Insecure: The End (2021) Movie Script

That is a series wrap
on our queen, Issa Rae.
You guys, I am just incredibly,
humbled and blessed.
I love you.
I love you too.
This show has been a part
of the revolution.
The way you showcase our humanity
and portray us with grace
and accountability.
The way you love your city,
the way you love your people
Black people in your city.
It's part of the revolution.
The way you always give
and share credit where credit is due
it's part of the revolution.
The way you created and collaborated
with the intention
of our fucked up, incredible,
and beautiful black full humanity...
baked into the identity
and heart of this show
is part of the revolution.
The way you look so damn good
even when you ashy...
is part of the revolution.
The way you recognize
every step of the way
that it's a collaborative
and collective effort...
There are no heroes, we get us free.
With this show,
you made big girls feel seen.
You made dark-skinned women
feel seen.
You made toxic black men
feel toxic...
and understood.
You made people realize
things about their mental health.
Together, y'all shifted culture.
There is no revolution without art.
I would've never thought
six years ago, we'd all be here
but I just want to say that
making a show
just working in for a long time
and not being able to see people
that look like me...
To be able to do a show
like that here
that, like, now sets the groundwork
that people want to make
more shows like us
it's just really special.
You don't get to be a part
of those things a lot.
Let's shoot this shit
for another three months, guys.
Season six.
You know, I came into this,
not knowing anything about television
and not necessarily
feeling confident in my role.
I had a web series and, you know,
I have a mentor who's so selfless
and has put his ego aside
time and time again
to make sure
that I was able to create
the show that I wanted to make
with the people I wanted
to make it with.
I'm coming out of this,
a different person, a better person.
And I hope you guys are too.
Thank you to the love of my life,
my brother.
We are back at Stanford
shooting the very first episode
of the final season
at my alma mater, this is crazy.
Nobody gets to do this, Stanford
has never done this before
and they let us shoot here.
I actually got mad
because I didn't want the characters
to go to Stanford.
Because of a props mistake
in season one
we just ended up establishing them
as that.
So I was like, "Fuck!"
But then we just went with it.
So, no, I did not imagine
we'd be back here shooting
but when we came out with the idea
for a reunion
it just made so much sense
and felt so meta perfect
for this season.
We're coming back to the place
where Issa and Molly became friends.
Okay, here we go.
It feels so good to be back.
It's sort of picking up
from last season
post-Issa, Molly fight with them
sort of on their road
to reconciliation.
Things are still a little bit awkward
but you can tell they both
want to be back in that good place.
When I was at Stanford,
I was into theater
because I had been in plays
all of high school.
And then I was super into film
because of Love And Basketball,
I wasn't really thinking about TV
because TV wasn't really
that popping.
There just wasn't enough
representation then
and there was nothing on television
that made me feel like
"Oh, I want to make
what they're making."
I mean, I love The Office,
I love those kind of shows
and obviously Curb and Seinfeld
and that's what influenced me
to try to write television later on.
But I never thought about starring
in my own TV show.
Stupid bitch nigger
I hope you drown
That'll turn my frown upside down
I first heard about Issa Rae,
the way a lot of people did
seeing her web series.
I think what she showed
in Awkward Black Girl
is something that we look for
in all of our shows
which is we want the audience
to be able to recognize themselves.
And on the comedy side specifically
we want them to be able
to laugh in recognition.
What Issa showed was that
she was willing
to put herself out there
and mine her own humanity for laughs.
Call me Lil Kim
Because I got to crush on you
Want to make you my boo
Carpool with you to school
Be staring at you in geometry
Fantasize about you on top of me
I'm a virgin, but I promise thee
I got that ill nana
No foxy
The development process with HBO
was long, but it was necessary.
Issa had an initial idea
for the show, we went into HBO
we pitched it to Amy Gravitt
and Casey Bloys.
It was set in the nonprofit world
and it was just about my experiences
and it still was kind of similar
to Awkward Black Girl
but I didn't want to do
Awkward Black Girl all over again.
And in doing that pitch,
I was nervous as Fuck
I was reading off of the paper
in the meeting
because I'm not the type
to be able to just engage people
and "Oh, look at my show."
I was just like, "This is
what it's about to be. This is it."
They bought it in the room.
They said, "Exciting, let's do it."
And then we were development
probably about a year
and a half, two years.
When I tell you coming
from the Internet world
I was like, I can make
this shit right now.
Like, what is the problem?
She had this notion that she wanted
to do a workplace comedy.
The idea was centered
much more around
what ultimately became, We Got Y'all.
We would meet from time to time
as she was developing the outline
and talk about the script
but also she would have these stories
about a friend of hers.
And I think, at one point,
she even showed us a text
and it was in that moment that Casey
was like, "That's the show.
It's you and your friend
and the world around both of you."
He did not sad face you,
I will slap you right...
Bish, what?
That's my life.
I got to rewriting and then
I was also like, "Oh, Fuck it."
Like, I put in all elements
of my life in here.
You hungry?
Take it.
So I can say this is rooted
in authenticity.
This is a real story.
And that's when they were like,
"Okay, green light."
I had to find a showrunner.
HBO sent a couple people my way.
Ashley Holland,
who is an agent was like
"You should think
about Prentice Penny."
The first time we met in person
was when you came
to my book signing in Eso Won.
Eso Won, yep.
And then we ended up using Eso Won
so much for the show.
- Yes, I wrote you a letter.
- Yeah.
To see like, "Hey, this is
what I thought I would bring to it."
But I'm curious, what was it like
to get the letter?
Because people don't send each other
letters anymore for anything.
It went such a long way.
Obviously, I hadn't gotten a letter
from anybody
and to see what you identify
with knowing that
you know, we were in the same area
knowing that you had worked
in the nonprofit world.
And I was like,
"Oh, this guy seems to get it."
