Issa Rae’s first covid vaccine ‘wiped me out, I’m talking about chills, body aches’

Naomi Campbell at Tommy Hilfiger AW20 Runway during London Fashion Week February 2020 - London, UK 16/02/2020

Issa Rae covers the latest issue of Vanity Fair to promote the fifth and final season of Insecure, her wildly popular and beloved HBO comedy. HBO/TimeWarner loves Issa, so as she was putting together the fifth season, they got her to sign a $40 million production deal to create content for them exclusively. She’s only 36 and she already bought a building to house her production company and all of her side-projects. As always, I find Issa charming in interviews. She’s very real and authentic and as she gets more and more famous, you can tell that she’s still insisting on being grounded by family and friends. You can read the full cover profile here. Some highlights:

She wants Insecure to go out strong: “I’m finding myself putting season-one pressure back on the show again.” She’s even been rewatching Insecure from the beginning, which has been a complicated experience. “All these memories come up, so I can’t watch it purely objectively. And then, of course, you look at performance stuff, you look at hair stuff, you look at appearance stuff. You’re just like, Okay, wow, I went on TV like that?”

She’ll never do an Insecure-like project again: “Girl, no! I’m never doing this again. Before you asked that question, I told myself I would never write and be in a show that I created again. It takes up a lot of your life, and I like to do a lot of things. I love doing this show. I’m so grateful to be able to do this show. But that’s just not really for me.”

Her first COVID vaccination: She got vaccinated at the Crenshaw Mall with a group of friends. “That sh-t has wiped me out. I’m talking about chills, body aches. It’s not great. But yay, it means my immune system is good.”

How she relaxes: Even sick, she woke up at 4 a.m.—as she does every morning—to go for a walk and attend to business in the quiet hours. Rae also clears her mind by writing in her journal at least three times a week. She tried therapy in the past but is holding off until she can safely meet someone in person after the pandemic. “I guess work has been my outlet, which is sad. Sometimes I’m like, Oh, I don’t have anybody to talk to who understands. [But] I also never want to be in a position to offer up my problems to somebody.”

She loves astrology: She’s astrological in the sense that she checks out the app The Pattern for her horoscope from time to time and is fully aware of her Capricorn traits. Also, when I inform her that I’m a Scorpio, she has a question locked and loaded: “Do people tell you that you’re crazy?”

Wanting to visit Senegal, her dad’s birthplace: “I feel disconnected from it. I wanted to go back in 2020. That was going to be the year, and then that got derailed. But so much has changed… I would love to have a house there. I would love to take my future kids there, and maybe give them the same type of childhood and appreciation that my parents gave us.”

[From Vanity Fair]

Capricorn! That makes sense, although she could probably be mistaken for a Virgo or Taurus. I love that she’s into astrology and horoscopes, although VF mentions that she took pains to say she’s not too into it. Yeah, I’m not so sure! I also love that she talks about getting vaxxed. Here’s something I didn’t know though: did you know she’s engaged? She’s engaged to Louis Diame, who is Senegalese and Vietnamese. They met in college. She keeps that info on the DL.

The back end of VF piece hypes Issa’s future projects and I was super-interested in what she already has in development. She’s producing a docuseries called Sweet Life about the Baldwin Hills neighborhood in LA, aka “the Black Beverly Hills.” She’s executive-producing A Black Lady Sketch Show (which is one of the funniest things on TV). And VF revealed this exclusive: Issa is rebooting Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Project Greenlight for HBO. That show ended in 2016 in a disastrous season in which Matt Damon whitesplained diversity to producer Effie Brown. With Rae producing a reboot… I would imagine there will be much less of that kind of mess.

Michael Kors Collection Fall/Winter 2020 Runway Show - Arrivals - February 2020 - New York Fashion Week

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, cover courtesy of VF.

