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HomeentertainmentIssa Rae: 'We're really winning here'

Issa Rae: 'We're really winning here'

After her long-running show Insecure ended last year, Issa Rae didn’t miss a beat as she embarked on the next phase of her career. Rae, through her Hoorae production company, has a five-year overall deal with WarnerMedia to write and executive produce the HBO Max comedy Rap Sh!t and is developing the documentary series Revival Green Light Project . Nominated for her third Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy this year, Rae’s screen career continues to flourish in BJ Novak’s Vengeance ), coming soon to Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and voice acting as Spider-Woman in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse .

As an Entertainment Equity winner, what do you think Entertainment Equity looks like and own it Evolved in your career?

I think it means a level playing field and opportunity for all. “Representation” is a buzzword that’s been used several times, and the industry has always wanted to give people a chance, but not necessarily act on it. It was a topic of nothing until I felt, 681 lit up people’s butts Open fire; just more telling to see who is continuing on that topic and who is holding back.

Do you think powerful women have sisterhood? Who do you turn to for advice?

There are some women I admire that I feel like I can and should call— I just had a revelation last month. I was like, “A lot of women I know are going through what I’m going through, why don’t I pick up the phone and call them?” I remember talking to America Ferrera once, and we had a great conversation It was fun, and she said, “You need to contact Reese [Witherspoon] or Mindy [Karin],” and I said, “I should,” but still no. Not because I always feel like I’m bothering people. But every time I get a chance to catch up with them, I feel more empowered. I’m like, “Well, I’m not crazy, I’m not alone.” Maybe in 2022, I would reach out more consciously.

How do you find the time to mentor others?

Even when I’m browsing people’s videos or getting recommendations from others, you Just being a real fan, you wish people had more visibility. It didn’t feel like directing, it felt like, “Oh man, I want everyone to know about you.”

We were not safe about a year ago

Finish. Did you take time to decompress after the final season, or did you just jump right into other things?

I took the time to unzip it. Literally right after the episode ended, I hopped on a plane and took the entire month of January off. This year, even though Rap Sh!t came out, I wasn’t a part of it, so it might have been the most relaxing year – relaxed by my standards – — one year, like year.

What’s it like to transition from starring on your own show to being more behind the scenes as a creator and the role of the writer?

best, just sit on my ass and watch people go on all day eat. I was like, “Oh well, writers have the best job ever.” (Laughs.) But there’s pressure to be sure Insecure follow-up is what people like and they are not too hard to compare to Insecure. So it’s stressful, but it’s more fun to work behind the scenes, and it’s really rewarding.

Have you felt your creative interest since you wrapped up and had time to catch your breath changed?

Absolutely. Now I’m sort of figuring out what my next three shows are going to be, and I’ve been working on it. Some I’m in, some I’m not, but it sure ignites a passion in me to keep creating. On Insecure which I do most of the time, I didn’t even write Rap Sh!t until the big Epidemics happen before we are forced to rest. So I realized that maybe I’m not very good at multitasking and I need to find time to continue creating because that’s what makes me happiest. This is what excites me the most. Rap Sh!t showed me the process from start to finish.

Months after finishing Insecure, Issa Rae delivered since renewed comedy Rap Sh!t to HBO Max.

Finish” A few months after InSecurity, Issa Rae delivered an updated comedy Rap Sh!t to HBO Max. Provided by HBO Max

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Actors follow up on such a big project: Jay Ellis in Top Gun: MaverickMonths after finishing Insecure, Issa Rae delivered since renewed comedy Rap Sh!t to HBO Max., Yvonne Orji Lands in HBO Comedy Special Starring and Co-Owning Hulu Show with Natasha Rothwell How to Die Alone ?

It did feel like “Oh, we really won here.” We were just texting each other. Difficult to relate, Jay is filming in Oakland, Yvonne is traveling, Natasha has her show – I had to find the text to quote her properly. She said, “Issa, you never told us putting on a show was like putting your face in a blender and falling in love with it.” (laughs.) Lead Her own show, her starring vehicle, like it’s the dumbest thing in the world to me. I’m really proud to see other people get drawn and to see them kill it.

What actor role are you looking for now?

I kind of like ensemble work like Vengeance or Barbie. I try to play a small part in a bigger story; I love that now.

This character is in



I have a meeting with Greta. I saw her once before on BAFTA and really loved her. We must express our love for each other and for Lady Bird and Insecure. That was years ago, and then at this meeting, she said, “I don’t know if you remember me,” and I said, “Girl, if you don’t shut up.” She was explaining to me Barbie script. She’s like, “I just need to explain what it is.” When she talks, I’ll 48 100% honest, like, this is funny, but I don’t get it. I was like, “I don’t know what the fuck she’s talking about, but whatever it is, I’m glad she’s behind it.” And then it read like, “Oh my God, I love her more.” And then actually filmed It, it was incredible, it was one of my favorite experiences.

Now that the industry has changed a lot, how do you think it affects creativity?

When is there no [Change]? But it especially feels like no one knows what’s going on. Everyone is subject to all these consolidations and mergers. So many writers suffer. I know it makes me more focused on ownership and making sure we stay committed to what we’re doing, being able to open doors for others and keep them open. That’s the only difference from past decades, when [there was] a fear of losing diversity and going back to the status quo. There are well-meaning people [now] less afraid to speak up, and the democratization of outside voices demands, “This is what we want to see, and we’re going to hang around until you do something about it.”

What else is on your list of career goals?

I still want my studio in South LA – that’s the most important thing.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in the Dec. 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

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