So that letter, by the time he came
to the book signing
I was already like,
"Oh, this dude seems cool."
And I hadn't read shit that you did
until I already said yes.
Because I was just like,
"Oh, yeah, he seems cool."
But every decision. I was like...
Kinda seem cool.
And camera, action.
The director process,
to find one was soul-crushing.
HBO wanted someone established.
And I think for them, they wanted
someone who had a name.
And so we found someone
and they flew me to New York
to meet this director.
And after that meeting, I was like,
"I don't think he gets this show."
We had several other directors
who I was fans of
but still didn't quite
get the show to me.
Casey was like, "If you had
to take a risk, who would you want?"
And I was like, there's this director
I've been following
Melina Matsoukas
who could be dope.
People really didn't give
opportunities to directors like me.
I had done primarily music videos
and commercials.
And I had really broken in that space
but it didn't translate
to film and TV.
And so I was offered a lot
of series that I didn't relate to.
And when I read this,
I saw myself in the words
fell in love with her on the page.
And then I met her
and I was like, "She ain't so bad.
Maybe we can collaborate."
We did a Skype meeting
and it was terrible.
It was like, girl
you knew that we've been going
and seeing these other directors
you didn't come prepared.
I was on the East Coast,
I was visiting my family
and, you know,
the Wi-Fi wasn't working
it was just really hard to connect.
I knew I liked them, they weren't
sure if they liked me yet.
Her rep was like, "What happened?
How did it go?"
And I was like,
"Bitch, what the Fuck?
What happened?
Tell her to come correct."
And she was like, "Let me get her
another meeting, I will prep her."
I watched every comedy pilot possible
and I put together a reel treatment
and pitch deck
and I brought it with me
and that meeting was phenomenal.
It was everything.
She blew us all away.
And we knew that she was the one.
When we were creating a pilot,
I didn't really think about it
as something that hadn't
been done before.
I just thought about it
as how I approach any project.
I wanted to really get inside
of who Issa Dee was
and what influenced her
and who she spoke to and for
and I wanted everything to feel
really authentic to that character.
So do y'all have any questions?
Don't be shy guys, fire away.
When she was editing,
she called me up and said
"Hey, would you come down
and watch my cut
before I show them? I just want
to get someone else's feedback."
And she played it back for me
and I'll never forget this
but I watched that cut,
I got really emotional
and it was almost like I was silent.
And she was like, "You hate it."
I was like, "No, I think
they're going to love it."
It was the first time I realized
how important
a show like this could be
and how I hadn't seen black women
represented in that way.
This show was going to be a success.
I knew, I was like, there is no way
people can see
this beautifully crafted pilot
beautifully shot, beautifully acted
and the humanity and the comedy
and the relatability.
And how could you not give a show
like this a chance?
And legend has it that,
when they turned in the edit
and they got a serious pickup.
It was supposedly one of the fastest
pickups in HBO's history.
And I think that shows just
how much work and love
and energy was really put
into getting that pilot right.
So it's my fault? Okay, sorry guys.
- So maybe...
- Oh, this is what friends do.
- Yeah.
- Great. This is what friends do.
Shall we?
Look at us looking like
a Diversity brochure.
I just remember the first audition.
I had went in for jalapeo poppers.
- Tasha.
- For Tasha.
The description said hood hot.
And I was like, I am not hood hot
because you have to know
your strengths.
And I'm shaped like an iPhone,
sleek lines and rounded edges.
So I knew that I wasn't going
to get cast in that role.
So I went in and I was like,
"Vicky, I'm never going to book this.
Is there anything else?"
And she was like
"What else we got back there?"
And she's like,
"Oh, they got early thirties.
Ivy league graduate."
And I was like, that's my life.
Sophomore year, you hooked up
with that chick
that looked like Lisa Turtle.
That's different.
See, with women, we can hook up
with each other
and we're not considered gay.
It's different for men.
So, my very first audition
with Vickie was like
how come I don't know you?
I was like, "Because it's LA
and nobody knows
a little black girl like me
who don't have no agent, no nothing."
After it was done, she was like,
"You're good. You're good."
And she really kind of stepped up
every time she came back to audition.
You'd give her a note, she'd take it.
It was like a diamond that you just
needed to kind of shine a little bit.
Sorry, but I'm not looking
for a relationship, sad face.
The fourth one, that was like,
"Oh, if y'all don't want me..."
That's how I felt walking down
Rodeo Drive and Beverly.
I think I skipped...
It was the scene where
we had the fight in the car
and I added the like,
okay, the slam lock is on.
And I couldn't get out.
I was like, I'm going to do it,
I'm going to go for it.
And I was like, "Open the damn door!"
MotherFucker, open the door.
- The child lock's on.
- Shut the Fuck up.
They were like, "Ah, that's funny."
I was like, that was a choice.
I didn't know
how this was going to go
so I felt really good after that.
Between audition three and four
it was between paying
my cell phone bill
and getting a private coach.
And I was like, "I'm going to have
to get this private coach."
If I get the job, I hope they can
contact me another way
because Sprint is dead, okay.
I'm the only one on the show
that's been a director, cast member,
and writer.
And it's been incredible.
Natasha went from being
a writer in the room
to being Kelli
in a very specific way.
A lot of times
we'll read it as a room
to kind of see how does it feel.
She just read Kelli so great
that we couldn't imagine anybody else
being as funny as Natasha
was being Kelli.
You ever seen lock up abroad?
They going to lock a broad up.
Oh, God, a favorite Kelli line.
That is so hard.
I improvise so much
so sometimes I don't remember,
what's an actual line
or something I've said
or something I've said
never made the air.
I do like, "Remember me different"
only because I say that my real life
all the time.
Fuck it, you said Beyonc...
Remember me different.
It's like,
"Oh, look at me doing this."
And I also love,
"You know what that is?"
It's gross.
You a big girl.