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14 Responses to “Issa Rae’s first covid vaccine ‘wiped me out, I’m talking about chills, body aches’”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    I have cousins that grew up in Baldwin Hills, and while it’s a nice little neighborhood, I wouldn’t call it “black Beverly Hills” either. Their parents were teachers. Made a good living but not even remotely wealthy. Because I’ve seen Beverly Hills neighborhoods as well and many of the homes are quite ostentatious.

    Makes me wonder that most “black” neighborhoods in LA were so shit that a neighborhood that would be considered middle class anywhere else in America is “like Beverly Hills” to them.

  2. KNy says:

    She’s so pretty and I NEED that green dress.

  3. Jane says:

    I had my first pfizer vaccine yesterday and I’ve had a small headache all day long. I’m telling myself it’s a sign it’s working. I hope it won’t be worse for my second shot but it’ll be worth it in any case. It’s a huge relief. Anyway I remember when Issa started with Awkward Black Girl on youtube so I feel invested in her success. Seeing her thrive brings me joy.

  4. mahcat says:

    I had a full day out of action with the 1st dose of the AZ vaccine, fever, chills, horrible headache, but still better than catching covid.

  5. Flffgrrrlr says:

    I was ill for a whole week with AZ. Obviously incredibly pleased and grateful to have had it too – but honestly I’ve never experienced anything like it. The first 24 hours were the worst – weirdly, my legs really ached as well as horrible flu-like symptoms. It comforts me to know other people have had them too somehow – it seems quite common with AZ but most people are ok within 48 hours.

  6. Laura says:

    I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I want nothing but amazing things to happen to her & I also love how real she is in interviews. I will be sad when Insecure is over, but happy for her to be able to close that chapter and move on.

  7. ME says:

    Is everyone supposed to have side effects with the vaccines? If someone only had a sore arm and nothing else does that mean anything?

    • stephka says:

      This is a good article about whether it’s a positive sign if you have a reaction to a vaccine. TLDR: the jury’s out.

    • Robin says:

      I wouldn’t worry overly about this, ME. My 1st pfizer knocked me out, aches and pains, and I was dreading the 2nd. People were telling me I was going to feel like I had flu on the second, with chills and temperature etc. But I got nothing, really. I was tired. But even my arm didn’t hurt like the first time round. It was underwhelming. My sister and brother in law had no reaction to AZ. Zero side effects. My main side effect is relief that I’ve got it done and dusted. I think I had covid at the start of lockdown one. I’ve never been so ill.

  8. LoonaticCap says:

    I love Issa and she’s my favorite capricorn queen. I am sad insecure is ending but super excited for her. I relate a lot with her, i think we have very similar personality traits except the discipline to go after my dreams. I’m way too – insecure haha.
    Anyway can’t wait to see what’s next. And hope to see her on tv again. Soon.

  9. eggcentric1 says:

    I LOVE Insecure!! Sad that it’s ending. So many laugh out loud and heartbreaking moments. Issa is amazing, can’t wait to see her next projects!!

  10. Gippy says:

    So my husband works for the VA hospitals in the lab. They put out an internal report showing high correlation for those who had reactions (anything more than a headache) from the 1st shot had COVID within a year of getting their first dose. The immune system was already primed. They did not find that to be the case for those who had reaction with the 2nd shot. The VA has been doing Moderna shots, and sadly now are having to cancel orders for the vaccine as they can’t get enough people to take them. Even other workers drives us mad that health care workers can’t be more responsible!! Although it does seem that those refusing to get the vaccine are by far those with lower level jobs in the health care system, pretty much all the drs and NPs have gotten them.

  11. AnonyCat says:

    I love Issa! I have been watching her since Awkward Black Girl. I watched Little and the Photograph in the theatres. I am really invested in her success. (I think HBO could have given her a higher deal considering that they wanted to greenlight a tv show that imagines America as a confederacy). But I’m amazed by some of the projects she is doing. I’m excited for the one produced with the City Girls. I know she is producing a comedy album for The Read (which is frankly long overdue).

    Being mixed ethnicity and mostly growing up in the US, it must be hard to feel connected to Senegal. I hope that when she can travel back it goes smoothly.