Fans of HBO’s hit series Insecure collectively lost it when Lawrence revealed that his ex-girlfriend was carrying his child, just as he and Issa were about to rekindle their on-again-off-again love affair. Since that day, fans have called the character Condola, everything but her given name and have blamed her for souring Lawrence and Issa’s sweet reunion.
Ahead of the season five premiere, Sunday, October 24, we had a chance to speak to Christina Elmore about her character, the memes and what it was like filming the show’s final season.
ESSENCE: When you were called on to be a part of Insecure, did you realize that your character was going to throw everything out of whack the way that she did?
Christina Elmore: I sure did not. I did not realize. When I first auditioned for the show, I thought I was coming on for two episodes at the end of season 3 and that was it. I was excited about that because it was one of my favorite shows already. I had no idea that the character would come back or what the storyline would be. I think they knew. I did not.
Even as we were shooting the end of season 4, last year, I didn’t realize that the pregnancy would be as big a deal as it was. I didn’t know how it would be directed. I didn’t realize that while Condola is telling Lawrence that she is pregnant, we would also be seeing it interspersed with him telling Issa at the same time. Maybe this is my naivety, but I didn’t realize people would blame Condola for ruining anything between Lawrence and Issa.
I’m a fan of the show. I like Lawrence and Issa. I’m into that. But I didn’t realize people would be like, ‘And then Condola ruined their lives.’ Because she didn’t.
ESSENCE: Because fans are so invested in the show and blame Condola for turning things upside down, has anyone on social media ever taken it too far?
Christina Elmore: Umm yeah. So, for the most part I think it’s hilarious. I love all the names for Condola. Condolences is hilarious. Condolavirus might be second runner up. But there have been a few people who have taken it too far and slid into my DMs saying, ‘It’s on sight when I see you.’ Or ‘You need to go ahead and do the right thing with that baby.’ Telling me to abort… and because I actually was pregnant when the show came out, it felt a little–like an extra level of scary. Because I was like, which baby are you talkin’ bout?
Also, there is no Condola, there is no Lawrence. There is no baby. This is a fictional show. I have never been on a show that is so much a part of the cultural zeitgeist and the Twitter world. Which is great for so many reasons, but it can also lead to some fanatics of the show to think this is real life.
ESSENCE: Knowing what you know about Condola and Lawrence, the fictional characters, why do you think it didn’t work out between them?
Christina Elmore: I think that I as Condola or Christina will never know the answer. I don’t know that Lawrence or even the writers would admit to this but I think a big part of it was residual feelings for Issa.
We’ve seen Lawrence have a major glow up and grow up from season 1 to season 4. But I think we overestimated that maturity. He might not be there yet. I like that they left it open and we don’t know why they didn’t work out. I also think it’s fine to start dating someone and it not work out.
Also, the elephant in the room: she is friends with Issa and it was just getting a little too close for comfort for the both of them. So it would make sense that this relationship wouldn’t lead to marriage.
ESSENCE: How was it shooting, knowing this was going to be the last season of the show? How were the vibes on set?
Christina: I think the vibes on set were good. But it was also kind of weird. Not only was it the last season. It was a COVID season. You couldn’t even be with each other in certain zones. You got to have all this PPE. You can’t see this person. For this and “Twenties” and everything I worked on during the pandemic, it was just weird vibes.
But I think, despite that, there were also vibes of ‘This is the last time we’ll do that.’ Especially for the actors who had been there from the beginning. I think for the actors who have been there from jump, it was bittersweet. They were excited to be moving on and doing new things. But for a lot of those actors, writers and the crew, it was the first big thing… I mean, it was for me and my career.
And I think that’s what’s been so special about the show, Issa has been so intentional about creating opportunities for people. Even creating opportunities for Black businesses that are featured in the show and [veteran] actors who would pop up in cameos. It was a show that allowed us to be seen in a way that we hadn’t been before. So it was bittersweet for sure.
ESSENCE: I know you can’t say but how do you think audiences will react to the resolution of Condola and Lawrence’s story.
Christina: I think people will be in their feelings one way or the other. They will still be sides to choose. There’s going to be sides. There are people who will feel very strongly one way and people who feel very strongly the other way.
ESSENCE: What’s next for you? I heard that you manifested your roles on Twenties and Insecure.
Christina: I didn’t even mean to. But God heard me and was like, ‘Here you go.’ So now, I feel like I have to do it again. I don’t know. I hope that features are next. I would love to play more transformative roles. I would love to be a spy running through Eastern Europe or something.
I truly just feel so blessed to be working on shows that shoot in LA and that are about Black folks and feel so authentically written for my Black voice and body. I hope that there’s more of that too. There’s a difference playing someone who’s specifically written to be a Black woman and with Black input. And I’m so spoiled now.