You know, we wanted to make
a good show at the end of the day.
I remember when I was talking
to Jonathan
we were wrapping, and he was like,
"You know this never works?"
He was like, "A creator
and a showrunner
who come together,
there's always a power play."
I feel like the first time
that you bucked up
and then bucked up is the wrong word
was just in the depiction
of Lawrence.
That made such a difference
he could have been written
in such a different way
if we didn't have, like,
your perspective, your as a man.
As a man, what he's not going to do.
I actually heard about Insecure
and I'm going to get
his brother a shout out
Clarence Hammond calls me one day
and he was like,
"Yo, have you heard of Insecure?"
And I was like, "No, what's that?"
And he was like
"It's Issa Rae's new pilot at HBO
and it just got green lit.
You should read it,
there's a character in there
you're perfect for."
And now mind you, I read the script
and I'm literally thinking
he's talking about Daniel,
not Lawrence.
Lawrence is sitting on the couch,
he's eating cereal.
He forgot his girl's birthday.
No, I'm just getting
my shit together.
You've been getting your shit
together for four years, Lawrence.
In no way in my mind
that I think that this dude
was talking about Lawrence being
the perfect character for me.
And I remember walking in
and I did Lawrence first
my shoulders were kind of like
hunched over.
Very didn't want to be there.
But I felt like that's where
Lawrence was in his head
and then I remember I like
put my sides down, turned around
and I was like, bam, "Let's do this."
And like all of a sudden was like
a whole new person to do Daniel.
I was like, "Oh, I booked that."
Three weeks later, I get a phone call
and they're like
"Hey, they want
to test you on Insecure."
All right, cool.
I never asked my rep what character
they wanted to test me on
so I actually thought I was going
to read for Daniel again
and then found out
that I was going to do Lawrence.
So what are you saying?
I didn't think that Lawrence
would make it pass the first season
let alone the first episode.
Jay Ellis is so great.
I think about Breaking Bad
Jesse, wasn't supposed to be
a main character
he was supposed to just follow Walt.
And Jesse, is obviously the show
and I think about that with Jay Ellis
like, he was just so phenomenal
that every single time
we break stories
we want to see
what Lawrence was doing.
The hands down moment
I knew the show was a success
was after our season finale.
I remember Prentice being like
"Yo, the finale. People are going to
go crazy when they see the finale."
And I read it and I was like,
I don't think so.
It's not that crazy of an ending.
Like what are you talking about?
But I read the ending and realized
I was going to be butt naked.
When I logged onto Twitter,
just independent of anything
saw people tweeting
about Issa and Lawrence.
And I was like,
I'm not on the hashtag
it was just my entire timeline
was people I followed
or people retweeting,
arguing about two characters.
And I was like, this is incredible,
I'm getting chills now.
They're just talking about
these characters
and they're investing
in these characters.
That was amazing.
I didn't see it coming, man.
But it hit people in a way
that still to this day
I just don't know if I've seen
a sex scene, hit people
like that before.
We wanted to celebrate
the bodies of men on this show
in the way that they weren't
celebrated on other shows
as opposed to the female body.
- We'd seen that already before.
- I like that. I like that.
We never celebrate this body.
I like that wording.
I did an interview
with a magazine and...
Did I ever tell you this?
A woman asked me, why is the sex
so graphic on the show?
Is that the way black people do it?
On God.
- On...
- White woman?
Like, but what kind of white?
Euro white?
- Like American white?
- Yeah, are you talking like
- Karen white?
- A Karen.
I literally just told my family
not to watch.
I tried to tell my favorite,
they said
"Well, you naked half the time
on Instagram anyway."
What's the issue?
- But it's my titties, not my dick.
- Okay.
Or like my ass.
Cue marker.
- Hey.
- Hey, sorry.
I wasn't trying to scare you.
You know, when you ended thing,
I understood.
I had a son on the way
and I was moving
but things are different now.
I'm different now.
And I would hate to leave here
tonight knowing that...
I don't know, I could have
said something and I didn't.
Or like, I didn't fight hard enough
for you.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Turn around. That was passion.
I loved how you were
making the point.
I want to try a take
where time is of the essences
- the whole conversation for you.
- Right.
Yeah, just run it
because you don't know
how much we a window
you actually have.
- Okay? Cool.
- Okay.
Prentice is mad at me
because he's team Lawrence
it's very thinly veiled.
He be acting like he's unbiased,
but he's not.
I'm going to get it out of him.
I'm figuring out what's going on
in the finale.
I always rooted for Issa and Lawrence
and then I honestly believe
in season four
I got to a point where I was like,
yo, some things just don't work out.
They tried and it didn't work.
Going into season five, I don't know
if I was team Lawrence.
Early on in our conversations,
just breaking the stories
Issa the person was like,
Issa the character
would be a dumb bitch
to stay with Lawrence.
But throughout breaking the season
I think she started to come around
to, well, does that
have to be the way?
And as we started breaking the season
Issa the person also got on board
with that ending too.
Last year, once we did the episode
where Lawrence and Issa
have a whole night together
we basically wrote an episode
about how they're soulmates.
And so by the time
we got to this season
it's like, we've told the world
that they're soulmates
so they have to end up together
or we're basically saying
that the protagonist of our show
doesn't deserve to be
with her soulmate.
So I think there ultimately
was no other way to end the show.
Tonight made me happy.
You make me happy.
When we first it as a room
and we were talking
about Issa's arc as a character
we actually talked a lot
about what it meant for her
to stay at We Got Y'all.
There was something
really limiting about that
and we were just like,
"Why is she still here
if she herself has established
that she don't want to be here?"
And it makes me think even
her romantic arc in the beginning
we were you're like,
"Oh, by the end of season one
she's going to kiss Daniel."
And if our goal is to show
a black woman who is flawed
and a black woman who isn't all,
like, you know
white suits, red wine, no spills.
