Issa Rae on the ‘Insecure’ finale and why Covid-19 won’t be a part of Season 5



Season 4 of her hit HBO series has viewers on edge for the final episode.

Will Rae’s character (also named Issa) be able to salvage her relationship with Molly (played by Yvonne Orji)? Will Molly stay with Andrew (Alexander Hodge)? And will Issa stick with Lawrence (Jay Ellis), her ex whom she has reunited, or will she end up another ex-boo, Nathan (Kendrick Sampson)?

Rae has all the answers for “Insecure” viewers, but wouldn’t spill any tea before Sunday’s season finale.

“I’ll just say that a lot of questions will be answered,” Rae told CNN in an interview this week. “We’ve been building to this moment since episode one of this season and that’s all I’m going to say.”

You didn’t really expect the woman who inserted a “show within the show” — true-crime series, “Looking for Latoya” — to not be mysterious, did you?

Rae, creator, writer, producer and star of “Insecure,” was a bit more open about some of her decisions for the show this season.

Like matching the characters Molly, a black woman, and Andrew, who is Asian.

Rae, who recently starred opposite South Asian actor Kumail Nanjiani in “The Lovebirds,” said she wasn’t trying to make a statement about interracial relationships.

“I just really wanted to work with Kumail,” Rae said. “I was excited and then it wasn’t until after the fact that I was like, ‘Oh, okay, now it’s going to look like I’m pushing an agenda.'”

The inspiration to pair Molly with Andrew came in part, Rae said, from seeing Gabrielle Union and John Cho’s characters coupled up on the 2009 ABC series “FlashForward.”

“It was a piece of conversation I was fascinated by and wanted to depict,” Rae said. “Seeing that black woman and Asian man representation was intriguing to me and thinking about the dating set at the time, I just wanted to explore it on the show.”

One thing “The Photograph” star said she’s not interested in delving into on “Insecure” next season is the pandemic.

Hollywood production has pretty much ground to a halt amid the Covid-19 crisis, but the “Insecure” writers’ room is already working on Season 5. Rae said she has no big plans to incorporate the pandemic into next season’s plot.

“If we do talk about it, it will be subtly as something that happened,” she said. “I don’t ever want to say the words ‘Covid’ or ‘pandemic’ on my show.”

Like for many of us, life in quarantine has had its ups and downs for Rae.

“I’ve gone through cycles. The first one was terrible,” she said. “I was like, ‘I got to write at home? I hate writing at home!’ I like to go out to coffee shops. But then when I realized that things weren’t going to change for awhile, it was like, ah, I don’t have a choice now I have to be productive.”

“Recently it’s become kind of crippling again,” she added. “I think because things are opening up and I’m watching people go out and be reckless. So, I feel a sense of anxiety.”

Add to that the turmoil in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two black people who died at the hands of police, and Rae said it has felt challenging to create.

She’s pushing on, however, promising a Season 5 that is “going to be different in a great way.”

“I think different in a way that the audience will expect and won’t expect,” Rae said. “It’s definitely going to showcase some different sides to our characters. We’re trying something new next season that I’m excited about.”

And, no, she’s not saying what that something new is.

Rae is also enthusiastic about her future outside of her hit series.

The woman who first burst on the scene in 2011 as the creator and star of the web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” is ready for her next new endeavor. (Rae, by the way, said she’s still awkward but feels less so since the pandemic means she’s not having to be around people.)

“I want to write and produce my own feature film,” Rae said. “It’s been cool been in other people’s stuff, but I want to try my hand at my own feature.”



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