Yvonne Orji landed her role on HBO’s “Insecure” without an agent and without any acting experience.
Actress Yvonne Orji is known for playing Molly on HBO’s hit TV series “Insecure”. During the Glamour Women of the Year Summit last year, Orji revealed she landed the role of co-star without an agent, manager or any acting experience.
The 34-year-old actress said that her role in “Insecure” was the result of a personal journey where she would say “yes” to any opportunity that could help launch her career in Hollywood.
“I said ‘yes’ to the temp job I hated [that] allowed me to perform comedy at night,” she said. “I said ‘yes’ to taking over a stand-up show in New York City. I said ‘yes’ to a residency in a college production in Richmond, Virginia, that gave me two days to get there. I said ‘yes’ to being a writer in the writers’ room for a TV show in L.A.”
She explains that “there was a lot of hustle and there was a lot of setbacks,” but she refused to give up.
When she the show she was writing for got canceled, Orji started to think of ways to create her own opportunities. In 2016, she developed a series called “First Gen,” which center around her real life as a Nigerian woman who drops out of medical school to become a comedian.
While the series was never picked up, Orji released the videos on YouTube and it helped her land the role on “Insecure.”
“It’s what Issa [Rae] was able to see and turn to the producers and say, ‘Give her a shot,’” she said. “I didn’t have an agent, manager, anything. I had never acted. So this is HBO — Home Box Office — this is not, like, a small production. And this thing that I hunkered down and accomplished was what Issa was able to be like, ‘Let’s try her out!’”
Now as the show enters its fourth season, Orji says she is happy that she listened to herself and kept pushing.
“Inside all of us exists some kind of compass — whether it’s divine or otherwise — but it’s something desperately trying to navigate you and all of us to the life we know we were destined to live,” she said. “I think the choice is pretty simple: Keep letting fear sidetrack you, or take what you’ve been given, maybe even told from God above, and say ‘yes.’”