Esquire's Q&A with Lena Dunham in its December issue is getting plenty of attention. It's not because the Girls creator/writer/director said anything particularly illuminating or scandalous. It's because we found out that Dunham rides around Manhattan in a chauffeured Mercedes.
"[A] black Mercedes conveying Lena Dunham pulls up a few minutes late in front of a diner in downtown Manhattan. She's alone in the backseat; the chauffeur's in the front,"— that's the first line of the Q&A written by Ross McMahon and is about 5.5 paragraphs removed from the first time Dunham even speaks. The reason it's grabbing more attention than the actual "A" portion of the Q&A, is that Dunham's show is all about being poor and struggling in New York. Hence the reaction, via Twitter, from The New York Times's Thomas Kaplan: "Not sure I can watch Girls the same way knowing Lena Dunham now travels in a chauffeured Mercedes." Consider that a tribute to Lena Dunham's ultimate success: she and her struggling, bad decision-making Girls character Hannah Horvath have become so closely associated that any perceived real-life deviation from her fictional character earns Dunham raised eyebrows and even disdain. That's a pretty invested audience!
Which is a little amusing, since we already knew going in that the leads on Girls were the daughters of renowned artists, musicians, playwrights, and journalists. And never mind that the circumstances of Dunham's chauffeured Mercedes aren't really hashed out in the story (maybe it was something HBO paid for?), or the fact that Dunham has a $3.5 million book deal with Random House in her pocket, a $500,000 home in Brooklyn Heights, and has been printed in The New Yorker (twice). None of that matters. Ms. Dunham might have a chauffeur, which in New York means she's story-altering rich.