We glimpse her world weekly on HBO's ''Girls'' (which she stars on, writes, directs, and exec-produces), but to truly understand the 27-year-old's daring and drive, we asked people who really do know her best — her friends and collaborators — to tell us about her off-camera life

By EW Staff
August 02, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Mindy Kaling says… ”A few years ago, we went to lunch, and Hugh Jackman was also there. I got really excited and sent over a plate of cookies, and he, in perfect Hugh Jackman form, came over to thank us. Lena instantly smiled and flirted with him and purred, ‘Of course we sent you cookies, Hugh,’ as though they had once had a torrid summer fling. As he was walking away, I could tell he was thinking, ‘Who was she?’ I knew then the power Lena had over guys. She’s intoxicating.”

Judd Apatow says… ”The thing that’s most impressive about Lena is, no matter how much people write about her, she remains true to herself. She certainly can get her feelings hurt, but she never loses touch with her point of view.”

Aubrey Plaza says… ”At one point when I was shooting a movie in New York, I lived in her house. When I got a sense of her parents, things started to click. I was like, ‘Oh, her parents are supercool and interesting and smart and they’ve created this monster who’s this überconfident genius.”’