotham Awards

Set for a 2025 release via Netflix, the show follows a thirty-something-year-old American woman (Megan Stalter) who relocates to London and falls in love with a British musician (Will Sharpe).

The series mirrors Dunham’s life, as the New York native now lives in London with her husband, British Peruvian musician Luis Felber. The couple tied the knot in 2021.

While Dunham was initially going to star as the lead, she decided to cast Stalter instead.

“Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again," she told The New Yorker.

Related: Lena Dunham Slams 'Gnarly' Body Shaming Comments About Her Weight Gain and Wedding Photos

The multi-hyphenate said working with Stalter was like working with “a little Meryl Streep.”

“I was very inspired by her. She’s unbelievable; I think people are going to be so blown away,” Dunham said.

“I also think that I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around Girls at this point in my life. Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again. It was a hard choice, not to cast Meg — because I knew I wanted Meg — but to admit that to myself,” Dunham explained.

Dunham also shared how her definition of happiness has evolved.

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Lena Dunham, December 2023

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Lena Dunham, December 2023

“I used to think that winning meant you just keep doing it and you don’t care what anybody thinks," she said. "I forgot that winning is actually just protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to keep making work.”

Dunham added she’s not a fan of “attention” or “compliments.”

“What makes me feel powerful is making my work. It’s the only thing I want to do,” she said.

She does her best to master her peace by staying off social media. “I haven’t had to log in to my Twitter or my Instagram for six years,” Dunham confessed.

Related: Lena Dunham Says She Doesn't Run Her Twitter Account Anymore Because of Body-Shaming, 'Verbal Violence'

“These places don’t protect women and minorities,” she said of the apps, adding, “I just realized that there was no way that I was going to move toward the ways I wanted to feel in my personal life if I still had access to those things.”

Dunham also told The New Yorker she’ll no longer be directing the Polly Pocket film with Lily Collins.

“I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie,” she said, despite working on the script for “three years.”

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After complimenting Greta Gerwig on her toy-to-film adaptation Barbie, Dunham explained her stance.

“I felt like, unless I can do it that way, I’m not going to do it. I don’t think I have that in me," she said. "I feel like the next movie I make needs to feel like a movie that I absolutely have to make. No one but me could make it. And I did think other people could make Polly Pocket.”

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