Following the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike on November 9, Issa Rae, 38, reflected on how the strike impacted some of her projects for Marie Claire’s The Power Issue. “The strike was devastating. I’ve been building [a project] for five years and now it’s gone,” the Insecure alum shared with the outlet on November 14. “On the [entertainment] business side, we lost some employees. That really, really sucks. But this industry is changing so much.”
Although Issa confirmed that she’s not “pivoting” from her go-to content, she is making changes to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics in Hollywood. “For me it’s like, ‘Okay, but what now?’ I know that executives and networks aren’t going to be as receptive as they were to Black focused content,” she explained. “I’m not pivoting, but I’m just trying to be more strategic in terms of the stories that I tell and maximizing our impact.”
The Barbie actress also revealed where she thinks Hollywood is heading amid the “uncertainty” of the business. “I only have a foresight of what isn’t going to be,” Issa said. “There’s certain things that I want to take advantage of outside of the industry just because I feel like [the industry] doesn’t know what it wants to be, it’s in flux. And there are no innovators anymore…I want to be able to have control of my own destiny.”
One of the projects she has been focused on “outside” of the entertainment industry includes her Prosecco line, Viarae Wines. “I started experimenting with cocktails made with prosecco—whiskey and prosecco, then vodka and prosecco—and people started drinking them,” the 38-year-old said. “Then I was like, ‘Well, I’m giving them this one basic version, and if they’re going to try it because of me, I want it to be from me.’ This [brand] is something that is of me that I love; that I have made.”
Not only has Issa ventured into having her own wine brand, but she is also the co-founder of a hair care line with her sister-in-law. Issa joked to the fashion outlet that she has proudly tested out the Sienna Naturals products herself. “I am proud to be the guinea pig. My hair hasn’t fallen out yet, so it’s been good,” she shared. “My hair will fall out before anybody else’s hair falls out—that’s the promise.”
Finally, Issa gushed over her love of telling stories through media. “I’m a storyteller at the end of the day and if there is a story bursting out of me, somebody’s going to hear it,” the star said. “I’m fortunate enough to be able to have a platform where they mostly can. And I like the challenge of getting an audience invested in a story.”
Marie Claire’s The Power Issue will be available on newsstands beginning November 21.