"Initially, they wanted experience," Rae said in a conversation with Yvonne Orji at the Vulture Festival. "Having done this for several shows, they pitched directors who were bigger names, who were sexy. In their defense, they could put it on the trailer or the poster and be like, 'It came from this person! You have to watch!' And then the more I met with people, the more it became clear that either they didn’t understand the show or it just wasn’t the right dynamic." Rae declined to name the directors she met. "I will say, there was one big-name director who I’m a huge fan of," she added. "They were pushing him so much so that they were like, 'He’s not from L.A., but we’ll send a jet every week for him to shoot the show.' And I was like, 'Y’all gonna send a jet for him, and we all don’t have a budget to shoot this sh*t? Okay, cool, great.' So they flew me out to meet him, and it just wasn’t right, you know? As much of a fan as I was of his, I thought, We’re not gonna make the show that I want to make together. I was gonna tell him 'Hey, this isn’t gonna work,' but he ended up backing out, and I was so relieved. And then I saw him at a party in season two when the show was out. (Laughs.) And he was like, 'Yo! I saw your show!' And I was like, 'Dope!' and he was like, 'I woulda f*cked that sh*t up!' It was so validating." Rae and Orji also discussed their real-life relationship off-screen. "She’s become a sister to me in so many ways," said Rae. "She’s the type of person to just have your back, to look out for you. She’s one of the most considerate people I’ve ever met, so much so that I aspire to be that way. I just am not! And you’re always giving me advice. Even in other relationships and friendships, you’ll be like, 'Just do this, just do this' and I’ll be like, 'That didn’t even occur to me.' She’s such a genuine person, and I feel so blessed to have actually made a true friend during this process, even though I set her up to do that the whole time! It was all part of my plan. So I won." Orji added: "You don’t give yourself enough credit for how good of a human you are, which also translates to how good of a person and friend you are. Like, yes, I’m considerate, but I’m also like, ho, you changed my life! You don’t have to be more considerate than that! I can get your water. What I can’t get is my mama a house, but you did that! It’s not apples to apples. Because the reality is, Issa took a shot on so many people in season one. It was just her being like, 'I want to make a show with people I think can do it.' And convincing the network that was acceptable. And now we’re all doing it in our own ways, but that’s because that’s your heart. So, sure, you’re not as considerate, waaaahhh … but like, you’re fine." To which Rae responded: "Thank you, girl."
TOPICS: Insecure, HBO, Courtney Taylor, Issa Rae, Kier Lehman, Kofi Siriboe, Prentice Penny, Yvonne Orji