Before we reactivated the microphones during calls on Zoom after the crackling laughs at his jokes, Issa Rae he was describing very well that feeling of being mired in awkward social situations that made you want to sink in. “It’s that mood that launched my career in an extraordinary way,” says the actress and screenwriter of her award-winning YouTube series. Awkward Black Girl, acclaimed by critics. “It was different from what I had done previously. The morning after I uploaded the pilot episode I had so many positive reactions ”.

In the ten years since the series went live, viewers have fallen in love with the charming and witty protagonist ‘J’, played by Rae herself. Episodes are a lifeline for young black women – just scroll through the comments on YouTube to get proof. Many have recognized themselves in the embarrassing kisses, in the disastrous dates (theepisode 7, season 1 worthy of the history books of television) and problems at work (the first episode had more than 2.7 million views).

Behind the scenes of Awkward Black Girl

© Hoorae

The series, taken from the successful memoir of Rae herself The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (Simon & Schuster, 2015), it was for her a way to shake up the old Hollywood stereotypes that are now outdated. “Someone told me I should call the series ‘Awkward Girl’ otherwise people would focus on me being black,” she tells. Vogue from his home in Los Angeles. But Rae didn’t take the advice and wasn’t discouraged. “I wanted to make room for that character, a problematic black girl.” His persistence paid off when he earned a Shorty Award for Best Web Series in 2012.

2021 marks a year of change for the 36-year-old, who will also say goodbye to her series Insecure when the fifth and final season on HBO airs (the Emmy series earned eight nominations last year alone). A decision that countless fans of the series did not like. “I wanted to announce it on my birthday and I called my press officer and said ‘Can we postpone? Because I don’t want to be insulted on my birthday! ‘ but I’m very flattered that people are so passionate, ”he laughs. Far from worried about the upcoming ending of the series, Rae is ready to welcome this new chapter in her life.

In an exclusive interview, Rae talks about ten years of Awkward Black Girl, of life during the lockdown, of Blackness on screens in 2021 and the end of Insecure.

Ten years have passed since the release of the first episode of Awkward Black Girl.

“I get chills just hearing you say it. I remember when I put it online and I was terrified of possible reactions because I was exposing myself on the Internet in a new way. After spending all night editing it, I thought ‘fuck it and I uploaded the first episode – and I got so many positive reactions. On Episode 4 and 5, a college friend told me that I had created something new and that I should handle it like a TV series format.

“I’m so grateful to have had friends who supported the show and made it what it is. Half of the cast were my friends and they weren’t actors. Watching them play the characters and be recognized for it was so much fun. “

Behind the scenes of Awkward Black Girl

© Hoorae

You have expressed admiration for films like Love & Basketball, cha talks about being black without just focusing on that. You think you can say the same of Awkward Black Girl?

“Being black in the show was in the foreground, but the humor and issues are universal and that’s an archetype that isn’t often portrayed. It was contrary to the advice they gave me – but I really don’t want my show to be seen by people who are uncomfortable with being black “,

How does the fact that the fifth season of Insecure be the last?

“Both series were a reflection of myself. Awkward Black Girl it’s my 20-25 year old version of me, when I start feeling good in my own skin. Insecure it’s more about me in the following years, from 25 to 30 and beyond. I can’t wait to move on to the next chapter of my life.

“I’m flattered that people think it’s an idiot to interrupt her. Without a doubt, I’ve had mostly positive feedback and I will miss this series. I am happy and grateful that it is ending as we wanted. “

What can we expect from the final season of Insecure?

“To sum it up in three words: balance, growth and legacy. When I started, I knew when it would end and what situation the characters would be in, but I didn’t know the ending – I’m thrilled that people see it. We started shooting last week and I’m enjoying every moment.

“We have obviously had impediments due to Covid-19 and we are very careful to protect ourselves. But it’s so good to be able to shoot this season. One of the biggest frustrations is that some things have to compromise and it’s hard for me to accept. We can’t shoot the way we normally would and HBO is doing its best, so I hope that by the time we finish shooting that will all change. Maybe we can once again celebrate the fact that we have concluded a series of five seasons together ”.

Behind the scenes of Awkward Black Girl

© Hoorae.

How is Blackness defined on screen today?

“My definition of Blackness on screen is how I choose to represent it in the most concrete way. I’ve always made it clear that my characters are very particular blacks – I don’t try to represent an entire race with my work because I can’t do it and because it’s not my job ”.

How does 2021 look to you?

“Last December I was very optimistic about 2021. I have goals to achieve and nothing will stop me. But New Years Eve was terribly depressing – I had to set the alarm to get up before midnight. At my house we even missed the countdown.

“After the result of the mid-term elections, I was so happy that Georgia had won, but we couldn’t rejoice even for 12 hours because the Capitol it was overrun by a group of reality-denying idiots – so there were ups and downs. It seems like every time I tried to be optimistic about something they dismantled me. “

What helps you keep a positive outlook?

“I love success stories so I am currently reading this book by Jim Collins entitled Or better or nothing (Mondadori, 2007), which talks about the different approaches of people. Due to my penchant for chaos, I am also reading Couples by John Updike (Einaudi, 2018) and trying to keep optimism this year. “

Watch Awkward Black Girl on Issa Rae’s YouTube channel Issa Rae Presents

Source link

By 2yvqk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *