Every week, the cast and crew of HBO’s Insecure — the new series based on Issa Rae’s successful web series — is taking EW behind the scenes of each episode. This week, writer and producer Amy Aniobi walks us through the sixth episode in the season, “Guilty As F…”
On that shocking sequence in which Issa envisions Lawrence hitting her after discovering her infidelity:
It was Issa’s idea, and in reality, this is a real fear that women have. Very often in shows, you have a female character say, “What if something bad happens?” But they won’t say what the bad thing is. Men are strong, and there is a real fear that if you anger your partner, that could happen, even if he’s not that type of man. There’s nothing about Lawrence’s character that says he’s someone who’s going to hit a woman. For Issa’s character, it’s like, “I’ve done something so bad that could turn Lawrence into a man that would hit a woman.” We don’t want men to hit women, and Lawrence is not that type of guy, but it’s a reflection of how bad of a deed this was.
On Issa’s own reaction to her cheating:
To be honest, it’s never sustainable to keep cheating a secret — it always gets revealed in some way. And it’s all the more apparent on a character like Issa, who’s so sensitive. She had that talk with Lawrence when they threw out their couch and she said, “I’m in this relationship.” So now those words are a lie, and that’s hitting her really hard. When you’ve done wrong, suddenly you’re seeing all the ways that your partner is right and you’re sh-tty. She’s looking at him in a new light and thinking, “I can’t believe I hurt this man.” We’re revealing his perfection because she, in this moment, has done something very wrong.
On Molly’s reaction to Issa’s news:
They’re both carrying baggage. Molly has just discovered what is, essentially, a secret about her partner that has ruined her relationship. And with that baggage, she’s like, “Had I not known about this, Jared and I would still be together.” We’ve been watching Molly this whole time, so we know she’s going to ruin her relationship somehow. That’s how her character is, but she’s able to lay the blame at Jared’s feet. She’s protecting Issa by saying, “If you tell him, everything is going to get messed up.” Molly’s reaction is more that she knows her friend so well, she doesn’t have to say, “Why did you do that, girl?” She knows Issa is sensitive, and Issa knows she’s made a mistake — there’s no reason for Molly to up the ante, yell at her or belittle her. In that moment, she’s simply her friend.
On Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings, being featured so prominently in this episode:
That came about in the writers’ room because I was so annoyed that Chrissy Teigen had a cookbook. I was like, “You’re a celebrity. You’re so thin. What meals are you cooking and where are you eating?” It started out as a joke and then we were like, “Why are we dissing Chrissy? She’s fantastic!” And once I looked through her cookbook, I was like, “This is a dope ass cookbook!” I hope she sees the episode and likes it.
On the final scene in which Lawrence sees the text from Daniel on Issa’s phone:
Lawrence doesn’t know what’s happening yet. He doesn’t know quite what to think because he doesn’t know who Daniel is. That feeling of seeing something on your partner’s phone, in their shopping bag or in their emails — whether it’s an accident or on purpose — piques your interest in a negative way. We wanted to capture that moment. At the start of the series, Lawrence was in a kind of shabby place, but as the season goes on, we protected him because we want to have an image of a good black man on the show. And also, he is a good black man. That’s why he doesn’t immediately go off on Issa and demand to know what the text was about. He’s the guy who’ll consider it and say, “Well, I know my partner. I’m going to let it lie and see what this is. It will present itself if I need to know.”
On what comes next for Molly and Issa:
We’ve seen Molly continually mess things up. Will she find another guy and mess things up again, or will she learn from her ways? I think we’ll see a little bit of both, and that’s what’s exciting about these last three episodes. We wrote them like a trilogy, where it’s the beginning, middle, and end of what’s happening for these characters.
And like I said, cheating always gets discovered, so now it’s just learning how this is going to come out. I think it will be an exciting journey for viewers as we close the chapter on this season.
—As told to Caitlin Brody
Insecure airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO.