“For me, my longevity will be opening the door for others.”
Issa Rae has built her ever growing entertainment empire on taking a chance on emerging talent—much like Pharrell Williams did when he helped bring her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, to the mainstream.
In fact, it’s what brought Issa and Yvonne Orji together long before their onscreen friendship in Insecure took a turn for the worse during season 4 of the hit HBO series. (Whether you’re Team Issa or Team Molly, this is a safe space.)
Before Insecure‘s 2016 premiere, Issa convinced HBO execs to cast Yvonne—who at that point in her career had never acted—as her character’s partner in crime and confidante. Despite the pair’s onscreen chemistry, what blossomed behind the camera was a friendship built on trust, honesty and cheering each other on every step of the way.
Both Issa and Yvonne have so much to celebrate going into next Sunday’s Emmys. Insecure‘s titular star and creator is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, while Yvonne earned her first Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actress. The show is also up for Outstanding Comedy Series.