Then we have to show her
make flawed decisions.
And that means quitting your job
without knowing exactly
what you're doing next.
That means Fucking the dude,
not just kissing the dude.
That means lying to your partner
and saying, "I'm in this."
And then turning around and, like,
talking to this guy at your event.
We were like, what are the bad things
she could do
that she can correct from
that make her more dynamic
and more believable as a character?
One of the things
that I was looking for
when I was assembling the room was
learning from the certain way
of things I had been seeing
for the last seven years.
I knew that I didn't want
repetitive voices.
The thing is,
oh, if I have a black woman
I don't need any other black women.
And no black women
can speak for all black women, right?
But the agents were sending us voices
that felt like, oh, I'm going
to send you eight Issa's.
But I was like, I have Issa.
I don't need eight Issa's.
I need something that's going
to be contrary to Issa.
Writing on Insecure
has been one of the most
fulfilling experiences of my life.
It's the safest
I've ever felt in room
I never felt like anything I pitched
was too stupid or too bad
I felt like I could say anything.
Every season of the show
we just wanted to make
each other laugh
and make Issa laugh
and it just honestly felt like
a conversation with friends
where you happen to be
breaking plot at the same time.
I always feel like you have
to let writers have lives
that's the tie you have to get able
to make a show.
Otherwise, they're just
in a writers room all the time.
Prentice did a lot to be like
"Okay, on Fridays,
we're going to have a happy hour.
We're going to have social events
on the weekends."
Like we went to Disneyland.
We did things that made us
feel like friends
and it just made us
better at our jobs
because we were open and sharing
and, like, giving ourselves
to the content.
I was very proud of the rooms
that we assembled
and I think it spoke to the fact
that we didn't have a lot
of turnover in our room.
And the first three seasons
were all the same writers
and then obviously as a blessing.
Those writers got opportunities,
as a part of being on the show.
And then we replenished
with four more amazing writers
and those writers stuck with us
to the end.
When Issa comes to me,
she goes on a vacation.
She's on some island right now.
I like early calls.
Early calls mean you get out earlier,
And it's always great
to be able to work.
And my thing is,
it always starts at the top.
And however the lead is,
that's kind of what you get.
And I have to say, we're doing
really good over here with our lead.
I'm old school, I can go back
to working on Martin.
And I did The Bernie Mac Show.
Been doing this for a minute,
but this is such an amazing talent
because you're working with younger,
amazing group of people
that's taken this industry
to another level...
with their creativeness, you know.
I love that.
This is my time to make love
to the hair.
I always say that her hair
and my hands have a love affair, so.
She likes my hair
more than she likes me.
- You're not going to deny it? Wow.
- I love you too.
I love you too.
But this hair is everything,
it's my favorite.
I found out about Awkward Black Girl
because natural hair was emerging.
And at that time I was running around
with Jill Scott who really did help
a lot of people
to look at natural hair
very differently.
I remember people saying,
have you seen Awkward Black Girl?
You need to see it,
her hair is natural.
I just remember a time in history
where you would see a woman
with short hair or short Afro
and not really think much about it
but they made it a really big deal
that Issa had natural hair
and had cut it off
and talked about that on her show.
So I started watching it
and I was like, "Oh, this is good."
You know?
I get it. And then every now and then
I'll get these messages
from women saying...
"I can't wait for the next season.
To see what you're going to do
with the hair."
Because then I get ideas for work
and going out.
And I'm like, "Well, that's great
that you really are anticipating
the next season or the next episode
for the hair."
When I look back at all the photos
that I've taken of, the hairstyles
we've done
it's like a thousand hairstyles,
it's crazy.
I do not plan these styles, you guys.
They literally are kind of like
a creation between Issa and I
in the morning.
Sometimes I have an idea
of what I want
but once I see the wardrobe,
it could change.
Yeah, it's off the cuff.
There's our superstar.
- Hey, I'm so glad we're doing this.
- Me too.
Well, let me show you what
our brand partnership looks like.
Brand perception and awareness
are both up significantly coming off
of the last handful of events.
I didn't really want to make a comedy
that looked like any other comedy.
Cinematically, I was like,
I think we can push this
and we can allow it to live
in a different space
because it's a very specific show
and so it should have its own look.
Everything was kind of based
in authenticity
and having it feel
as real as possible
lighting black people in a way
that I was used to
where we're like celebrating their
bodies and their skin and their joy.
We were pretty successful
the first year.
Second year, Ava came on board
and she came from indie film
and I really loved her work
and aesthetic.
I already had strong ideas
on what I would do differently.
I felt like there were some
missed opportunities visually
in terms of how to incorporate
into the DNA of the show.
One of the things that I said
when I kind of went in there
was you're missing
how cool this show is
you're missing literal color
in people's skin, in Los Angeles
the warmth, the architecture.
I just wanted to feel the environment
more in this visual storytelling.
I just think that Insecure
is more than just a comedy.
It's part of a cultural movement,
it's part of visual culture
and I just wanted it to be that,
to show up for that.
We're going to come, we're going
to try to do this again with them.
Okay, so I want everybody
to look at me
I just want to make sure
nobody's being blocked.
Okay. Yeah, just make sure
I don't lose you.
- Nathan?
- Yeah?
Sorry, would you look at me, please?
She looks good, right?
Did you tell her about that?
I told her soon when she got here.
I said, "You look beautiful"
- I'm going to tell her again.
- Do it.
I love the floral.
That looks great.
That was really easy, is there.
I think it's the shoes
that really set that, huh.
I think... Huh?
I guess costumes to me
is just like cinematography
which is like production design,
There's a story in all of it.
I really believe in
how we tell a story visually.
The show is also about the diversity
of black people and women.
Each person has to have
their own style
and their own sense of expression.
You know your neck's not long enough
at these turtlenecks?
