Issa Rae is covering Coveteur’s ‘Class of 2021’ digital issue. In it, the creator dishes on how she doesn’t think it’s possible to succeed in Hollywood without turning part of yourself into a “commodity”, why she’s glad she didn’t become famous in her 20s, and what’s driving the next chapter of her career.
She’s also sharing what’s next after this fifth and final season of “Insecure” that’s been colloquially called “season byeve.”
“I want to do things that I can’t stop thinking about,” Issa tells Coveteur. “Things that keep me up at night,” she says over email a few days after the photo shoot. “That means saying ‘no’ to things that I don’t think are destined to be classics.”
See more highlights below.
On the uncertainty of the entertainment industry:
“I feel financially secure, but I don’t feel like my place here is officially secured,” she says. “This industry is fickle. And so much is happening, the world is shifting. I hope that I continue to create, but that’s just not a guarantee.” Even with a list of accolades one could only dream of achieving, Issa is after something bigger than an award; she wants legacy. The question on her mind is one that we’re all familiar with: What happens when it’s all over? What will we leave behind? How will we be remembered?
On a “Moesha” script guiding her TV writing:
The first time Issa sat in a live studio audience was during a taping of the television show Moesha, where she was able to get her hands on a script, giving her a template for TV writing.
“I wore that script out,” she says, laughing. “I was able to study a three-act structure, even though I didn’t know what it was called at the time, and it made the idea of writing for TV feel accessible to me.” But it was the movie, Love and Basketball, that made her believe that the stories she wanted to tell were worth telling. “That was the first time I saw a coming of age story that focused on Black people falling in love,” she says. “I devoured every piece of behind the scenes content, I listened to the director’s commentary. I just fell in love with everything about the movie and it reflected the stories that I wanted to tell.”
On Issa not wanting to present a “respectable” Black narrative to audiences.
“Like, give me a f****g break. This show isn’t about all Black women, it’s very specific to the experiences of me and my friends. So, don’t put that shit on me and claim that I’m ‘airing dirty laundry,’” she says. “What do you want to see? Something perfect? That made me want to double down and show the ugly parts, the messy parts, and everything in between. I’ve seen so many different ways of being Black. We’re limitless in that way.”
The below are also profiled in Coveteur’s ‘Class of ’21’ issue:
Astrologer Chani Nicholas
Creator Christina “Tinx” Najjar
Writer Eloghosa Osunde
Makeup Artist Raoúl Alejandre
Designer and Podcaster Recho Omondi
Makeup Artist Sam Visser
Olympian Suni Lee
Photographer Quil Lemons
For more click HERE.