The Shmooze

Lena Dunham On Leaked Celebrity Photos: Don't Blame the Victim

By Anne Cohen

Lena Dunham has a word of advice on how to handle conversations around the nude celebrity photos leaked over the weekend: don’t blame the victim.

In an acid tweet, the “Girls” star compared remarks like “don’t take nude pics if you don’t want them online” to dismissive attitudes about rape.

On Sunday, a 4chan user posed revealing and nude photos supposedly hacked from the iCloud accounts of female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Lea Michele.

While some have wisely pointed out that this huge breach of privacy is akin to a sex crime, media outlets from People Magazine to CNN have referred to the incident as a “scandal,” a term which places responsibility squarely on the victims’ shoulders.

On Monday, Dunham sent out a slew of tweets denouncing the language used to describe the leak, and called on people to stop sharing the images:

Preach!

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Jack Antonoff Takes a Break From Fun. For Solo Record —  With Yoko Ono

By Gabe Friedman


Jack Antonoff, lead guitarist in Fun. and boyfriend of Lena Dunham, has taken a short break from his Grammy Award-winning band to write and record a solo album. The record, entitled “Strange Desire,” was released in July and features Yoko Ono. Dunham directed the music video for the album’s first single, “I Wanna Get Better.”

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Antonoff explains that he found writing music on his own to be interesting and totally “aesthetically different” than the process of writing with Fun. Most notably, Antonoff sings on his solo record, something he has not done since he fronted his first band Steel Train.

He described working with Yoko Ono as predictably bizarre.

“She went in and started screaming and grunting and making album noises,” Antonoff said. “I basically took this 20-minute file of her doing all this stuff, got in bed and started cutting it all up.”

Despite all this, Fun. fans should not be worried – the band is gearing up to write and record a new album.

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Sneak Peek at Lena Dunham's Book

By Anne Cohen

During a panel at the Book Expo America — held at the Jacob Javits center this weekend— Lena Dunham shared a sneak peek from her upcoming book, “Not That Kind of Girl.”

On stage with Alan Cumming, Martin Short, and Cólm Toibín, Dunham admitted that she loosely based her essays on the mother-of-all-memoirs/advice/general commiserator guide, Helen Gurley Brown’s “Having It All.”

Our friends at The Cut have the passage, taken from the book’s introduction:

And if I can take what I’ve learned to make one menial job easier for you, prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel like you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine was worthwhile. I’m already predicting my future shame in thinking I had anything to offer you, but also my future glory in having stopped you from trying an expensive juice cleanse, or thinking that it was your fault when the person that you’re dating suddenly backs away because they’re intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on Earth.

“Not That Kind of Girl” hits bookstores in September.

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Lena Dunham Celebrates Her Sister in Moving Speech

By Anne Cohen

Lena Dunham gave a moving speech on Monday night, when she was honored by the Point Foundation, an organization devoted to helping LGBTQ students overcome obstacles.

Speaking at the New York Public Library, the creator and star of “Girls” thanked her family and her sister, Grace, who came out at age 17.

“I have always felt a strong and emotional connection to members of the LGBTQ community. It was actually a huge disappointment for me, when I came of age and realized that I was sexually attracted to men. So when my sister came out, I thought, ‘Thank God, someone in this family can truly represent my passions and beliefs.’

My sister Grace coming out as a gay woman at age 17 was a huge turning point for me in my understanding of the issues facing LGBTQ people. We were raised in an environment—the art world of downtown Manhattan—where no one hid their sexual orientation, and a common question from four-year-old me was ‘Mom, are those ladies gay together?’ I was always very jealous of any child who had two dads. And because of our parents’ deeply held commitment to acceptance and equality, my sister’s process of coming to terms with her sexuality was as angst-free as anything involving sex can really be. She was assured by the adults in her life that she was not only accepted, but adored for who she is. I am so happy that this is the way she was able to enter the world as a woman and an LGBTQ person.”

According to Vanity Fair, Dunham donated $25,000 to the Point Foundation.

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Lena Dunham Directed Her Boyfriend's New Music Video

By Anne Cohen

In “Girls” withdrawal after Sunday’s season finale? Here’s a little something to tide you over: Lena Dunham directed a video to go along with the first single by boyfriend Jack Antonoff’s new band, Bleachers.

