The Girls star briefly experimented with platinum and mint green hair while promoting her memoir in 2014. Dunham returned to being a brunette earlier this year, and for her appearance on NBC's Late Night Wednesday, she unveiled another makeover. "You look beautiful," host Seth Meyers told his guest. "Your haircut is outstanding."
"Thank you so much!" said Dunham, who rocked a similar cut in 2012 and 2013. "I'm premiering it right here on this show."
Using air quotes and laughing at herself, she said, "I'm 'premiering' my haircut!"
Dunham didn't reveal what inspired her pixie cut, but she did dish on her guest spot on ABC's Scandal. "It is the culmination of...I'm not going to say a lifelong dream, because Scandal has only been on for about two and a half years, but longtime. Longtime dream!" the Golden Globe winner said. The episode airs Thursday, and Dunham plans to have "a little viewing party" with her mother, aunts and boyfriend Jack Antonoff's mother—or, as she describes it, "a lot of very excited Jews enjoying Scandal together."
Though Girls' fourth season ends Sunday, she's never hosted a viewing party before. "I don't want to hurt any of my Girls co-horts, but no. I've watched Girls so many times by the time it goes to network that I don't even know that it's airing until later when the angry tweets start flowing in," the actress, 28, told Meyers. "But no, this felt really important my parents are very proud and excited. It's a big deal."
"Working in the entertainment industry, a lot of people say, 'I'd love to work on something with you. Can we get into business?' Usually it doesn't turn into anything because everyone's full of garbage, but in this case, I had mentioned to Shonda Rhimes my deep desire to be on Scandal. She had mentioned to me that she would like me on Scandal. We both thought the other one was just being nice. Two very polite lady showrunners right there!" she said. Dunham and her producing partner, JenniKonner, later had dinner with Rhimes and her producing partner, Betsy Beers. "We just wanted to get tips from the ladies who run the world, and Shonda said she was serious! Literally, a week before we were supposed to start writing on Girls, I got the call about Scandal, and Jenni being the incredible work and life partner that she is, was like, 'I understand how important this is. You have to go and do this. I will take care of everything at home.' So she handled the Girls writers room while I went off into gladiator world."
Dunham couldn't talk about her role, but as Meyers noted, "Twitter has a lot to say about the wig."
"It's true," she admitted. "To save Shonda any surrus, as we say in the Jewish community, I wanted to say that the wig was my idea and that this was not Shonda's narrative choice. Everything else—the writing, all of the beautiful facts of the show—you can blame on Shonda. But the wig is on me."
While filming her episode, Dunham quickly noticed the differences between shooting network and cable TV. "The major difference is that everyone on Scandal is just dripping with class. When I put my costumes on I was like, 'You know what? I think this character might wear diamonds.' And I asked, 'Do you think I might be able to have some diamond studs, maybe a little necklace?' When you say that on Girls, you're like handed a box from Claire's Accessories. 'Have a nice day!'" They went into a safe and they busted out diamonds," she recalled. "I was texting everyone I knew: 'They've got freakin' diamonds on the Scandal set, dude! Get over here right now! They're giving away diamonds!' I couldn't believe it."
Dunham was also fixated on the cast's footwear. "I'd be staring at the label like the filthy label wore I am, just looking into everybody's shoes, being like, 'Prada? Real Prada?'" the best-selling author said.