Issa Rae Graces Cover of Variety's Lead Actress Emmy Extra Edition

Issa Rae Graces Cover of Variety's Lead Actress Emmy Extra Edition

Introducing The Cover Star of Variety's Lead Actress Emmy Extra Edition: Issa Rae

Despite two previous lead actress noms, Rae admits she was skeptical about being recognized this cycle, given that “Insecure” aired its fifth and final season in December 2021. But there wasn’t a ton of time for the typical champagne celebration, Rae had work to do. More specifically, she had to clock in for a shift at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in Inglewood, an establishment she co-owns, later that afternoon as part of the promotional push for her second HBO series, “Rap Sh!t.”

"The mirror moments — college “Mirror Issa” really makes me think about where I started the show, and a lot of the improv that happened like, on both sides. And then even my relationship with Melina [Matsoukas, executive producer], who lets me play a lot and who’s very, very transparent about what she likes and what she doesn’t like, her laugh is very distinct, so you know when you’ve gotten her and gotten something good."

Issa Rae

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Writer: Angelique Jackson

Angelique Jackson is a red carpet reporter for Variety, covering film events as Events and Lifestyle Producer in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Variety, she worked as a reporter and producer for Entertainment Tonight, winning two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she discovered her love for journalism and the Bulldogs.

Photographer: Daniel Doperalski
Daniel bring 10 years digital art directing experience for web, social media, photography, video and motion graphics and take a holistic view of brand identity across the digital space as brands and publications inevitably become fragmented across ever-evolving and ever-expanding platforms.

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