This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of ESSENCE magazine, available on newsstands now.
Growth. It’s the one word Natasha Rothwell uses to describe the fourth season of HBO’s Insecure. Over the past three seasons, we fell in love with the comedy series, which follows the lives of Los Angelenos Issa, Molly, Kelli and Tiffany, played by Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Rothwell and Amanda Seales, respectively.
At the end of season three, we saw Kelli, the no-nonsense, sex-positive accountant, side-eyeing her good sis Issa’s terrible credit. She was also trying to figure out if her friendship with Tiffany was over as the birth of her bestie’s first child approached. Fans are thrilled to see these brilliant Black women back on-screen.
“The blueprint that we’ve become accustomed to is going to be there,” Rothwell explains. “The show’s length has not changed, but we’ll have ten episodes this season instead of eight. That changes the kinds of stories we’re able to tell because we have more real estate. It’s extraordinary to be a part of a show where people care so deeply about the characters.”
Rothwell has been busy during Insecure’s hiatus. The actress, writer and producer will make her big-screen DC Extended Universe debut in Wonder Woman 1984 (scheduled to hit theaters late summer as of press time). Rothwell’s character is shrouded in mystery.
There’s something provocative and revolutionary about being a Black woman on TV right now.Natasha Rothwell
“There’s not a lot I can tell you,” she says coyly. “It’s an honor to participate in telling the greater story that is Wonder Woman. Fans are hoping that I’m suiting up to fight evil, which is unfortunately not the case, but it’s an incredible film.”
Appearing in a superhero movie and writing a show centered on Black women are just two ways Rothwell, who grew up on Air Force bases from Florida to Turkey, is using her platform. She’s also speaking out about social issues. “There’s been a long, rich history of women of color standing up to injustice,” the Love, Simon star states. “It’s a part of who I am at my core. As my platform becomes larger, I will continue to speak out and fight for those who are suffering unnecessarily.”
The former Saturday Night Live writer has inked an overall deal with HBO, which has enabled her to develop an original series that she will write, star in and executive-produce. “I’m just trying to be authentic,” she explains. “There’s something provocative and revolutionary about being a Black woman on TV right now. Despite systems that have been built to oppress us, we’re here, and we’re thriving. When there are no molds to fit into, the sky’s the limit on the kinds of stories you can tell.”Share :