They were like, “Okay, this is what we’re going to use.” They saw some old pictures of me growing up, too, so it became more and more autobiographical as we got deeper into the episode, which I really welcomed.I think there’s definitely a difference between myself and Denise, and I try to separate her because we’re so intertwined, but because that story is so specific to my experience, we leaned into it.That was another bonding thing, because Aziz and Aniz have very specific pop-culture references that often tend to be very black. And I also think there’s a dream they have to bury of what they thought their children’s lives would look like, and that’s a mourning process gay children have to allow space for. It’s funny because Angela Bassett’s character said a lot of things my mom said to me, like when she explains what a minority is.
The truth is, we all have a lot of things in common, but that thing is really special to me.
Even Aziz is like, “When have we seen an Indian man and all these black women in one scene?
There were scenes he’d put in the computer, and other things where we’d go back and forth to find the funniest thing.
It was the best experience collaborating with someone, because Aziz and I were so comfortable with each other at that point that I felt comfortable putting very autobiographical, vulnerable things into it.
Unlike the more laconic Denise with whom she’s become associated, Waithe speaks quickly and volubly: There’s a lot to say, and she’s going to say it.
We met at the bar of Maialino, where the Master of None cast and crew, who were staying at the Gramercy Hotel right next door, sauntered by to give her hugs and kisses.” So then my nerves got turned up, but the closer I got to it, the more excited I was to dive in and play with her. I know every role, every little tiny thing she’s ever done. I also have a really small family, so I came out to my sister first. She really, genuinely, didn’t want me to tell my grandmother, so I didn’t.She was so phenomenal, and her work in the episode is just amazing. She came on set and was like, “Hello, daughter.” And I was like, “Hello, mother.” It’s like, come on! I remember she had a small part on — every black person has walked through that show — but she did one episode. Angela Bassett came in and raised the bar for all of us. I’ve never met her, but I’m sure it’ll happen at some point. I was not close to my father growing up and he passed away when I was 14. I really was happy that I got to write that, because those are words that were said, and I think it’s a really human moment for the mom, to not villainize the parents.We were all obsessed with her because Aziz, myself, and Aniz, Aziz’s younger brother, are all obsessed with . And all these people were so kind, because in the episode we actually zoom in on these pictures, and they had to allow us the rights to use their image, so we were really grateful. My girlfriend says I’m the first woman she’s ever dated. I think that’s so “Denise,” like, “Oh, did you turn her? So I never really came out to anyone other than my sister and my mom. I knew I wasn’t going to be disowned, but the dynamic of your relationships change a little bit. That’s another thing about hindsight: hearing it then but understanding it now, and what that really means. I’m happy I got to tell that story, because I think that’s the root of most parents.Angela has had a long career and done a lot of things but we’re like, “Uh, no, you’re Michael Jackson’s mom.” We will literally quote that movie to each other all the time. We were eating it — the mac ‘n’ cheese, the freaking dressing, it was good. Karyn Parsons, who played Hilary Banks on , is apparently a fan of the show so she was like, “Yeah, you can use my picture.” The big one was Jennifer Aniston, when I was 16. ” and I’m like, “No, I swear I didn’t.” She came for me! But it was really just that one person for me, and we were in a diner — all that stuff is real — and it was post college. The part when she says, “I just don’t want life to be hard for you” really hit me. They may be buried or shrouded in other things, but when you strip everything away, that’s what it is: They want their children to lead a happy, “normal” life.The episode is quietly epic, in large part due to the direction by Melina Matsoukas, who paid attention to the details from the cross on the wall to the plastic covers of the couch.