Lena Dunham Exits ‘Polly Pocket’ Film, Says She’s Not the Star of Her Netflix Show Because ‘I Was Not Up for Having My Body Dissected Again’ After ‘Girls’

Lena Dunham
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Lena Dunham revealed in a new interview with The New Yorker that she is no longer attached to Mattel’s “Polly Pocket” movie, which was announced back in 2021 with the “Girls” creator writing and directing and “Emily in Paris” favorite Lily Collins set to star. The film, along with Barney and Hot Wheels, is one of several projects Mattel had its in development pipeline as a follow-up to last year’s blockbuster “Barbie.” It turns out Greta Gerwig’s Oscar winner provided Dunham with the clarity she needed to put ‘Polly Pocket” aside.

“I’m not going to make the Polly Pocket movie,” Dunham announced. “I wrote a script, and I was working on it for three years. But I remember someone once said to me about Nancy Meyers: the thing that’s the most amazing about her 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 fucking gift that is. And Nora Ephron, too, who was such a mentor to me, but always said, ‘Go be weird. Don’t kowtow to anyone.’”

“I think Greta [Gerwig] managed this incredible feat [with ‘Barbie’], which was to make this thing that was literally candy to so many different kinds of people and was perfectly and divinely Greta,” Dunham continued. “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.’”

Dunham’s “Polly Pocket” film had been set up at MGM. Just last year following the smash success of “Barbie,” Mattel Films boss Robbie Brenner told Variety that she was enthusiastic about Dunham’s “great” script.

“First of all, they are two of my favorite ladies ever,” Brenner added of Collins and Dunham. “It’s been an amazing collaboration. Lena is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen. She’s incredible. Lily is so smart and so specific and so productorial. It’s just been an incredible collaboration, so we are thrilled about it. Hopefully, we’ll be making that at some point in the future.”

Should Mattel move forward with its “Polly Pocket” movie, it apparently won’t be with Dunham. So what is the “Girls” creator pivoting to next? She’s currently in post-production on her upcoming Netflix series “Too Much,” an autobiographical rom-com starring Megan Stalter as a woman who moves to London after a break up in New York City and falls for a musician (played by “The White Lotus” star Will Sharpe). Dunham is also working with Netflix on a spy series in which a group of college students get recruited to join a government agency like the CIA.

One thing not on Dunham’s docket at this time is headlining one of her shows as an actor. While she has a smaller supporting role in “Too Much,” she told The New Yorker that she decided not to cast herself in the lead role despite the character being autobiographical in part due to the backlash she consistently faced about her body during the “Girls” years.

“I was not willing to have another experience like what I’d experienced around ‘Girls’ at this point in my life,” Dunham said. “Physically, I was just not up for having my body dissected again. It was a hard choice, not to cast Meg [Stalter] — 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.”

“Too Much” is expected to premiere in 2025 on Netflix.

From Variety US