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Yvonne Orji of ‘Insecure’ brings her comedy tour to Boston

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
Yvonne Orji of ‘Insecure’ brings her comedy tour to Boston
Yvonne Orji. PHOTO: James Anthony

The wait is almost over. HBO’s critically-acclaimed comedy “Insecure” returns for its fourth season on Sunday, April 12 — and along with it, actress Yvonne Orji as Molly. Over the past three seasons, we’ve watched as friends Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly go through awkward experiences and difficult moments as they approach the age of 30 — a milestone for both characters.

As season four approaches, audiences can expect to see more growth in the two women as they search to find more meaning and purpose in their lives while navigating their relationships, careers and “situationships,” according to Orji. “The arc of the show is really about trying to figure out adulthood,” says the actress in a recent phone interview.

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Most people know Orji through her role on the series, but Rae first spotted Orji in 2006 performing stand-up comedy. “Stand-up has been my bread and butter since before ‘Insecure,’” Orji says. The multi-talented performer will bring her “Lagos to Laurel Comedy Tour” to The Wilbur in Boston for one night on Friday, Feb. 21. Filled with high energy, the comedian’s observational style will incorporate her experiences about being a child of immigrants, as well as the dating landscape in 2020.

In 2018, Orji was tapped to open for Chris Rock on his “Total Blackout Tour.” It was a surreal experience for her, she says. “It prepared me just to see a genius in action,” recalls Orji. “It prepared me for what I’m doing now on my own tour.”

But comedy wasn’t always the game plan for the Nigerian-born, Maryland-raised actress. Orji had previously been on track to become a doctor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in public health at George Washington University. Since pursuing stand-up and becoming an actress, her parents have come to accept her career choice and are loving it. “My mom is one of my biggest fans,” says Orji. “They’re super happy with the way that things have turned out.”

And so is Orji. The versatile performer has worked very hard to achieve her goals. She knew what she wanted to do before she got into entertainment, she says. As an African American actress in Hollywood, she realizes the many challenges she faces. Diversity seems to be the new buzz word in Hollywood, and she plans to take advantage of all the opportunities that come her way. “While the getting is good, I’m trying to get everything,” says Orji. “I’m trying to get in and do as much as I can.”

Her list of upcoming projects includes writing her advice book, “Bamboozled by Jesus: How God Tricked Me Into the Life of My Dreams,” slated for release later this year. Orji, who’s been a born-again Christian since she was 17, feels that she did have to be tricked, in a way, by God to achieve all the great things she has in her life. She believes she had to be shown her successes, her failures and her struggles in order “to get to the good.”

In the book, she takes her experiences and parallels them with stories of the Bible to make them relevant and applicable to whatever someone may be going through today. “The book is my way of saying whoever you are, whatever dreams you have, don’t let the difficulty deter you,” says Orji.

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