Well girl, I'm exchanging all these.
Condola got me meeting
in all these fancy spots
and I got to rotate
my wardrobe to keep up.
I remember first and second season
we would have clothes
but, you know, we had limited budgets
and I remember in the pilot
like Issa on stage
that's my outfit for that
first new year's one year
and I was like, this is perfect.
- You love this.
- I love that.
I think it's cute
and I think it looks good on her.
But then are we wasting it here?
- Well, it's never a...
- Yeah.
I loved this too,
but with a different shirt.
When I started at Insecure
the aesthetics of the main characters
were pretty much already carved out.
Which was a unique challenge
because I continued that narrative
but added own twist
my own personal touch.
For Issa, we elevated her
a little bit
and that was really exciting to see,
diversity is always top of mind.
In addition to just the team
that we hire
we really try and focus on using
and shooting
and purchasing designers of color,
black women
young up and comers in LA.
And that's a way that we can support
and support financially
just designers of color
within our community.
When it came to work
on episode 507 with Amy
I pitched her the idea of only
featuring black female designers
on our principles.
I wanted to try and feature
black female designers
for, like, every aspect,
from the earrings to the shoes
to, of course, all of the clothing.
She was really, really up for it.
It presented a lot
of different challenges
but at the same time, it really
gave us an opportunity to champion
and support black female designers
in a way that we haven't really done
on the show.
We've obviously incorporated them
in different costumes
but never a true focal point.
And I think it really played
into the story of these women
coming together one of the last times
and supporting each other
as they are moving through the world
and now moving on
to different experiences.
I'm directing episode 507,
which is called, "Chilling, okay?"
It's a really special episode
because it's all the girls together
almost the entire episode.
It's basically one of these times
like you're planning to go out
with your friends
and then you just never make it out.
So it's playback action camera,
you start smoking
and then on action, Issa,
that's when you deliver your line.
I've been working on Insecure
since the very beginning.
I feel like I worked on pre-Insecure
because I wrote for Miss Adventure
of Awkward Black Girl.
Insecure is a show that has really
different levels of directors
and a lot of new talent.
And I had so many friends ask me
from season one
are you going to direct?
And I was always like
"No, this show, it's so hard."
Really, it was growing
as a producer on set
and supporting so many
different types of directors
and seeing how they work.
I felt like for four seasons,
I was shadowing directors.
Not about to argue with someone
who went to "Scared Straight"
for high school.
I went there too, so.
All right, let's cut.
When I came to Insecure
it was the first time
I'd been on a set
where people of color were at the top
and the vibe on set and the people
it was diverse for real.
It wasn't PA diverse, it wasn't
one person over here diverse.
It was diverse in all aspects.
This is the first show
that I've ever been on.
Where when I get into a scout van,
which includes director
cinematographer, assistant director
that I'm the only white guy
in the van.
And that is the first time
in 30 years
that that's ever happened
and I'm not straight, so there were
no straight white guys in the van.
I see a lot of women
in the camera department
because I make it that way.
This show has been all about
giving people that shot
and I was given that shot
and I want to give that shot
to other people.
When it comes
to giving people chances
people will show you
that they're ready.
And I just love passionate people.
I love to be around people who love
to do the work, who are about it.
That kind of tells you
all you need to know.
First time I met Issa was 2009.
Issa did this workshop.
I won the Insecure onset contest
that HBO put on.
At the end of 2016, the winners
of the contest got to move to LA
and work on the show as set PAs.
Afterwards, I stood in line
and talked to her
and like, "Hey, you know,
I'm writing now.
I really hadn't had any real eyes
on my work yet.
I was so bold."
Even though I was PA-ing,
I tried to let people know
I'm a writer
and that's what I'm trying to do
talking to Issa whenever
I got an opportunity to do so.
She read my pilot script and...
Issa personally emails me.
She was like, "Hey, Kindsey,
not sure what you're up to
but we potentially have a spot
opening up for writer's assistant
in the writer's room
if you're interested."
And I'm like,
"Duh, of course I'm interested."
I dropped everything and I came
to become a showrunner's assistant
and a writer's PA
for season one of Insecure.
Now I'm a showrunner
of Rap Shit for HBO Max.
So, I mean, I don't know, it's crazy.
Six years ago, none of those people
had professional writing jobs
and now they're showrunners
and writers on other shows.
You know, I see how in five seasons
we've given eight
first time directors
their opportunity to direct
their first episode of TV.
I think seven writers
over the last five seasons
go on to get their own overall deals.
We've seen six of our writers
from these five season
go on to become showrunners,
post Insecure.
You know, we've hired and broken
in two costume designers
a new DP to television
and across the board,
you really do seek growth.
That is a true testament
to their legacy
and to the legacy of the show
is that we always... tried
to open many doors
for as many people as possible.
So I met Issa Rae at a 7-11 randomly
years ago, before Insecure.
We talked about Hollywood
and what we each do.
So fast forward years later,
she's very successful.
I have a wife and kids
and I'm trying to figure out
the best to support my family.
I thought getting into a union
is probably one of
my best opportunities.
And when COVID hit,
I was pretty discouraged
didn't think it was going to happen.
So I happened to work on a show
with one of the producers
from Insecure.
I was wearing, I think,
an Insecure hoodie or a hat.
And he asked and said,
"Oh, do you know Issa?
Do you work on the show?"
And I said, you know, "I do."
I was telling her about how hard
it is to get into a union
and she said to me,
"There's always a way."
Let me see what I can do,
if I can get you on the show
and help count towards your days,
that's a win, right?
And it's also a win for inclusion
and making sure that again
this show is continuing
to create opportunities.
Fast forward a few months
and I got a call.
It worked out. This show
means so much to me
it's helping me take care
of my family.
I can go home and look at my wife
and she's proud of me.
We were told
at the beginning of this season
that we are going to have
an art walk in this area.
