Laurie Simmons (Lena Dunham's real-life mother) plays Aura's mother, and Lena's real-life sister Grace plays Aura's on-screen sister.
For her work on Tiny Furniture, Dunham also won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
This girl, she's 23, she wrote, directed, and starred in it; she's in her underwear the whole time.' And I was like, 'I really don't want to see that.' And then she was like, 'Oh, trust me, it's great.' So Sue gave it to me just because she had it... But I'd just broken up with my writing partner and couldn't be less interested in the idea of supervising anybody. "I emailed her and told her I thought it was great," Apatow told The Hollywood Reporter.
I really was like, "I'm going to find my voice, and be on my own." And then they called me and they were like, 'Oh, the Tiny Furniture girl is doing a show, do you want to supervise her? "It turned out she was in the middle of negotiating a deal to develop a show for HBO and that her partner was Jenni Konner, whom I had worked with on Undeclared and a bunch of other projects.
They asked me if I wanted to be a part of it, and I was thrilled to jump in." The first season premiered April 15, 2012, and has garnered Dunham four Emmy nominations for her roles in acting, writing, and directing the series and two Golden Globe wins for Best Comedy Series for Girls and for herself in Best Lead Actress in a Comedy or Musical Series.
Her father, Carroll Dunham, is a painter, and her mother, Laurie Simmons, is an artist and photographer, and a member of The Pictures Generation, known for her use of dolls and dollhouse furniture in her photographs of setup interior scenes.
While a student at Oberlin College, Dunham produced several independent short films and uploaded them to You Tube.
Many of her early films dealt with themes of sexual enlightenment and were produced in a mumblecore filmmaking style.
In 2006, she produced Pressure, in which a girl and two friends talk about experiencing an orgasm for the first time, which makes Dunham's character feel pressured to do so as well. "Instead I went to liberal arts school and self-imposed a curriculum of creating tiny flawed video sketches, brief meditations on comic conundrums, and slapping them on the Internet." Another early film, entitled The Fountain, which depicted her in a bikini brushing her teeth in the public fountain at Oberlin College, went viral on You Tube.
"Her blithe willingness to disrobe without shame caused an outburst of censure from viewers," observed The New Yorker's Rebecca Mead.
"There were just pages of You Tube comments about how fat I was, or how not fat I was," Dunham said.