Yvonne Orji Reveals Why She Lived in a $700 Apartment During the Height of Her Career

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

My Mom, Your Dad star Yvonne Orji dominated airwaves and gained international stardom during her five years as Molly Carter on the HBO hit series Insecure. But in a telling revelation, she said she wasn’t living the same lifestyle as the high-powered attorney she played on television.

On Charlamagne tha God’s latest episode of Hell of a Week, Orji revealed that she was balling on a budget the entire time she was cast on the show.

“I remember it was probably like season three of me being on Insecure and I was still living in the same apartment I was living in when I was shopping at the 99-cent store for groceries,” Orji said.

She added that she was paying $700 a month for an apartment because she knew it was all for “a bigger purpose.”

“I remember Jay Ellis hopped the fence to my apartment and he was like, ‘I know how much you make. You should leave.’ And I was working on saving up to buy a house because I was like, ‘Imma get this rent-controlled rent and Imma go to my next blessing,” she said. “But I still had a poverty mentality because when you’ve been poor for so long… it’s scarcity mentality. It’s like, ‘I never want to go back.’”

She also disclosed that her mental health wasn’t in the best shape during her time at Insecure. The Emmy-nominated actress, who stars in her own HBO comedy special, A Whole Me, said that fame can be a detriment to some.

“….That’s trauma because what happens then when you inherit the blessings?” she told Charlamagne. “You need therapy to help you usher in a phase because like I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t know if there’s generations of people who had wealth and knew what to do with wealth — that wasn’t my testimony.

She added: “So, it was just like — you need therapy for that, you need therapy when you’re in transitions. It’s like, ‘Okay well I’m happy doing this, but what happens when there’s a new season?’ Just like you need different kind of coats — if it’s fall if it’s winter — you need different kind of covering.”

The Nigerian born actress, who was raised stateside, first made waves in Hollywood as a comedian gracing stages on Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, where she opened for comedic icon, Chris Rock. She would then go on to star in sold out shows in the U.S. and Europe.

Her hugely popular podcast Jesus and Jollof boast downloads of over 2 million and has been featured in Marie Claire and Apple’s homepage.

Check out Jesus and Jollof featuring Orji and her co-host Luvvie Ajayi to learn more about two proudly Nigerian women talk about love, life and more.

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