The 26-year-old creator of ''Girls'' wrote her own comedy rules and earned copious accolades (and Emmy nods) for her efforts

By EW Staff
Updated November 30, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST
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My favorite thing about Lena Dunham’s work is that it is universally polarizing. Not all like it, not all hate it, but everyone is aware of it. And everyone has an opinion.

It is a staggering thing to be presented with a conscientious, daring, scathing artist like Lena Dunham. An artist not afraid to present life as a ”warts and all” experience?and then place herself in that experience. It is even more so when you realize she is approximately half your age and that when you were her age you were living on a couch in a friend’s basement. Not creating groundbreaking television and being nominated for Emmys.

Funny, heartbreaking, and unflinchingly real, Ms. Dunham has an unblinking and unfailingly sharp eye for her generation and our collective millennial culture. I hope very much that as she progresses through her career she continues to challenge her audience and challenge herself.

I also hope she writes a really good part for an aging former TV star. —John Hamm

Dunham on
Reading her first rave review of Girls
”I was on a plane back from South by Southwest, where we were premiering the first few episodes, and I got off and read a really great review on my iPhone at the airport and I started to cry. I was trained by my parents to believe that reviews don’t matter. But it turns out that when they’re really great, they do.”

Her celeb fans
”There have been a few people that I’m just like, I can’t believe that person has seen it! Like Mike Nichols, or Nas. Taylor Swift let me know via Twitter that she was into Girls, and I forwarded it to five of my friends with the heading ‘Dreams can come true.’ … I used to make my friends laugh by saying, ‘I think Taylor Swift and I are really trying to do the same thing artistically.’ So now it’s like, ‘You guys? I was right all along.”’

The girl has style
Dressing down on screen
Dunham’s life may inform her Girls character, Hannah, but her wardrobe doesn’t. ”We wanted to create a look that really belonged to [Hannah],” says the show’s head costume designer, Jenn Rogien. ”We settled on ‘lovingly disheveled.”’

Her real — life glamour
”I might say it’s the best year I’ve ever had as a human being. I mean, going to the Met ball? Getting to take my family to the Emmys?” says Dunham, who wore a sophisticated navy Prada gown on the Emmys red carpet.

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Four young ladies live in New York City, and it’s SO hard.
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