In “I Wanna Get Better,” Antonoff plays a therapist listening to Hannah Horvath-esque patients talk about their problems (memorable lines include: “my parents gave me this dog so I’d get an abortion…he’s an abortion dog.”). As the name of the song suggests, they want to get better.

The song is so catchy, you probably will too.

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Nora Ephron's Advice Helped Lena Dunham Nab Jack Antonoff

By Anne Cohen

When you want good advice, you go to the experts. And really, who could dish out dating advice better than Nora Ephron?

In Glamour magazine’s April edition, which she covers, Lena Dunham talks about the words of wisdom that changed her dating life, courtesy of the beloved creator of “When Harry Met Sally.”

“You can’t meet someone until you’ve become who you’re becoming,” Dunham recalls her “hero” saying. Those very words. she says, led her to meet her boyfriend of two years: Jack Antonoff, of fun. and Bleachers fame.

Per the interview

“Yeah! [Before Jack] I was all tortured about whether I should get back together with this guy I’d been seeing for five months,” Dunham tells Glamour. “We’d broken up, and it felt like my only chance at romance for the rest of my life. But Nora was like, ‘No, no, no.’”

“So I broke up with him in January, ‘Girls’ debuted at the beginning of April, and then I met Jack at the end of April. The dialogue around the show already existed, so it was sort of clear to him what the baggage of dating me was going to be.”

“I remember talking with him on our first date and him being like, ‘God, all the articles about your nudity on the show are such bullshit,’” she continues. “It’s funny, ’cause in some ways that’s the conversation we still have when I’m upset [about stuff I read].”

The April issue of Glamour hits newstands on March 18. For a sneak peek at Lena’s thoughts about the universe, click here.

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'Girls' Goes Biblical on SNL

By Anne Cohen

“Son of God,” “Noah,” and now “Girls” — 2014 is the year of the Bible movie.

Lena Dunham nailed her ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosting debut with a parody of her hit HBO series, proving that the travails and tribulations of the average twentish-year-old woman are as old as time itself. “Girls: The Bible Movie” trades in the coffeeshops of Greenpoint for the Garden of Eden, with Adam Driver and Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath as Adam and Eve.

And just like in “Girls,” everyone’s naked.

How do unlabeled relationships fare in a land of talking snakes and forbidden fruit? See for yourself:

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Lena Dunham Plans 'Archie' Comic Books

By Anne Cohen

Fantasies do come true — if you’re Lena Dunham.

The “Girls” creator will reportedly be writing a story four-issue for “Archie,” the iconic comic featuring everyone’s favorite carrot-top. Dunham has previously spoken of her love for the comic and her desire to be involved in its production.

From the New York Times:

Sometimes, opportunities will present themselves. That was the case when, in November, Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the HBO series “Girls,” expressed her love of Archie during a conversation with the filmmaker J. J. Abrams and the novelist Doug Dorst at Symphony Space in New York. Ms. Dunham said she owned the first Archie comic and remarked, “You really haven’t lived till you’ve been to an Archie convention.”

The information went from stage, to audience, to text (a friend sent the line to Mr. Goldwater’s son), to Archie’s publisher, to its new chief creative director, who is friends with Ms. Dunham. “As his first initiative, Roberto really brought together the whole Lena project,” Mr. Goldwater said.

“I was an avid Archie collector as a child — conventions, first editions that I kept in plastic sleeves, the whole shebang,” Dunham said in a statement. “It has so much cultural significance but also so much personal significance, and to get to play with these beloved characters is a wild creative opportunity.”

Though the comic isn’t set for release until the spring of 2015, the promotional art released by Archie Comics looks ominously like the original Season 1 poster for “Girls.” Maybe it’s time to bring out the R (rated) in Riverdale.

Photo credit: Archie Comics/Dan Parent.

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Lena Dunham to Host SNL

By Anne Cohen

Mark your calendars for March 8th!

Variety reports that Lena Dunham will be hosting Saturday Night Live. The writer and creator of “Girls” will appear alongside musical guests The National, also making their debut on the iconic show. (FYI: as Jewcy points out, Aaron Dessner once studied Jewish history at Columbia.)

The band’s most recent album, “Trouble Will Find Me,” was nominated for a Grammy this year and their documentary “Mistaken For Strangers” hits theaters in late March.

