Yvonne Orji immediately captured our attention with her role as Molly in the HBO comedy series Insecure, and it's time we give her a proper introduction. The actress plays Issa Rae's best friend, and the bond their characters share is one of the most honest portrayals of friendship on television. They cheer each other on in their careers, judge each other for making bad decisions with men, and always hug it out after delivering some cold truths. But behind Molly's promiscuous, career-driven character is Yvonne, who's pretty different from her onscreen counterpart. In addition to Insecure, Yvonne recently appeared on season three of Jane the Virgin, and she has a lot more to look forward to. Get to know the actress better below before she takes over both the big and small screens soon.
- Her parents didn't always support her acting goals. Yvonne was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and grew up in Maryland. Her parents wanted her to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, but that all took a turn when over 10 years ago, she decided to do stand-up comedy during the talent section of a beauty pageant. She told Issue magazine last year that after this pageant, her goals instantly turned to comedy.
- Education was always a priority. Yvonne got her master's degree in public health at George Washington University, which was very important to her parents. "They put me through the best schools, I was their return on their investment," she told Vogue. And while her parents weren't too fond of her decision to be a comedian at first, they couldn't be more proud now.
- Unlike Molly, she's a virgin in real life. Yvonne has been incredibly open about being a devout Christian and remaining a virgin until marriage. Like Molly, Yvonne strongly believes in the sanctity of marriage and desires a strong family life. But unlike Molly, Yvonne doesn't indulge in those crazy sexcapades. In an interview with People, she discussed her decision to remain celibate. "I'm open, because why not? I'm grounded in who I am," she said. "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? . . . It was like, 'OK, I know why I'm here. It's to make you proud.'"
- She loves Beyoncé just as much as all of us. During the interview with Issue magazine, Yvonne was asked which celebrity she would most like to work with, and she gushed over Queen Bey. "I want to lip sync with Beyoncé," she wrote. Duh.
- She's the creator of another show. Yvonne created and starred in the show First Gen, a sitcom and semiautobiographical show about a first-generation Nigerian-American family, where Yvonne plays the daughter who dropped out of medical school to become a comedian. Sound familiar? Oprah Winfrey and David Oyelowo were executive producers.
- She has a lot to look forward to in her career. It was recently announced that Yvonne would be joining the cast of Kevin Hart's new comedy Night School, also starring Tiffany Haddish. The movie is about a group of adult misfits who need to attend night classes to pass the GED exam. It will be her first feature film.