Lena Dunham disappeared after starring in Girls. She’s finally explaining why.

Lena Dunham may have dropped out of Polly Pocket but never fear Dunham dolls (I just made that fandom up, but it feels right), as Lena has another project on the horizon. And it sounds incredible.

Aside from starring alongside Stephen Fry in Treasure, and penning another memoir, she is working on a semi-autobiographical comedy series, Too Much, which is expected to debut on Netflix next year. 

The series is co-created by Dunham and her husband Luis Felber, and will feature comedian and Hacks scene-stealer Megan Stalter in the lead role. 

lena dunham polly pocket too much netflix megan stalterMegan Stalter as the unpredictable Kayla in Hacks. Image: Stan. 


Stalter will play "an American woman in London who has had a bad breakup in New York and is confused, meeting a recovering punk musician (played by Will Sharpe) and trying to figure out if they can make a life together."

Considering that Dunham herself grew up in New York City before packing up her life to move to London in 2021 and marry her British-Peruvian husband Felber, it's easy to wonder why she isn't playing herself in it. 

"I knew from the very beginning I would not be the star of it," told The New Yorker in a new interview. 

"First, because I had seen Meg Stalter's work, and I was very inspired by her. She's unbelievable; I think people are going to be so blown away. We know how funny she is. But, then, when she enters a dramatic scene, you're, like, 'Oh, we got a little Meryl Streep on our hands!'"

Lena's second point on not playing herself spoke to a larger issue about how she was treated during her time on Girls, which resulted in her avoiding the spotlight since the series ended in 2017.

lena dunham polly pocket too much netflix megan stalterLena Dunham will reunite with Girls costar Andrew Rannells for Too Much. Image: Instagram/@lendunham. 


"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," the 38-year-old said. 

"It was a hard choice, not to cast Meg — because I knew I wanted Meg — but to admit that to myself. I used to think that winning meant you just keep doing it, and you don't care what anybody thinks. I forgot that winning is actually just protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to keep making work." 

The Girls creator's interview first made waves as she revealed the reason she had dropped out of a potential Polly Pocket movie.

Back in 2021 and hot on the heels of the incoming Barbie film, it was announced that Dunham would write and direct a live-action adaption of Polly Pocket that revolved around a young girl and a pocket-sized woman forming a friendship. 


At the time, Lily Collins was attached to lead the film as the titular toy. The idea of the iconic Girls creator teaming up with Emily In Paris herself was enough to set every girlie group chat alight.

But it wasn't meant to be. 

"I'm not going to make the Polly Pocket movie. I wrote a script, and I was working on it for three years," Lena told The New Yorker in a new interview.

Collins hasn't commented on Dunham's departure from Polly Pocket, but back when the film was first announced, she expressed her excitement over the role. "As a child who was obsessed with Polly Pocket, this is a real dream come true, and I can’t wait to bring these tiny toys to the big screen," the actor shared. 

When news of Polly Pocket was first revealed, it seemed like it was positioned to be the next Barbie, which made more than $1 billion at the global box office.

In the case of the 2023 blockbuster, director and writer Greta Gerwig teamed up with producer and star Margot Robbie for Barbie. The setup was mirrored by Polly Pocket: Dunham was at the creative helm with Collins set to star and produce.

lena dunham polly pocket too much netflixBarbie broke the glass ceiling... and box office records. Image: Warner Bros. 


This is a comparison that Dunham is acutely aware of. 

In the interview, Dunham praised Gerwig for her "incredible feat" with Barbie, declaring the film "was literally candy to so many different kinds of people and was perfectly and divinely Greta."

The critical and commercial success that is Barbie proved to be a daunting expectation to live up to. 

"And I just — 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. 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," she said. 

Mattel has confirmed they still plan to make the movie. 


"Polly Pocket is in active development, and we look forward to sharing updates on the project soon," a Mattel spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. "Lena is a remarkable writer and creator and we wish her all the best!"

Lena's comments on Barbie are a sad but refreshingly honest admission from the Girls creator. For an industry that routinely pits women against each other — especially female directors, who are a rare breed — it's understandable that Dunham wanted to remove herself from any potential rivalry or unflattering comparisons. 

Polly Pocket was also a new avenue for Dunham, who since creating the pivotal coming-of-age drama Girls has proven to be particularly selective about what projects she chooses. In the years since the HBO series ended, she's made cameos in a Ryan Murphy series and Quentin Tarantino movie, directed an episode of drama Industry and focused on her podcast.

lena dunham polly pocket too much netflixUnexpected gal pals Stephen Fry and Lena Dunham attend Wimbledon in 2024. Image: Getty. 


Jumping into a big-budget movie about a tiny little doll house could prove to be too much, even if she did get her start with a movie titled Tiny Furniture

It's important to see women in Hollywood protecting their peace and saying no to projects.

The decision was one that came about after Dunham thought about the work of her heroes, Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron.

"The thing that's the most amazing about her [Nancy Meyers] is that the movie she makes or the movie she would be making with or without a studio, with or without notes — that somehow her taste manages to intersect perfectly with what the world wants. What a f**king gift that is," she said. 

"Nora Ephron, too, who was such a mentor to me, but always said, 'Go be weird. Don't kowtow to anyone.'"

Too Much is expected to stream on Netflix some time in 2025. 

Feature image: Getty.

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