And so that we should look
for artists
in Crenshaw and Inglewood
black artists in particular.
Creatively to put this all together
it took a good three weeks
but to really physically
put it together
we did it in two days.
Issa is very specific in embracing
all the locations that we've seen
in all five seasons of Insecure.
If it wasn't going to be
Leimert Park Plaza
it wasn't going to be...
There wasn't really an option.
It wasn't really an option.
Hey, look who's over here
shopping, a fine...
The Black Art Walk is an event
where Los Angelian
African American artists
are able to show off their work.
As with everything Issa Dee does
there's a verisimilitude
that has to do with
what the real world is doing
and what she's doing in the show.
Her master plan was
she was going to come down here
and she was going to spend the money
for us to be working
in this community.
It ain't Insecure if we don't have
a block party
if we don't have
in the neighborhood
where the blacks are...
Hello? I'm trying to shoot over here.
Oh, it's the Black Yukon,
Suge Knight is coming through
I don't know who's there,
but here we are.
I said, it's not Insecure
if we don't have a big...
Y'all didn't disrespect
other actresses like this?
Oh, now it's a party.
You know what?
This is why we do what we do.
They said,
"Oh, the camera is rolling?
We have a party."
I love it.
So you were saying,
how does it feel to be
a shooting in a black neighborhood?
This is how it feels.
They're like, it's a cookout,
it's a party.
Well, we going to get in on it too.
I think that's not only Issa Dee
but Issa Rae's desire and mission
is to promote the black community.
Especially, one where there's so much
culture and there's so much art
and there's so much feeling here
and that's what Insecure does best.
We bring people
into this neighborhood
and we show how live it is
it's not just the Hollywood Hills
or Sunset Boulevard.
It's like, yo, Inglewood,
Leimert Park, we got stuff here too.
Three weeks ago, we were
shooting down in Manhattan beach.
And I happened to go down
this street called Hyde Park
where the Dunes apartment is located.
And literally, there was
three families taking photos
and we shot the Dunes
like season two or three.
And people are still
going to the Dunes
taking photos of Insecure.
So it is proven to be
a lot of positivity
acceptance from this show.
I'm extremely proud of Issa,
extremely proud.
It's wild to me that the Dunes
is a cultural landmark
just because you don't think
about those things
when you're filming.
We moved out of those apartments
by season two
I get tagged at least three
or four times a day
in people in pictures and I think
it's the dopest thing ever.
They treat it
like the Hollywood sign.
You know, when Insecure started,
I would say it was like pulling teeth
because we were really dead set
on creating a certain
authentic look to the show
that we realized working
with older people in this industry
who had been very seasoned vets
in their jobs
weren't really used to.
We were asking them
to go to neighborhoods
that other shows didn't film in.
We were asking them
to show us locations
that had never been thought
about being filmed at.
We fought really hard for that.
It's really refreshing being able
to show new places
whether it's neighborhoods
or businesses on television.
A little different in South LA
than other places
it's different protocols
you have to go by.
You go into certain neighborhoods
it's hood logistics
that needs to be dealt with.
You have to have somebody who knows
the politics of the Leimert Park
in order to just go in there
and just film.
Everybody knows Issa,
everybody loves Issa.
She employs a lot of black people
in the community.
She puts a spotlight
on a lot of communities
that other TV shows don't.
We got to see the wonderful people
who live and make this community work
and all of the great cultural things
that it has to offer.
I grew up on Normandie in Florence.
So for anyone who's outside of LA
the only reason why they know
my neighborhood
is because that's where
the riots started in the '90s.
That's not the best representation
of the city of Los Angeles
but it is what it is.
I rep my city pretty hard
and it just feels really good to see
the LA that we know and love
represented as opposed to the one
that Hollywood typically
portrays for us.
Everywhere we shoot
is my stomping ground.
When we're in the Baldwin Hills Plaza
people that I grew up with
is our security.
To be able to work and see my friends
and they see me doing this,
look at my smile.
You know what I mean?
It's really dope.
I love the thug Yoda representation
because it's humanizing somebody
who's pulling "blood"
from our neighborhood.
Me and her was just about
to go watch the Bear Bears.
Care Bears, Daddy.
You have these type of relationships
with these people
and it's a very accurate description
because it represents
the side that's not shown.
Yoda was based off of someone
I had seen at the post office
in Inglewood when I was trying
to drop my mail off
super hood post office.
And it was this dude on the phone
and a wife beater
with his daughter in his arm
just cussing and like, "Yeah, nigger.
And don't Fucking play me my guy."
And he would be like,
"You good baby girl? You good?
All right, yeah, so..."
and I was like, this is a character.
Come on to the Crenshaw Mall.
- Oh, shit.
- Oh, shit.
I'm so glad when I see a cafe
that I go to
or a barber shop that my son goes to
on my street on HBO
and with a whole bunch
of white people watching
but just, you know, let's not
continue all the gentrification.
South LA is wonderful, but if maybe
you want to stay in another
neighborhood, that's also fine.
I don't know why I told you
about this neighborhood
because y'all take everything.
Can we have anything? Leave!
I've been blamed for gentrification.
The show has been blamed
for gentrification.
Something went LA viral on Twitter
where this girl posted,
I went to Worldwide Tacos
it was four hours away and I got
the tacos and I didn't like it.
And she misquoted Worldwide Tacos
as being in Inglewood.
So people were like,
"Bitch, you don't even know
what she talking about.
Take your ass home.
That's why you watching the show.
This is Issa's fault.
Like, didn't nobody tell you
to review these tacos?" Anyway.
And I was like, damn. That's the...
It's the beauty and the blessing
of like exposing these businesses
but then residents and locals
being mad
that people are coming in here...
being overly familiar with these
places that are so dear to us.
We had a nice shoot on Saturday.
