Politics, fashion and frontal wedgies were among the topics covered from the podium during Saturday night’s HRC gala.
A beautiful display of sisterhood happened on stage for hundreds of guests to see when Lena Dunham and America Ferrera took the stage at the Human Rights Campaign's Los Angeles gala. The Girls creator showed up to honor the Superstore star by presenting her with the org's Ally for Equality prize, and in the process the two politically active stars (both longtime supporters of Hillary Clinton) put their friendship on blast and presented goals for BFFs everywhere. Here are the highlights …
1. America Ferrera had a vision board … with Lena Dunham on it. “You shined your dazzling light unto this world and you challenged the rest of us to find our courage to live in our truth. I have never met another artist more eager to lift up the voices of her sisterhood. I would’ve been content to admire you from afar and to gaze at your face on my vision board for the rest of our lives,” Ferrera confessed. “To call you sister, mentor and friend, and to receive this award from you tonight is a profound honor for me.”
2. They haven’t been friends that long, but their relationship has already sprouted deep roots, like family, leading Dunham to realize that her own spent far too much cash on her pre-America Ferrera schooling. “From the moment I met America a little more than a year ago, my life has not been the same. She has galvanized me politically. She has motivated me personally. She has taught me more just through the way that she lives in the world than the 18 years of private education ever did. I’m sorry mom and dad for that incredible waste of funds.”
3. Dunham has Ferrera’s career all figured out — including campaign slogans should she ever run for office. And according to Dunham, she totally should ASAP. “Her poise, grace and rage all braid together to make the ideal freedom fighter; a woman who will be wasting her talents if she doesn’t both direct a best picture nominee and run for office. … If I were her campaign manager I would make big signs that said, ‘Get inside the real America.'”
4. Just because Dunham is friends with Ferrera, that doesn’t mean her agents will return her phone call to handle a request for the Superstore actress to get down and dirty on the big-screen. “I just wish that she would understand that part of her purpose is play a crack addicted porn star in an arthouse film being directed by me and my good friend James Franco,” Dunham said jokingly, or maybe not so much.
5. Ferrera sometimes skips BFF time in favor of sports training. Seriously. “She never waivers, she never falters and she’s also a triathlete, which is actually just rude and showy. She’s always texting me like, ‘I have this triathlon, I can’t hang out.’ And it’s like, go fuck yourself.”
6. Even with her impressive extracurricular activities, Ferrera isn’t perfect. “America is not without fault. I know I’m describing the ideal woman, but she is terrible at pretending to have a good time and she hates babies and old people but who doesn’t,” Dunham said. (The last part is a lie, obviously.)
7. Ferrera isn’t cool with Dunham dissing her triathlons because the Girls creator is just as accomplished with her diverse resume “as a writer, actress, director, activist, book author, podcast host, publisher. And triathlons are annoying? Please,” Ferrera quipped.
8. As sisters and friends, Ferrera and Dunham held hands before taking the stage together at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to speak out on behalf of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The tender moment meant a lot to Dunham, who tried to keep her own hands, well, away from her crotch. Recalled Dunham: “My heart swelled with pride to join her on stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where she boldly spoke out for equality while I tried to not pick my frontal wedgie. Before America and I headed on stage and she took my hands in hers and she said once we’re out there, it’s not about us anymore. We are vessels for the voices that are not heard and that’s our whole job.”
9. Politics aside, Ferrera wore a chic coat while addressing nearly half a million people at the historic Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January. “With tens of thousands of women by her side, including so many of you here in this room tonight, she spoke out against hatred, against bigotry, against inequality. She was also wearing an incredibly cute coat but we try not to focus too hard on that because it's about what’s inside,” praised Dunham. (See the speech — and the coat — here.)
10. Speaking of speeches, Ferrera’s words have considerable impact in restaurants, too. Quipped Dunham: “When she speaks, people really, really listen; full body chills. Even when she’s just ordering off a gluten-free pizza menu.”
11. On election night Nov. 8, Ferrera outlasted Dunham. “When the outcome became clear, I tearfully headed home but America stayed because she was determined to see the evening to its conclusion. Moreover, she was determined to be a part of history and a part of the democracy and to never, ever be erased from the narrative. The next morning, through tears, she told me and she told our friends that we could not stop fighting. And America’s friends would do anything for her and so we won’t.”
12. Ferrera needs money. “America Ferrera, like this country, is proud, diverse and trillions of dollars in debt. So I’m also hoping that you will reach into your pockets for her tonight,” Dunham claimed. Again, nobody is buying that but it's a solid joke.
13. Both Dunham and Ferrera could teach a collegiate course on how to deliver compliments worthy of an awards show stage. For example, take this Ferrera gem that she delivered to Dunham: “You are my inspiration. You are nourishment for my soul on a daily basis. You changed the game for women in television by simply coming out to the world as the world as the brilliantly funny, fiercely intelligent, perfectly flawed, goddess of a human being that you are.”
14. Even activists get exhausted and look to Dawson and Joey for escapist entertainment while munching on classic cereal. Admitted Ferrera: “Using my voice as an activist and … some days I feel tired and inadequate, incapable making a dent. There are days I would rather crawl under my bed with a box of Captain Crunch and all six seasons of Dawson’s Creek. Those are the kinds of days that I am most grateful and most in need of you — my community. You remind me that I am not in this alone. None of us are alone in this fight.”
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