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Issa Rae On Keeping ‘Insecure’ Real: “I Based A Lot Of My Characters On Real People, Whether They Know It Or Not” – Emmys

Deadline logo Deadline 6/15/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
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After launching the 25 million-plus-viewed web series and writing the New York Times bestselling memoir, The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae took her tales about contemporary black women to HBO with the series Insecure, co-created with Larry Wilmore.

On the show, Rae plays Issa Dee who together with her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) navigate the single experience in Los Angeles; their peers sometimes feeling intimidated by their success. In episode one, Issa works for a nonprofit organization “We Got Y’all” which helps African American kids in low-income communities succeed in school. Issa is picked on by the elementary school kids during her presentation for coming off as too white, while back at her work headquarters, she’s the only black person that works for a nonprofit started by white women. “Nothing’s straight comedy, nothing’s straight drama,” Rae told senior editor Dominic Patten at Deadline’s Contenders event.

Last night Rae and the cast and EPs of Insecure sat down with Patten following the Awardsline Emmy screening for the show.

“I based a lot of my characters on real people, whether they know it or not, whether they like or not,” said Rae about writing for the series.

“Issa and I do a thing where we go to a hotel and drink a lot of mimosas; we just keep the champagne flowing,” EP Prentice Penny unveiled about breaking stories for the series, “We talk about themes we want to explore and we did that during the first season and we did that during the second season and where we want to take these characters in their arc for season.”

“A lot of our stories last year were Lawrence and Issa dependent and now that they’ve broken up, we’re able to see more of his life, his world,” said Penny about Rae’s on-screen complacent b.f. from season one.

The second season of Insecure returns on July 23 at 10:30PM.  Check out the teaser below:

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