Yvonne Orji is a Nigerian-American actress, comedienne and writer who stars opposite Issa Rae in HBO’s popular comedy series “Insecure.” Her character Molly is beautiful, well educated and has a high-powered career but tends to be unlucky in love.
Rolling out recently caught up with the multi-faceted beauty at General Motors’ Annual Black History Month program to discuss the power of reinvention, Black historymakers, and what she considers her superpowers to be.
What does reinvention mean to you?
My whole life has been a reinvention of sorts. The child of immigrant parents, being able to reinvent whatever my parents thought was their new normal way here in America, then going to school to be a doctor, and then — boom — I am in entertainment. I think that reinvention is necessary. You have to reinvent and refine. Sometimes people are lying to themselves so they just keep going to different places, but it’s the same person that’s going, and they think a new city will change them. You have to reinvent and refine to make sure you are the person you are supposed to be, so that wherever you go and in whatever space you reinvent yourself, you are the best version of yourself.
If there is a Black history maker you could thank for their contributions to the world, who it would it be?
I found out there was a Black man [Lonnie Johnson] who invented the Super Soaker. Finding out stuff like that in 2019 is like, “…Wow, how did I not know this?” It may not be the most groundbreaking thing, but for me, that’s dope to know that there was a Black man who thought of that and did that for children. There are so many different people who did so many different things to contribute to society, I can’t think of them all.
As a Black woman, what would you say are your superpowers?
My faith, my humor, my kindness and my smile.