• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Issa Rae, “Insecure”

Actress, Writer and Producer Issa Rae has garnered another Golden Globe nomination for her critically acclaimed performance as Issa Dee in the HBO series Insecure. This is her third nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
The show recently concluded its triumphant five-season run. Insecure has been called groundbreaking, not only because of its entertaining and relatable storylines and characters but also because of its tremendous impact among Black talents in Hollywood. During its recent series finale, several talents who got their breaks through the show took to social media to share how Rae and her team welcomed and mentored Black creatives.
Insecure was partially based on Rae’s 2011 web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which is also the title of her bestselling memoir, published in 2015.
Rae’s comedic takes on life’s awkward situations and the thoughtful way that the show explored the growth and humanity of its characters’ friendships and relationships resonated with many viewers, especially Black people who saw themselves represented onscreen.
“In that first season, we just wanted to get – and stay – on the air. We just wanted to tell our stories and tell it the way that we wanted to. You imagine the audience is family and friends, things like that, but you don’t know who’s gonna be watching the show, and you hope they like it,” Rae said in the show’s final episode after-show feature, reflecting on the warm reception that viewers gave Insecure from the start. There were frequent social media conversations each week the show aired about Issa’s relationships and her circle of friends. “It really is a true blessing to have people so invested. These characters are part of people’s lives in such a rich way, and you can only dream of creating characters like these.”
Her series also drew praise for its original music and for how it frequently highlighted talented Indie Black artists. In 2019, Rae launched Raedio, her music company that discovers and promotes independent artists.
The actress also takes pride in the way Insecure showcases her Los Angeles hometown, something that the actress admits is intentional.
“I felt like LA is always represented as either Hollywood Glamour and Glitz or the ‘Hood, and the in-between doesn’t really exist, especially the in-between as it relates to us. That was so important for me to portray,” the actress said.
Rae was born on January 12, 1985, in Los Angeles, California. In 2007, she graduated from Stanford University with a major in African and African American studies and a minor in political science. It was while she was attending Stanford that she created her first web series Dorm Diaries with her friend Tracy Oliver. Rae took film classes at The New York Film Academy as her interest in storytelling and filmmaking continued.
Her next idea, Awkward Black Girl, premiered online in 2011. In 2012, it won a Shorty Award for Best Web Show. Its success and popularity led to her becoming the creator, co-writer and star of the series Insecure.
Her feature-film credits include The Photograph (2020) with Lakeith Stanfield, The Lovebirds (2020) with Kumail Nanjiani, Little (2019), and The Hate U Give (2018). She is also part of the voice cast of the upcoming animated film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One.
Rae is the executive producer of the HBO Max unscripted series Sweet Life: Los Angeles. she is also leading the team behind the TV series Project Greenlight Revival, which aims to showcase and mentor the next generation of talented female filmmakers.