Friday, August 12, 2022

Jay Ellis Talks Significance of His ‘Insecure’ Role

Jay Ellis
Jay Ellis / Getty

“Insecure” actor Jay Ellis is speaking out about why his character Lawrence Walker on the hit HBO series was truly meaningful.

“I’m most proud of the fact that in all honesty, people who look like me connect to the characters I play,” Ellis, 40, told PEOPLE at CultureCon Atlanta on May 7. “I’m most proud of the fact that people walk up to me, and they are pissed off at Lawrence.”

“Insecure” ran for five seasons from October 9, 2016, to December 26, 2021, and garnered universal praise and several awards. Ellis credits Black viewers for making the series an instant cult classic.

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“One of the things we’ve always talked about is it’s culture’s place to tell us what the show means to the culture, not ours,” he said. “We just wanted to tell stories that resonated with folks like us and made people feel like their story was being told. And the rest is icing on the cake.”

Ellis’ appeared at CultureCon Atlanta to talk about his latest role as Lieutenant Reuben “Payback” Fitch in “Top Gun: Maverick.”

“One of the things that was super important to me about this film was getting an opportunity to play somebody in the armed forces because it is how I grew up and it was such a huge part of my life going on and off a military base every single day,” he said of the movie, out May 27.

Ellis’ acting career continues to keep him busy thanks to his work on “Insecure” and “The Game”.

“I got to be a part of The Game, which was an amazing experience,” he shared. “[It’s] one of the first shows, if not the first show, to get brought back because of the fans’ support. And then coming to do Insecure, which was obviously magical and just an experience I’ll never forget, I feel like I’m the luckiest kid in the world.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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