Lena Dunham has explained her adoration for Love Island, saying that she was “primed” for the TV series given her own personal heartache.
The American actress and writer, who is currently living in Wales filming her latest TV show, said that her “vague interest turned to something like obsession” earlier this summer, and that she watches the ITV2 dating series every night.
Writing for The Guardian, the Girls creator said she has been “fairly silent” over her reasons for her love for the programme until now, likening her own romantic past to the affairs experienced by the islanders in the villa.
Dunham, 33, referred to Love Island’s Amy Hart, who left the villa earlier in the series following her split from Curtis Pritchard, who confessed to having feelings for another contestant.
She also likened herself to Amber Gill, who was heartbroken when her partner Michael Griffiths left her for Joanna Chimonides, and Lucie Donlan, who sought the comfort of a number of new islanders after her ex-partner Joe Garratt was dumped from the show.
Referring to her split from former partner, musician Jack Antonoff, Dunham said: “Nineteen months ago, I left my first long-term relationship and endured a public breakup that wasn’t as bad as Amy’s but made me feel like Amber after Michael walked back into the villa with Joanna.
“I pulled a Lucie and immediately hurled myself at someone new, an explosive and uncomfortable five months, during which I was briefly engaged after being proposed to with the lace of a Timberland boot while snowed into my parents’ apartment.”
Dunham said she realised she did not feel safe with that person, who she did not name, and that she moved on to dating somebody else for a while.
“I am asking myself the same questions they ask themselves on Love Island, really,” she wrote.
“Can you love again after hurt? What does partnership mean? And what does it mean to know someone if you don’t know yourself?”
Dunham also joked that ballroom dancer Curtis “looks like a Disney villain” when he smiles and that he hopes his partner Maura Higgins – who she described as “fun and feisty” – realises that soon.
The TV and film star, who next appears in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, said that she hopes current show favourites Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague “have loads of children and teach them to love with the same ferocity that they do”.
She said she hopes to find love in the future herself, with somebody who is “OK with an infertile, chubby, controlling fantasist who has made a lot of mistakes but can’t stop trying”.
Referencing an oft-used Love Island phrase, Dunham added: “I hope we can keep cracking on, into the future for ever.”
Last month Dunham revealed her love for the programme in a series of tweets, telling her American fans that “like the most of the UK, I am obsessed with the show”.
Love Island’s fifth series, which comes to an end in the grand finale on Monday with one couple winning a £50,000 prize, has been a hit with viewers over the summer.
The show, hosted by Caroline Flack, has been a money spinner and a ratings hit, viewed by more than six million people at its peak this year.
Earlier this week, ITV revealed that the popular show will run for two series next year as the broadcaster’s revenues and earnings tumbled.
ITV said a new villa will be used in South Africa in early 2020 before filming returns to Majorca in the summer.