How She Landed Her Game-Changing ‘Insecure’ Role

By Olanrewaju Eweniyi
Nigerian-Americans are on track to becoming one of the most successful immigrant groups in American history, but that journey is not without its pressures and struggles. On HBO’s Backstories, Yvonne Orji, one of the most visible Nigerian-Americans today, shares her story

Orji talks about how she went from graduate school to pageant queen to Molly on Insecure. She has come a really long way, but her Hollywood journey actually started with her participating in Miss Nigeria in America, where she turned to comedy after she realized she needed a talent to compete.

She said:


“Two weeks before the pageant, they called and asked what my talent was. Now, when you’re a child of immigrants, you’re not allowed to have talents. Your only talent is to get straight As.

The only thing I knew to play on the piano was ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ and I just didn’t think that was going to cut it. So I said, ‘God, I need a lifeline,’ and I heard loud as day, I heard the voice of God say, ‘Do comedy.'”

She touches a bit on her standout Insecurecharacter, Molly, and the real-life person that the character is based on. And even though the Emmy-nominated HBO comedy will not be back until 2020, at least we now know Orji, the show’s strongest performer, a little bit more.

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