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(Un)Cover Story: Issa Rae for Refinery29

Source: Djeneba Aduayom / @djenebaaduayom

Issa Raecan walk on water. OK, not really but thanks to some impressive set design by Shelley Burgon on the cover of Refinery 29’s digital (UN)Cover magazine, it looks like she can.

The multi-hyphenate actress covers this month’s digital issue where she opens up about season four of Insecure, rooting for everybody Black, her production company, and how much she hates Jessica from Netflix’s Love Is Blind. (“hate” is our word, but she was upset with her).

(Un)Cover Story: Issa Rae for Refinery29

Source: Djeneba Aduayom / @djenebaaduayom

“Season 4 is going to be lit,” she told Refinery29. If you’re an Insecure fan, you remember when Natasha Rothwell posted a photo from inside the writer’s room that showed castor oil and Frank’s hot sauce among other very Black things. Instead of it being a validation of the Black writers who have a seat at the table, it became a moment for some of Black Twitter to call her out for “performative” Blackness.”

“There’s nothing I can do about what people say about the show or what they think about the show; all I can do is just tell the story that I want to tell. If it’s not for you, then it’s just not for you. Move on.”
And then there was that whole unprotected sex backlash. In my mind, I was like, shut the f*ck up, y’all don’t need a show to tell you to use condoms, like, shut the entire f*ck up.” She eventually added some subliminal condom shots to the show. 

In addition to putting the final touches on the hit HBO show, Issa has her creative hand in a record label and owns a coffee shop. “This moment feels like a lot of opportunities are being presented to me and it is just about taking advantage of them and making the right decisions,” she said. 

(Un)Cover Story: Issa Rae for Refinery29

Source: Djeneba Aduayom / @djenebaaduayom

Issa recently starred in the romance drama The Photograph and has other projects like The Lovebirds coming. Does she ever get tired of juggling so many balls at one time?

“It’d be great if I could just be creative all the time, or if I could just be building businesses all the time. Those are all the fun parts, but there’s press and photo shoots that come with it. All those things that I don’t necessarily enjoy are what make me tired.”
(Un)Cover Story: Issa Rae for Refinery29

Source: Djeneba Aduayom / @djenebaaduayom

But without the photoshoots and press, we wouldn’t get these stellar images now would be?! What about her personal life?
“I don’t have a public boo — or a private boo,” she simply says. But that’s not surprising, she never gives details about her personal life. However she did share this gem,
“I have never dated a white person. I’ve actually never dated outside of my race, period. But my friends are in interracial relationships and it bothers me that whenever interracial relationships are depicted on screen, they are with just white people. It’s another way media in general centers whiteness.”
Which is the perfect segue to her new rom-com The Lovebirds that centers around an interracial couple on a date night gone wrong.
(Un)Cover Story: Issa Rae for Refinery29

Source: Djeneba Aduayom / @djenebaaduayom

And about that whole Jessica line up top, here’s what she had to say,

“I was very upset with Jessica,” she said. “But I was very upset with Mark too, because it’s like, have some respect for yourself, man!” Agreed.

Styled by Shibon Kennedy, Issa dons fabulous looks by designers Nina Ricci, Gucci, Jennifer Fisher and more. (Links to the items, here).

Read the rest of the cover story, here.


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Issa Rae Is A Style Queen On The Cover Of Refinery 29’s Digital Issue  was originally published on