TODAY

TODAY   |  March 07, 2014

‘Girls’ talk: Savannah interviews Lena Dunham

Actress Lena Dunham sits down with Savannah Guthrie to talk about hosting “Saturday Night Live” for the first time, and about her character on her hit show “Girls.” Savannah pitches Dunham some ideas for cameos Savannah could make on “Girls.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this morning on " snl today," we are talking to lena dunham. might be underselling her abilities. at just 27 years old, she isn't just starring in the hit hbo show "girls," she created it, writes it, produces it and directs it. and now she can add something else to that impressive resume. she'll be the host of "saturday night live" later this week. i got to sit down with her about her big debut.

>> i hear you love " snl ."

>> i love it with a passion. is obsessed too strong a word?

>> no, it's not too strong of a word. and being here in this space is surreal and wonderful and i'm so excited to soak up every inch of it. i was literally staring at the hair stylists as they constructed wigs.

>> since you're kind of the aficionado of snl , okay, guys, i have ideas for sketches.

>> i asked seth meyers for advice and he said i should not give more than three sketch ideas. i didn't want to be the person who shows up with all their pencils sharpened. plus, recognized what these people do is such a specific skill. it's so different from what i do. i don't presume to think my ideas would work. i pitched a couple to my boyfriend and he's like maybe you should keep those in our house. i get it, kind of, but maybe keep it here.

>> at the season opener, they did a parody of "girls." tina fey was the fifth girl, blerta.

>> i love your outfit, by the way, where did you get that?

>> a fire.

>> one of the best things that's ever happened to me.

>> that has to be the ultimate i've made it moment.

>> i was sitting there watching that, and i couldn't believe these people i admired were even aware enough of my work to sort of construct this parody. which felt loving. i mean, i heard they were doing an snl parody of "girls" because i've been all too aware of -- and i thought they took a front approach. it wasn't nudity obsessed, all about my weight. it was a really intelligent, thoughtful approach to "girls." not only did i feel grateful, i felt excited it existed.

>> the show is interesting this season because hannah seems to be getting it together. she's got a real job.

>> yeah.

>> she and adam seem to be in a loving, committed relationship. i'm starting to worry.

>> i'm just not interested in anything they have to say.

>> i'm not interested in anything they have to say. that's the point of friendship.

>> well, it's funny. a lot of what this season is about is about reaching those adult milestones and realizing it doesn't make your life perfect.

>> your hair looks fantastic.

>> you know what, thank you, but this haircut happened upon me in a very challenging time which you weren't present for.

>> you wrote the show. you've got to love the show. do you like the girls?

>> it's funny. i like them, but here's what i always say. maybe i don't like them, but i love them. it's the way i feel about a lot of my friends, which is they drive me insane, i often wish they would fall down a mine shaft , but they're the people i adore and i can say how can you like him? well, there's no way i could play this character for 3 1/2 years without feeling a lot of love and sympathy for what she's going through even when there's a right decision and wrong decision when she's magnetically attracted to the wrong one.

>> do you think she's an extension of you?

>> kind of a 105-year-old trapped in the body of a 27-year-old. and hannah has a passion for experience and a level of empathy that i actually admire.

>> well, since you're not chronologically 105, what do you do for fun when you're not writing, producing, directing, acting?

>> i wish i had a cooler interest. i do historical reenactments, but i would say it's a trifecta of netflix, dog park , eating. those are my three hobbies. and probably dog park being at the top.

>> well, i know i've got to wrap it up here, but i feel like i should confess to you that i kind of imagined being the fifth girl.

>> that's so great.

>> and you're probably thinking you seem really boring and straightforward and i don't see a role for you in the show. i took the liberty of creating story boards to pitch my character. here i am helping hannah study for the bar exam because i don't think she's achieving her potential.

>> i love it so much. and that's the friend hannah deserves.

>> here i am watering plants thoughtfully while she's in rehab.

>> that was so nice of you.

>> here i am helping sheshanna organize her closet.

>> look at your bun head, your donut head. beautiful.

>> i'm helping marnie get back on her feet by landing her an interview with someone i know at work.

>> i love it. beautifully done, savannah. back to the writers room and give it serious consideration.

>> that sounds like a blowoff.

>> honestly, i'm not sure whether you're willing to show nipple.

>> you know what, spoiler alert , i'm not. lena, thank you so much. i'm a huge fan. i'm so happy you took the time.

>> it's a pleasure.

>> good luck.

>> go get 'em!

>> chicken.

>> there goes my career with "girls." you can watch lena dunham hosting "saturday night live" here on nbc.