Lena Dunham & Judd Apatow's Daughter's Blossoming Friendship Is Good (& Bad) For These Reasons
GIRLS creator and star Lena Dunham has been hanging out with producer Judd Apatow's oldest daughter, Maude, on the set of her HBO comedy. Maude Apatow, 15, was spotted with Dunham dancing/walking about New York City, possibly filming an episode for the upcoming season. In an interview with Teen Vogue, the aspiring writer called Dunham one of her idols, so we can pretty much gather that these two have a budding mentorship going on between them.
And it wouldn't be a surprising pair. Though Apatow is only 15 years old, she's already got a wicked sense of humor. Her Twitter account is chock full of wry commentary and insights, such as this little gem from last month:
My parents told me that they thought it would be a mean/hilarious joke to name me Maude, but then it stuck.
If stories like that don't make a writer, I don't know what will.
But as "ahead of her time" as she may already seem, Apatow does remind her followers of her very young age from time to time:
Today, I cried tears of joy because of the grade I got on my chemistry test and lost sight of what really matters in the world.
In fewer words, Maude Apatow is 15 and is probably already funnier, has cooler friends, and is more successful than you. Or, in her own words, "Feeling a little weird about how when the next episodes of Sherlock come out I will be 18." Just let that one sink in for a moment.
So even though her recent partnership with Dunham might make you more than a little jealous, let's take a look at the pros and cons of this friendship. Because a Dunham who mentors an Apatow means...
Pro: More Blossoming Female Writers
Having more female voices out in the mainstream can only provide greater gender balance in the media. Considering her Pa is the most successful comedy producer of his generation and her Ma is a hilarious actress, it's probably safe to say Maude's writing will be funny too. More women making the funnies? Yes and!
Con: Privilege. UGH.
Dunham came under plenty of fire for her "privileged upbringing" when GIRLS first premiered. Critics claimed the writer and actress found success only because her parents were famous, or at least semi-famous New York artists. Rather than denying or trying to re-write her upbringing, Dunham has talked openly about how she grew up and how it is reflected in her work: "I prepared myself for almost every argument somebody could have except for the one where someone goes, 'This isn't real — this isn't your world.' The one thing I guarantee I do know about is being middle class, half-Jewish, half-WASP in New York in 2012." Considering how successful Apatow's parents already are, it's probably safe to say the projects she works on are probably going to be judged similarly. If Dunham can teach her anything, it's that the best way to deal with the critics is to create the best work you can and be open to discussing the leg-up.
Pro: A Possible Shift in the Apatow Brand
More often than not, women in Judd Apatow's comedies (aside from GIRLS and Bridesmaids, obviously) are not as multi-dimensional or developed as the male characters. Perhaps with his daughter working with Dunham and possibly appearing in GIRLS, some more of those smart, complicated, and funny women will be less of an "accessory" or a "special project" and more of the norm. Better yet, maybe Maude and Dunham will go off and do the producing on their own for new projects.
Con: Possible Lack of Diversity
Again, Dunham was criticized for GIRLS' very white representation of young women in New York City. Whether she's mentoring Maude Apatow or having her appear in the show... well, that just means there are more white girls filling the screen. And this girl in particular happens to be a very rich white girl — which doesn't necessarily mean that the writing or work can't be more than #whitegirlproblems.
Pro/Con: Possibly more of these dance moves in the future
Frankly, I'm just not sure how I feel about those yet.