Can one squeal via Twitter? Because Lena Dunham just did.

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When ScarJo Dated Your Boyfriend, Lena Dunham Edition

By Jana Banin

Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff

(JTA) — Lena Dunham was trolling the Internet when she stumbled upon a shot of her boyfriend with his ex-girlfriend.

Relatable, right? Well, yeah, except for that her boyfriend, Jewish rock guitarist Jack Antonoff, used to date Scarlett Johansson.

It seems Dunham was perusing a little obsession of hers, a Tumblr blog called “Old Loves,” when she came across a photo of her beau (a Solomon Schechter alumnus) with the Sexiest Woman Alive and SodaStream spokesperson.

“The craziest thing that ever happen to me, was like, Old Loves is my passion, I check it, like, once a week. It’s how I kick back on a Friday night is to see what Old Loves has done,” “Girls” creator told Grantland Channel, according to The Daily Mail. “I saw my boyfriend and his girlfriend from high school. Scarlett Johansson.”

The two, it turns out, were together for a year when they were both 17 and attending the Professional Children’s School in New York City.

“She’s beautiful, he’s beautiful, but it was just so surreal to be looking through this blog that gives me so much pleasure and then there’s my boyfriend,” Dunham said. “And I was like, “My mind is going to explode.”

Good thing she’s not the jealous type, but even if she were, Dunham has nothing to worry about. Johansson is engaged to French journalist Romain Dauriac.

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Check Out Lena Dunham's Vogue Cover

By Anne Cohen

Lena Dunham is on the cover of a fashion magazine. And not just any fashion magazine, but the mother of all fashion magazines.

The girl who only days ago was on E!’s Worst Dressed list for her canary yellow Zac Posen dress at the Golden Globes is now on the cover of Vogue.

The “Girls” creator took to Twitter this morning to share the exciting news:

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Golden Globes 2014: Who Wore What

By Anne Cohen

The Golden Globes — or as I like to call them, the fashion preview for the Oscars.

Sunday night’s award ceremony featured some pretty impressive style choices, from monochromatic beige to serious bling, and the Jewish stars were no exception. Highlights included Zosia Mamet rocking white and black in Reem Acra, Mila Kunis looking smokin” in metallic Gucci, LIZZY CAPLAN (or the Jennifer Lawrence of Jewish girls) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in red hot Narcisso Rodriguez.

But the real barometer for the Shmooze fashion watch is as follows: how does Lena Dunham’s dress rank on the eyebrow-raising scale?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, for once (and only once!) I can announce that I didn’t hate it. See for yourself below:

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Get Ready for Lena Dunham on the Cover of Vogue

By Jana Banin

Getty Images

(JTA) — Not only is “Girls” coming soon to a small screen near you (that’s Sunday January 12th on HBO, in case you haven’t yet set a phone alert)—it’s also hitting the newsstands (that’s where you can find magazines printed on glossy paper, in case you were born anytime after 1990.)

According to Page Six, Vogue is devoting the February issue to the much buzzed-about show. Lena Dunham will grace the cover, and in the process likely generate a dizzying amount of online commentary about how nutso/awesome it is to see a non size zero woman splayed out in fancy clothing—something that doesn’t happen often under Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s watch.

Clearly, Wintour truly approves of Dunham. She even posed alongside the “Girls” creator and star at the show’s premiere Monday night, where Dunham looked simultaneously glamorous and totally real in a glittering Rochas gown.

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Zosia Mamet Dishes on Shoshana

By Anne Cohen

Need something fun to read over Christmas? Check out the January issue of InStyle.

The lovely Zosia Mamet — or really, Shosh from “Girls” — graces the stylish cover and dishes boys, clothes, and her fashionista alter-ego. Though according to her, Shoshana and her couldn’t be more different when it comes to style:

“Shoshanna’s style is, I think, the exact opposite of mine. We are intrinsically opposite human beings. Her’s is very specific. There’s a lot of pink. I think she likes something tailored. I don’t think Shoshanna would ever wear a shift dress. I think she would refer to it as a “sack” probably; whereas my favorite dress is a dress that my boyfriend calls the “sack dress,” that I would live in if I could. I don’t know where she gets her hairstyles from, but they come from somewhere. It’s like an amalgamation of every fashion mag ever, and probably some from Japan.”