You know, I got called at 6.00pm
and we didn't finish until 5.50
we were in the van
going back to set 6.05.
I was on my way home.
And then here we are, today is Monday
and I got picked up
at 3.54am to come here.
- It's Wednesday.
- Hi, I'm Issa Rae.
Life is so hard. Oh, my God.
- I didn't have a 24-hour...
- She didn't work on Saturday.
She didn't work on Saturday.
She went to get a massage.
Posting shirtless pictures
of her doctor up
- that's what she was doing.
- Sounds like hatred.
Sounds like someone's mad at my life.
But I'm just Issa Rae,
I own everything, boohoo.
Why do you laugh?
- Laughing that hard...
- Is that for real...
I'm off camera, you know
you got to make it worse.
- What happened to you?
- So bad.
I own everything.
I heard that the finale script
dropped last night.
It did.
Good, it's out there, you know,
we're going to keep retweaking it.
You can ask Kira, our script
coordinator, but I hit her up.
I finished it on Saturday...
and then was, like, cool,
but we'll send it out in the morning.
And then I dreamt about it
and I was like
"Oh, Fuck, I wanna change something."
I was like, "Kira, did you send it?"
She was like, "I sent it,
but I can recall it."
And so I made another change
and then had another idea.
I was like, "Kira, did you send it?"
And she was like,
"I was just about to press send.
I could send it back."
And then I read something up
like, literally, three times
just because I was like
this is the cast and crew seeing it
and I want the first impression
to at least be...
like, we know that we're going
to continue to work on this
but, like,
I still feel confident in it.
And when I think about, you know
actors who have dedicated five years
of their lives to this show
and crew members, if it just ends
with a, "Aw, man, that's it?"
Like, I don't want that feeling
of I dedicated my life for five years
and this is it?
So I just wanted to make sure
that it was all represented
and I'm excited that we get
to do a table read for it
but it feels like a weight has been
lifted off my shoulders.
Issa sighs as Coria opens a door wide
to Crenshaw's Warehouse main room.
It's completely dark.
Issa steps inside.
Coria, why is this so dark?
You got a night plumber?
She flips on a switch and...
- Surprise.
- Surprise.
It's Issa's 33rd birthday
and they're all gathered
to celebrate her.
Go back to the...
With this show, I'm most proud
of the doors that it's opened.
It's showing black people's humanity
and regular-ness
during a time when
that wasn't the focus
for anything else on television.
And opening doors for so much
other talent behind the scenes
in front of the camera.
I think that's
what we'll be known for
in the same way that, you know,
Girlfriends did
and all these other legendary shows
that... that came before us.
Thank you guys so much for coming
and making me look good
in front of my new client.
We got you, girl.
- Let's take a photo.
- You got it.
- Now let's do a fun one.
- No, we're good.
Like, I love that
I got to play Tiffany.
I think in the beginning,
it was more a trope
of, like, the bougie light skin, AKA.
Where's Tiffany? Is she mad at me?
I don't know. She hide in the closet.
Yes, I know
he's our little weed baby...
but I just want to be home with you.
And we really got to see
her develop into a mom
into a more compassionate friend
into the truth teller of the gang.
We're all doing great things
look at you getting fit,
look at Kelli.
Look at Molly, taking interviews,
taking names.
Look at Issa.
I feel like people have
come to see Tiffany
as part of this legacy
of bougie black women in television
from Hillary Banks to Whitley Gilbert
and so like to be
in the company of that
within the African American
cultural cannon is just like a dream.
All right, let's do it,
everybody pictures up.
- Good, cut.
- It is time to say
series rap on Natasha Rothwell.
I remember when I first got the show
and I was just like, I don't know
if Issa's made a huge mistake
or if I can do this
it's very vulnerable for me to say,
but it's just true.
What the show has taught me
over six years is that
you can grow into those positions
and into those, you know
to meet those expectations and
that we're only limiting ourselves
when we don't sort of take
those risks and chances
and have the courage to just try.
And I think that, again,
it's about visibility, right?
And not one singular
black female voice.
And yet Issa's voice is singular
and I think I'm excited
for disruption
shaking the table and infusing
the culture of Hollywood
with more black female voices.
Now we are inside
of an international hotel.
We're at a popping ass party.
Everyone's dressed to the nines
drinking and mingling
at the DJ hives the crowd.
At a certain point, I'll crane
back out, but we're craning in.
So it'll just be
super loose and then...
That's just what the scene is.
I'll be like getting on Steadicam
by coming behind you guys.
All right, let's make a wedding.
Smile at her, yeah.
Just listen to me, don't...
Just smile. Smile at her.
Molly has really been
a delicious character to embody.
She has taught me things,
I think I've taught her some things.
Though these are writer's words
but I would like the think
that I brought
my growth and my healing to her
but she also brought her growth
and her healing to me
by the time we get
to the end of season five
it's just like she found herself.
- And cue, Jay.
- And action, Jay.
I don't think I've ever thought about
where Lawrence's story should go.
As we've gone from season to season
in my mind, it was always like,
yo, I'm here for Issa's story.
So whatever Issa wants
at the end of the day
is like what I want to do.
Being able to bring
Lawrence's journey full circle
from who he was in the beginning
from a dude sitting on the couch,
crippled in fear
who couldn't take care of himself,
much less take care of anyone else.
To see him come full circle
to being a father
going after what he wants,
being okay with just who he is
and, like, knowing that I have
figured myself out
and this is the type of relationship
that I want in my life.
And it's crazy,
because it just feels so real.
We have to wrap up this day
with the very multifaceted
emotional news
that this is an Insecure series
wrap on Jay Ellis.
You know, now we're done,
it's the people, man.
- Right here.
- Right here.
- Nigger, we did it.
- Love you too.
Nigger... That shit.
He did it.
Y'all still got something to do.
