What Surprised Lena Dunham When She Interviewed Hillary Clinton

AOL Build Presents Lena Dunham And Jenni Konner "Lenny's Letters"
Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Lena Dunham was once best known as the New York–bred actress with an affinity for slipping into her birthday suit on HBO’s Girls, but now, the 29-year-old multi-hyphenate star is using her success to help vocalize pressing social issues facing our world. Yesterday in New York, Dunham and her Lenny e-newsletter co-founder, Jenni Konner (above, right), entered the AOL Build headquarters to discuss the inspiration behind their joint venture and also shared how impressed they were when the two sat down to interview Hillary Clinton for their newsletter.

“One of the things that we want to do on Lenny Letter is we don’t want to tell people how to vote or who they have to vote for. We did want to make it clear that for us, Hillary Clinton is a really powerful feminist figure for this day and age and to try to really unlock the story of her as a person, and not just her as sort of part of a political dynasty,” Dunham said of her choice to interview the world leader. Of course, Dunham delivered her witty one-liners across the conversation, adding that it’s “bone chilling” when strangers tag her in selfies with her dog, Lamby, and that she loves nail art simply because “it’s just tiny art.”

Dunham's empowering feminist-driven message and her candid description of Clinton were especially inspiring. So what surprised her the most about the presidential candidate? “I guess I was ready for more formality,” Dunham said. “She came down and she was like, ‘What’s up, girls?’ We fully got a hug and by the end she was like, ‘You have to give me the name of your ear, nose, and throat doctor,’ and I was like, 'But how would I ever get in touch with you? You didn’t give me any of your information.' She was really just a charming pleasure.”

Konner, who directed the interview set to drop Sept. 29, shared similar sentiments. “She was so unguarded with us and so funny and warm and she talked about working on a salmon cannery and she talked about how she said ‘no’ to Bill [Clinton] twice when he proposed,” she said. “She just shared stories of being in her 20s and being really ambivalent about the different choices in her life in a way that I hadn’t heard her before. It was really great.”

And while we were already in eager anticipation of the straightforward talk, it’s mention of fashion that we’re also excited for. “She was ready to give you a presidential answer and then she’s also ready to veer back in and talk about her Donna Karan dress from 1993. I love that duality,” Dunham added. Dunham’s sit-down interview with Hillary Clinton will be live via the Lenny newsletter Sept. 29.

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