Her personal mantra? “Every day is sort of like dress-up and it’s fun to wear super wacky things.”

Get a glimpse of the 25-year-old’s actual fashion flair — and trust us, she has some chops of her own — in the behind the scenes video of her InStyle shoot:

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The 'Girls' Season 3 Trailer is Upon Us

By Anne Cohen

It’s here!

The ‘Girls’ Season 3 trailer has hit the Internet. Catch up with Hannah, Shosh, Marnie and Jessa below:

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#RIP Lou: Celebrities Tweet Their Reactions

By Anne Cohen

Lou Reed, rock & roll poet and founding member of the Velvet Underground, died on the same Sunday morning that he taught us all to love (“Sunday Morning.” 1966). As usual, Twitter was the first to know it. Here is how Jewish celebrities reacted:

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Lena Dunham Announces 'Girls' Premiere Date

By Anne Cohen

Attention “Girls” fans!

It’s official — the mascot series of the broke-Brooklyn-twenty-something that lives in all of us has a return date: January 12, 2014.

Really, Lena Dunham instagrammed so.

In the meantime, hop the G train, pay a visit to Grumpy’s, dance frenetically to Robin — whatever one does to celebrate, “Girls”-style.

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'Girls,' A Parody

By Anne Cohen

As predicted, Tina Fey launched “Saturday Night Live“‘s 39th season with a bang: an amazing parody of “Girls.”

The spoof of Lena Dunham’s hit HBO show (set to premiere its third season this year) starred Fey as a new arrival to the group of identity-starved Brooklyn twenty-somethings: Blerta, from Albania.

Blerta strives to fit in with the Greenpoint crowd, wondering about such cultural references as Hannah Horvath’s (Dunham) OCD (“Old Cow Disease?”) to Gemma’s promiscuous dating habits (“You are unpaid prostitute? You are lower than dog.”)

The hilarious sketch showcases some new “SNL” talent: new cast member Noel Wells played “Hannah,” while Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong channelled “Shoshana” and “Marnie.”

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Lena Dunham's Awful Emmy Dress

By Anne Cohen

Unless you were hiding under a rock (or like me, don’t have the luxury of cable) you are probably aware that the Emmys were last night.

TV’s greatest night gives stars a chance to shine, even if the characters they play often don’t (Bryan Cranston’s Walter White meth suit on “Breaking Bad” is one example). But for Lena Dunham, it seems the Emmy’s were a chance to reiterate her point that she — like her character Hannah Horvath on “Girls” — is the worst dressed person on the planet.

In other news, Zosia Mamet showed up her “Girls” co-star in Honor, Julia Louis-Dreyfus shone in Monique Lhuillier, Alyson Hannigon rocked a jewel-toned Marchesa gown and 14-year-old Nolan Gould rivaled Mandy Patinkin for most dapper gent on the red carpet.

Feast your eyes on the dos and don’ts below:

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Meet the World's Sassiest Jewish Mother

By Anne Cohen

Courtesy of Joshua Seftel
Joshua and Pat Seftel

Every winter, Joshua Seftel faced a recurring problem. With his mother migrating to Sarasota, he found it hard to keep in touch. Email was cumbersome and phone conversations were sparse and stunted.

And then came the iPad.

When his father passed away a little over three years ago, Seftel bought his mother a shiny new tablet so they could talk face to face, if not in person. But what started as a fun experiment filming some of their conversations soon evolved into something more meaningful.

Somehow along the way, celebrities made their way into the conversation.

Enter Pat Seftel, one-half of the “My Mom On Movies” web series, who in her filmed FaceTime chats her son, gives her own personal take on Hollywood’s who’s who.

Each conversation revolves around a particular point of interest: Is it kosher (morally) to eat Paula Deen’s fried chicken? Is Denzel Washington aging well? (That particular segment was followed with an apology and a promise of rugelach)

Some things, Seftel already knew. Others, like how much his 76-year-old mother enjoyed reading “Fifty Shades of Grey,” he was surprised to discover.

“I went back and watched the [original] tape, and when we talked about entertainment, not only did she light up, but she knew a lot about it — Which I never realized,” said the 45-year-old filmmaker behind “Taking on the Kennedys,” the award-winning documentary about American campaign politics. “She’s like a sponge, she remembers everything and forms very insightful opinions about what’s going on.”

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