It's really rare
to go to work every day...
and love not only the work
but like the people that you're with
and for all of us to walk out
of the show six years later
and still love each other...
it's all you could dream for.
It's all you could...
Thank you.
It's all a...
It's all you could dream
for in a show.
- What's up?
- It's the black Santa.
You know what I'm saying?
I'm going to miss every single person
we've had on our production
from sound to camera and Issa.
And Issa.
It is very rare to have...
the creator of your show
also be your co-star
also be your biggest champion
and I'm going to miss
the shit out of it.
We're in the hotel room,
the party's over.
Issa helps Molly take
her wedding dress off
as Issa unzips and unclips
the complicated dress
and Molly sway still tipsy.
Okay, just one more row.
How you feeling, girl?
Happy. Like really... happy.
As long as you're around,
I'm going to be okay.
Yeah, me too.
I love you.
I love you too.
And cut.
All right, let's cut.
Let's keep it quiet, yeah.
That's it.
All right, everybody
bring up the house lights
and come on out here.
I got to sit around or I'm going
to start crying, let's go.
Come out here.
Oh no.
- Oh no.
- Oh no.
This is a serious wrap day. Damn it.
This is a series wrap on Yvonne Orji.
Man, thank you all so much.
Come on, man.
For real, thank you guys so much.
Issa, I owe so much to you.
We all do.
I'm so grateful
that I get the rock with you
by your side as your number two
for six years.
You changed the heck out my life.
Everybody cast, crew,
writers, Prentice
I love the heck out of y'all.
Like we did it. We made a show.
The role that I'm most proud of
is not even really being Molly
it's just being able to serve you.
That's what I take so much pride in.
I've wanted to protect you
because you literally were the head.
And I know that heavy
is the head that wears the crown.
We did it.
We did it, yo. We did it.
We always discussed in the room
that the true love story of Insecure
is Issa and Molly.
And we wanted to show
that you can get to a place
not with every friend,
but in this friendship, at least
that they were growing
at different paces
and eventually lined up
and grew and sink again
by the end of the show.
That they really realized
that, no, you're my person.
You're my friend for life.
This wasn't a friendship
for a reason or a season.
This is a friendship for a lifetime.
We ain't shit for some tricks.
Hello, what?
- Pick up the phone, hello?
- Oh, you're so stupid.
Bottoms up.
This spiked?
I love you.
We are saying goodbye and goodnight
and a series finale
to Prentice Penny.
I don't know why I still have this,
I'm COVID tested.
When we met, I always felt like
if I was a young Issa
how would I want my person,
a showrunner to be?
And it was very important for me
that I walk away from this
that you could always say
he helped me make the show
I wanted to make
and he never got in the way once.
And that was always
like my north star.
And, you know, you realize sometimes
you're just a brick
in somebody else's story
and you have a bigger function
to serve.
I think about all the times I was
the only black writer in rooms
and going through the things
I went through for 17 years
good and bad, I tried to pour
all of what I knew
everything I learned,
every skill set I had
was just to pour it into you
and you have exceeded
and have gone farther
than I could have dreamed for you.
And the beauty is that
you'll never know
those things that I saw
you only create a new path
and I will miss you so much.
I love you.
And, yeah, I don't know.
- I love you.
- Thank you so much. Thank you.
What am I going to do
without you now?
You'll be fine.
You got 18 shows, you good.
Blends in a little.
I like the entry.
And action.
Poor thing. She went to bed at four.
Had a 8.42 call time,
I just looked at it.
That's what happens
when you have your own show.
Go ahead, baby.
Oh, right down there.
We all got hot towelette ready.
I hope in the future that
people can take away from this
that it was a classic.
I really feel like it was a beautiful
picture of how we live now.
When you think back to our era,
you'll think back to Insecure.
But I also hope that
there's so many other shows
that follow in our footsteps
and really diversify that landscape.
And that's a cut
on the last shot of Insecure,
the HBO series.
That is a series wrap on our queen.
- It's a wrap.
- Let's go.
You guys, I am just incredible
humbled, blessed...
I'm just honored
to know a lot of you.
When I set out to do this,
y'all know me
I'm not the most talented person,
I'm not the funniest person.
I'm not... I'm not the best person.
But, you know, you aspire
and you dream and you imagine
and I never imagined that
I would get to work with all of you
in support of this
and to meet so many amazing,
talented people.
I think about my loved ones
my brothers and sisters and cast
and how you guys have elevated me
how I've learned so much from you
along the way
I've learned so much
about myself through you
and am just so blessed
to be in your presence
and to know that
I have family for life.
That's a wrap.
When I look at other shows growing up
I had not seen a family that looked
like mine in black television
until I saw Cosby, right?
So when I look at that show,
that show inspired me
to think that my representation
of life can be on screen
and it just made me believe
it was possible.
So if I had to distill it down
I would hope that people
would watch Insecure
and go, "Oh, like, achieving
at a high level, creatively
opportunity wise is possible."
And sometimes in this country,
you don't always get to think
that things that look like
you are possible.
So, that's what I would hope
the legacy behind it is
whatever people need it to be
to know that it's possible.
How do you feel to be done baby?
Baby, I'm tired.
You're too pretty, baby,
you're too pretty.
I started this shit.
I grown into this shit.
I am so glad we're done, baby.
- We're done.
- Insecure, bitch.
It's okay.
I love you.
I love you.
Can we go eat?
- The hardest working people at...
- We did it.
Right here.
- Thank you.
- Love you boo.
I love you more.
I just want to go down
as people's favorite show
it's super simple.
Like, in the way that I talk
nostalgically about the shows
that shaped me that make me smile
when I think about them
that I reflect on a specific time
in my life, happily...
Like, I want our show
to do the same for people.
I want them to think about scenes
and the first time
they watched something
and imagine where they were
at the time that they watched it
where they were in their lives.
I want it to be a part
of who they are.
That would make me happy.