Issa Rae is smack-dab in the middle of production on season three of HBO’s Golden Globe-nominated Insecure. While the co-creator, co-showrunner, and star sees the success of her afro-centric exploration of young black Los Angelinos as a blessing, she also experiences a large portion of that responsibility as a toll. Heavy weighs the crown, and fortunately for us—Rae doesn’t mind sharing what that’s like, as we eagerly anticipate a whole new season of Issa, Molly, and Lawrence trying to navigate their 20s.
Being a triple threat—funny, beautiful, talented—might seem like the winning lottery ticket, but it ain’t always easy. “So many actors have the luxury of just going in to play a part, and I just feel like I know too much sometimes,” said Rae in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I wish I could turn my brain off!”
When everybody looks to you as the one in charge, it can get taxing to find solutions 100 percent of the time. According to Rae, the hardest part of showbiz is exactly that. “Having answers for everything and having to take all of the responsibility,” she said. “As a creator, you think you’re just going to create, but there are so many moving parts and so many business aspects.” She explained that “sometimes I want to be in actor mode, not producer mode, or vice versa.”
Of course, having an incredibly enthusiastic fanbase makes things a little easier, as Rae claimed the amount of love the first season received made it incredibly easy to jump back into the creative process. “We were just so excited by social media feedback and people being so into the show that we were all invigorated by how much people were invested in the show,” she explained.
As for the highly anticipated third season of her show, Rae reveals one of the overarching themes of the upcoming batch of episodes, while retaining an understandable sense of mystery. “I don’t want to give anything away!" Rae said. “But I love black masculinity as it relates to black women. I think that’s something interesting that we haven’t gotten a chance to explore yet—and specifically toxic male black masculinity as it relates to black women. I’m trying to find a way to explore that and get a rounded storyline that isn’t preachy.”
For those of us slowly but surely transitioning into our 30s, the upcoming season might lend an extra oomph to that process. “This season is about adulating in a new way,” Rae explained. “I think we’ve watched out characters really fumble and fuck up—and in some ways in your 20s you are allowed that—but this season is about not acting like you’re naive anymore or that you don’t know better. So it is about, what does it look like to know better and to do better?”
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait much longer—and will get to find that out on Aug. 12.