Issa Rae, creator and star of “Insecure,” joined the Variety After-Show where she broke down the latest episode of the HBO series, how she’s managing writing Season 5 while in quarantine and her new film “The Lovebirds” with Kumail Nanjiani.
Rae’s rom-com was originally scheduled to release in theaters in April after premiering at this year’s South by Southwest. But after the film festival was canceled and movie theaters were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Paramount sold “The Lovebirds” to Netflix, where it will debut on May 22.
“We obviously were bummed in hearing about this worldwide crisis, but shout out to Netflix for immediately deciding to release this movie. I know that there is a lot of competition because you know, even if even if our date was moved, we would have to compete with all these big tentpole movies. And it’s already hard enough to get people to go to theaters in the first place,” Rae tells Variety’s Angelique Jackson. “So it’s exciting that people are home and you know, they’re excited to see the movie and they get to see it in the comfort of their own home. And it’s a comedy so like, if you want to escape and you want to laugh like this, this is the movie to watch.”
Rae also gushed about working with Nanjiani on the film.
“I love working with him. He’s so funny and so witty. He’s an improv master. And it’s really just fun to go back and forth with him,” she says. “But he’s also so smart. And even in kind of redeveloping the characters, we spend a lot of time together, just discussing script and of course, getting to know each other through our own personal lives. And he’s just phenomenal. And I think specifically, what we bring to the table is just like ourselves to this part — this was initially written for for two white characters. And I think for us, it was just about like, bringing who we are to the table, but not necessarily shining a light on it. And I hope that we did a good job with that.”
Rae is also considering how coronavirus will affect the plot of “Insecure” and whether or not they’ll address the current state of the world in upcoming seasons.
“I already have fatigue of it because we’re living it, and I think that’s my biggest worry. I don’t want the show to feel dated and obviously certain aspects will already feel dated by by nature,” she said. “So I think there might be a world where we acknowledge it in the background because it obviously will have long-lasting impacts.”
She continues, “But one of the saddest things is seeing how it’s affecting my favorite restaurants in South L.A., my favorite black businesses are being impacted and having to close shop, and so we don’t want to feel tone deaf in ignoring it. We’ve always taken pride in representing the city as is. And so, in short, I guess it depends on where we are, you know, six months from now when we shoot.”