Yvonne Orji’s character on HBO’s Insecure has no problem with fornication, but in real life, the 33-year-old actress has yet to have her first sexual experience…and she doesn’t care who knows.
“I’m open, because why not?” she tells People magazine in this week’s issue. “I’m grounded in who I am.”
She adds, “Before any of [the fame] happened, I sat down with myself and with God and thought, when I make it, how do you want me to represent you while I’m here?” The HBO star says she answered her own question: “It was like, OK, I know why I’m here. It’s to make you proud.”
Orji says she’s happy to discuss her virginity with anyone who has questions.
“People ask about it because they’re curious, or they may not understand,” she says. “How will they ever get understand if I don’t talk about it? I can inform your curiosity, as opposed to everyone being in the dark and just sort of creating their own narrative about it.”
Orji, who emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria at 6-years-old, says she was bullied over her thick accent.
“My mom would say, ‘We didn’t come to America for you to be popular.’ Which is fair, but as a kid, you’re just like, it would be really nice to have this thing that everyone else has,” she said.
Later, after graduating with a master’s degree in public health from George Washington University, Orji says her family was shocked when she announced her decision to pursue stand-up comedy in New York, and not become a doctor as they had hoped.
Now as Issa Rae’s on-screen BFF Molly in Insecure, Orji rejoices in the fact that the series – already picked up for a third season – has resonated with viewers.
“I get people coming up to me and saying like, ‘I’m Molly!’ or ‘We just love that we’re seeing a Black woman on TV who’s a lawyer because I’m a lawyer, too!’ ” Orji says. “It’s giving people an alternative. So much is happening in our community, in our nation, and now we get a chance to look on television and see a version of ourselves that we can actually relate to. I think that’s what speaks to the heart of a lot of people. It’s super cool to be in the middle of that.”