Lena Dunham Explains Awkward Kissing Photo With Brad Pitt and Shows Off the Gift He Gave Her

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Brad Pitt and Lena Dunham
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Lena Dunham wants to set the record straight regarding that kissing photo with Brad Pitt. The 33-year-old writer and actress appeared on Monday's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen where she spoke about co-starring with Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the July 2019 photo from the film's London premiere where she appears to catch him off-guard with a kiss on the red carpet. 

"Well, the way the internet read it was I had somehow physically accosted him causing him a great deal of stress," Dunham said of the publicized moment. "I would never force a kiss on Brad Pitt. I respect him far too much as an artist and a friend."

Dunham added that not only was Pitt not phased by the kiss, but he, in fact, gave her a special gift later that evening. 

'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' cast
Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images

"Later that night, because he knew I felt nervous, he took me into a room and we secretly ate pizza and I told him I like his ring and he gave it to me," Dunham said, flashing the bling on camera. "And every time I wear it, something amazing happens." 

Lena Dunham
'WWHL'

Several months before the infamous photos were taken, Pitt helped Dunham ring in her 33rd birthday and the pair posed for pics together. 

"This year I’m... wait for it... happy. And so grateful for where I am, who I am, and everyone who has helped me on my journey to health and sobriety," she captioned the series of photos. 

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I may own a birthday bitch hat, but IRL I’m no big birthday bitch. For someone who loves both attention and presents, I’ve sure cancelled a lotta bday parties at the last minute (a special sorry to @mattpolf who had already hired a crafting teacher last year, and @lesleyarfin who was ready to DJ in 2011.) I used to think there was something a bit unseemly about an adult leaning into their birthday, until I realized I was actually just jealous of the confidence and self-love it takes to say “it’s my day, people!” I often felt I was making up for some original sin and that the nicest thing I could do for others on my birthday was make myself as unobtrusive as possible (it never worked and I usually either barfed or cried.) But this year is different. This year I’m... wait for it... happy. And so grateful for where I am, who I am, and everyone who has helped me on my journey to health & sobriety. 32 was good to me, and for 33 I wanted to say a big old thank you. So I hosted a Spring fundraiser for @friendlyhousela (the first recovery home for women in the United States) in LA last week. It was the best day ever and @anniecampbell literally brought a Pinterest board to life!!! And today, rather than presents, I’d love for you to donate to Friendly House, which is dedicated to helping women navigate the journey through addiction to recovery. It’s a journey I know first hand can only be attempted with love and support, which is why I have started a scholarship fund for women who are determined to recover but don’t have the financial means to begin. Go to the link in my bio to donate. Thank you to everyone who came out to support last week; you melt my heart. Thank you for the birthday wishes. And a special thank you to those of you who donate. It brings me such joy to think of how together we can directly affect so many women who have forgotten that they matter. Let’s remind them! Lots of LOVE xo

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Calling Pitt a "really, really special person" on WWHL, Dunham went on to share the touching story of the first time she was on set of the Quentin Tarantino film with the Oscar winner. 

"I actually had the pleasure of knowing him a little bit previously, so I wasn't going in totally blind, but when I showed up to set, I didn't have some major megastar part. I was in a really great ensemble of girls," she said. "I expected, you know, a friendly hello from Brad." 

But the Girls star and creator got so much more than a hello. 

"I think what happened was the best thing that's maybe ever happened to me," she admitted. "He was doing a scene where he was parking a car and he's supposed to get out and look around, and he looked around and saw me at the edge of frame and came over and picked me up and spun me around. And it was like -- it was like in one of those movies where the nerd shows up at the prom and the hottest guy at school is like, 'Would you care to dance?'" 

Dunham gushed of Pitt, "He's a truly kind person who can read the room, and I was super nervous because I was around so many idols of mine, and he made me feel pretty cool." 

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