Insecure introduced the world to Issa (Rae) and Molly (Orji) when the series debuted on HBO in 2016. Fans have seen the duo in each other’s corners when facing their respective woes.
Though the duo’s real-life friendship appears to be filled with many highs, their characters’ onscreen bond has suffered major lows. When the fourth season of Insecure aired in 2020, longtime viewers witnessed a fallout between Issa and Molly before they found their way back together by the finale’s end.
“They are friends, they are real-life friends, but there exists a specific dynamic in their friendship that both of them have gotten accustomed to,” Rae explained to Variety in May 2020. “They’re college friends who have taken on different paths.”
The Photograph actress continued, “Molly witnessed Issa being in this long relationship and this relationship that she may have aspired to, and I think, on Molly’s side, Issa has witnessed her take this journey to become this incredible lawyer. Like, her career has always been in check and Issa admires her social life.”
Orji, for her part, admitted to Vulture that same month that she didn’t like seeing the dynamic duo at odds. She also said that “it’s never easy to fight with Issa” onscreen.
“This season was very different because we didn’t see each other that much because Issa and Molly have their own lives,” she continued. “The fact that when we did get to see each other, it was under turmoil, I did not like this at all. By the time we got to episode five, it was an explosion, but at least it wasn’t the first time we fought — and it was building to this, so it was expected.”
In August 2020, the pair celebrated a special milestone in their careers when they both earned Emmy nominations. Rae nabbed her second Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series nod, while Orji scored her first-ever Emmys nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The show itself was also recognized for the first time with an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination.
Scroll through the gallery below to see Rae and Orji’s real-life friendship.