If you've ever wondered what it's like to sit down and have a convo with Issa Rae, creator and star of HBO's hit show Insecure, I can assure you it's anything but awkward. Rae's career blew up with the success of her YouTube series 'The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl,' which opened doors for her to create Insecure, which in turn grabbed the attention of beauty giant CoverGirl, which recently named her one of the new faces of the brand. 'I flipped out, it felt surreal,' she tells me of hearing the news.
'While I've grown into my confidence, there's a part of me that's like, "Are you sure y'all really want me? Y'all know I'm regular and basic, right?" [When it happened] I called my mom, I told my friends, and they were all super excited. And to see the response that people had, I felt even more validated and more touched. It showed the support out there and that the news struck a chord and that people feel represented in a way that they hadn't before.'
'You know, if I were in the dating world, I'd lead with it. I'd be like, "Have you ever been with a CoverGirl? Oh, you haven't? Well, here's your chance. I can make you up!"'
Onto Insecure: I ask Rae what she hopes to get across to a younger audience. 'I think about that all the time because when I hear that young people watch the show, I'm like, "Nooooooo!" I think about my mom. Even my mum now, she's like, "I'm not even watching this show anymore; why did I even do parental controls if you were going to grow up and make this?!"'
'After the fourth episode, which was the Lawrence threesome episode — where I wasn't even having sex! — she was like, "You're producing porn and I'm not watching it." But what I did kind of win her over with was that Michelle Obama watches the show. So I was like, "If Michelle Obama watches it, then you can watch it, mum!" But I don't yet consider myself an example for young girls just yet and definitely want to produce work for them — I'm working on it!'
My next question had everything to do with the season-two finale (so, if you haven't watched it yet, SPOILER ALERT). Specifically: Why did her character go to Daniel's apartment — especially after he came on her face and she was not having it? 'It just felt very true to life,' she says. '[I was] tapping into my own experiences, swearing off of someone and then something always drawing you back. Issa and Daniel have always had a connection and never really fully explored it because there was always Lawrence. I think she always wondered what would happen if she really gave this guy a chance.'
As for what's to come in season three, Rae doesn't totally know yet. 'We've just had our little preliminary writer's room and we've discussed some things that I'm very excited about,' she says. 'But do I know exactly what's going to happen? No. There are some things that we know and some that we don't, but the excitement is definitely there.'