ABFF EXCLUSIVE: Yvonne Orji & Jay Ellis Let Us Know Why Millennials Live For ‘Insecure’
Issa Rae’s real AF HBO hit Insecure, will return at the end of next month, but at this year’s American Black Film Festival we got a sneak peak!
Last fall, our favorite Awkward Black Girl got her own HBO show, and television depicting Black millennials will never be the same. During the first season of Insecure, we watched Issa (Rae) struggle in a dead end job and unfulfilling relationship with her longtime boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis). Unfortunately, by the end of the eight-episode first season, everything in Issa’s life exploded in her face, and it was left to her BFF Molly (Yvonne Orji) to help her pick up the pieces.
At this year’s ABFF we screened the first episode of season two and all we can say OMG!!!!! Just before the screening, JETmag.com chatted with Orji and Ellis about the whirlwind first season and why Insecure is so important to millennials.
JETmag: Last year’s season finale of Insecure was insane. It got people in a tizzy; I think people are still trying to figure out what’s going to happen with Issa and Lawrence and if Molly will ever get it together. What do you think about the response to the show especially from millennials and how Insecure has depicted us?
Yvonne Orji: I hear couples who say they watch the show and I’m like, “Are y’all alright? Did y’all make it?” They’re always like, “We had some intense conversations.” I always think that if your relationship survived eight episodes of the first season then y’all might make it. It forces you to think of a lot of things like, “Would you do that?” I think that was just good TV that’s good writing. We’re never giving you a right or wrong answer; we’re never saying this is how we want you to think about this. We’re saying, we’re going to lob it up, and you can just talk about it.
Jay Ellis: Yeah. I love the fact that just growing up; I remember watching all the stuff in the ‘90s. We had Martin; we had Living Single, Fresh Prince….
JE: Moesha. All of that! Then there was this period where there was not much out there for us. When that point came was the time when I found that I was trying to find out who I was. I wasn’t living in my parents’ house anymore.
JETmag: So this is your early twenties and late teens?
JE: Yes, it was my early twenties, and I was really out there just like, “Yo, where is the representation of me out there on TV?” I’m just grateful that we are now part of that.
YO: Yes, for somebody else.
JE: Yes, what I love about it is you can now watch TV and be like, Yo, that’s me or a version of me, or a friend or a cousin or a brother or sister. You feel represented, and to me, that’s just such an amazing feeling.
YO: It’s crazy
JE: It’s weird.
JE: But in a good way.
YO: [Singing] “This is our life!”
JE: It’s dope!
Insecure returns to HBO for its sophomore season, Sunday, July 23rd.