Issa Rae Talks Stepping Outside Of Her Comfort Zone In New Films: This Year Will Determine If I Have Longevity On A Particular Side
Issa Rae’s 2020 started on 10 as she ended 2019 with a solid deal with Atlantic Recordst to start Raedio, her very own record label. She is also the co-owner of Inglewood, Calif.’s Hilltop Coffee. On top of that, she’s the head honcho and owner of two production companies and is the brains behind the uber-successful HBO series “Insecure,” which is scheduled to begin its fourth season on April 12.
She said of her booked and busy status,
“It feels like a lot, but I’m just excited for people to see what I’ve been up to.”
She also spoke on fans seeing her in a different light this year, as she’s set to star in rom-com The Lovebirds and even a drama The Photograph.
“I want to try different things and see what I can do. I don’t want to just play myself, so I want to be able to experiment. Some of the things that I have on the slate to actually act in are very different. I don’t want to get caught in a comfort zone. I don’t want anybody to be able to put me in a box.”
She’s certainly getting out of the box in The Photograph that will be released on Feb. 14.
“I think people are just expecting me to be funny, and the character just lost her mom, so she’s going through it. Obviously, there are elements of humor within the movie, but that’s not the driving part of the character, which is new for me because I do lean on humor. It’s been a defense mechanism for a lot of my life. That’s my go-to, I guess, because my comfort zone is humor. So to not be able to lean on that in this film was interesting.”
And it looks like a lot is riding on the success of the films.
This year will determine whether or not I have longevity on a particular side. If these movies do well, then I’ll have more opportunities. If they don’t, I might not. But I’m not a person who puts all my eggs in one basket. I have too many baskets.”
“There’s a lot that I love to do. So I love being behind the scenes. I love producing. I love writing. I love business. We have a new record label, and even there, crafting other artists in an area where I’m weak—I can’t sing. I’m not a rapper. I’m not an artist, but to be able to work with people who have that talent and to lend what I know to help their careers is very exciting.”
Still, anyone who views Issa Rae from the outside in, knows that she’ll be around for a while. She continued and said what she wants to be remembered as most.
“Since 2014, we’ve been discovering underrepresented writers and giving them various platforms or helping them get staffed, helping them get representation. And we’ve had so much success there just in terms of putting them on the radar for the industry. Getting them representation is no small feat so that they can get more jobs. That’s what I ultimately want my legacy to be.”
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