"Girls" creator Lena Dunham returned to SXSW in Austin, Texas a few years after winning the interactive, film and music festival's narrative film prize in 2011 for her debut "Tiny Furniture," with a call to action in Hollywood.
"It's a rough scene. It's hard to always offer comforting words on that topic. I think about this in relation to the cast on my show, which consists of three very talented women and also some very talented guys. Our male lead, Adam Driver, has had a bang-up year in movies which could not be more deserved because he's a ferocious genius with an incredible work ethic, and I've learned so much from him. But the girls are still waiting patiently for parts that are going to honour their intelligence and their ability," Dunham said.
"The world is ... not ready to see Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet or Jemima Kirke stretch their legs in the same variety of diverse roles. Allison is relegated to All-American sweetheart. Zosia is asked to play more flighty nudniks. Even though both are capable of so much, they're not asked to do it.
"This is not a knock on Adam's talent, which is utterly boundless and he's exactly the actor who should be doing all this. It's a knock on a world where women are typecast and men can play villains, Lotharios and nerds in one calendar year and something has to change and I'm trying."
Dunham, whose keynote was written last night "high on the quaalude known as cheeseburgers" and attracted an even larger crowd that that of Edward Snowden, the infamous ex-CIA analyst-turned-whistleblower, said she didn't care about ratings. "HBO would like me to feel differently [but] I never expected to have a television show, and now that I do, I never expect to have one with blockbuster ratings. It's enough to have the platform," she said, adding she's more focused on being "an agent of change specifically for women and girls, and on a purely selfish level, I want to continually challenge myself to grow as an artist."
She also offered advice for people who might want to get into the entertainment business.
"Don't wait around for someone else to tell your story. Do it yourself by whatever means necessary."