Insecures Natasha Rothwell knows it all. Hollywood notices that

Any fan of Uncertain could mock Natasha Rothwells talent right away – her lightness in front of the camera, her expertise with a punch line, her distinctive sense of structure and genre. Both writer and actress on HBO, half an hour since the start, she appeared as a stage thief and played Kelli Prenny, the wild friend of Issa Rae‘s main character, as well as the name behind some of the series’ best scripts, including season four’s rom-com-infused “Lowkey Happy”.

So where would this breakout performance take the multihyphenate to go? In 2021, we got our first glimpse of Rothwell’s next phase. Before Uncertain‘s last season launched, she scored raves in The white lotus for her rich work as a weathered hotel employee Belinda, who attaches a flimsy bond to Jennifer Coolidge‘s dull, bubbly, wealthy guest. With among a star-studded cast that also included Connie Britton and Steve Zahn, The HBO series from the creator Mike White proved Rothwell’s bona fides as a dramatic actor. So for UncertainWhen Rothwell returned last fall, Rothwell played new nuances of the role that has so far defined her career – and there were also new opportunities behind the scenes: She made her directorial debut in the hilarious sixth episode, “Tired, okay ?!”

Now she’s entering a new year full of promises and redefined before an industry that is far too willing to box people – especially colored women – into narrow stereotypes. Rothwell spoke over Zoom with Vanity Fair from London, just before Uncertain ended her tour on HBO, where she filmed the Warner Bros. movie Wonka– Another marker for how high she soars.

Vanity Fair: You’re in London shooting Wonka. This is your life now. What is the feeling?

Natasha Rothwell: I mean, it’s just surreal. I’m just waiting for someone to wake me up on the 6-train in New York and say, “You missed your stop,” and all this will have been a dream. I’m just trying to stay asleep for as long as possible.

Timothée Chalamet never wore it has. That movie does not exist.

[Laughs] He does not exist. Jim Carter is not an angel. You do not have to worry about it.

Well, alas, it’s very real.

It is, it is. I’ve been here a little over two months now and at Christmas time, which is also just like the best Love, actually, Bridget Jones vibes that this little anglophile could ever ask for.

I’ve been thinking you’re there, in connection with Uncertain. You are in the process of filming this huge project on another continent while the final season airs.

I know. It’s been incredibly hard not to be on the continental United States this past season, not to feel like my boots are on the ground. Thank God for social media, I’ve been able to interact and scratch that itch, but there’s nothing like being there in the US and not [being] super tired of trying to stay up to watch an episode. I’m just so grateful because I’m in this position because of the show. I’m able to shoot a movie internationally with stars I never thought would know my name, let alone how I look, dressed in a period costume. So it’s just this interesting mix of emotions. It is bittersweet in the truest sense.

By Merie W. Wallace / HBO.


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