Issa Rae's HBO comedy "Insecure" may be coming to an end after its upcoming fifth season, but the 36-year-old actor and writer is hardly slowing down.
Rae opened up to Sheinelle Jones on TODAY Wednesday about how proud she is of the Peabody-winning series, which follows a young Black woman named Issa (Rae) as she awkwardly embarks on friendship, career and love in Los Angeles.
The show, which was co-created with comedian Larry Wilmore, was based on Rae's critically acclaimed online series "Awkward Black Girl."
Rae was inspired to launch the online series a decade ago after seeing nothing else like it on television. She never dreamed it would become a hit with fans — or one day find a home as "Insecure" at HBO.
"I was complaining a lot about like what I wasn't seeing on TV. And, you know, this was creating a character and a world to be like, if I can do it, and I know mainstream TV can do it," Rae explained. "And so I was even surprised after the first episode, then I was like, 'Oh God, I gotta write more and catch up.'"
Though "Insecure" has earned multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations — including several nods for its star as a lead actress — Rae, who made her feature film debut in 2018’s "The Hate U Give," said in her heart she knows it's time to move on.
"I'm definitely ready to let it go," she said of the show. "I knew that I wanted to end it after five seasons. And I feel like I'm really proud of this season that we're shooting now. It's so much fun, and it's made me appreciate the show in a different way."
Not that Rae will have time to relax.
In addition to becoming part owner of Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, a coffee-shop chain with three L.A. locations, and the hair-care brand Sienna Naturals, Rae has also recently inked a new multimillion film and TV deal with WarnerMedia.
Rae credits her success, at least in part, to figuring out how to connect with others like herself.
"I think part of my journey has been acceptance," she explains. "Yes, I'm this socially uncomfortable, awkward person. And I'm gonna just put it in my work and it's really comforting to know that there's so many other people out here like that."
"I think I've just kind of found my community by accepting it, too."