Insecure‘s DomiNque Perry On Motherhood, What’s Next For Tasha, And Rumors “That I Was Just Out Here Thottin'”
DomiNque Perry is in a really positive place. She says it more than once during our phone conversation, and you can truly hear it in her voice. The show that gave her her big break, Insecure, is back for Season 3 on Sunday (more on if she will appear in the new season later), she is a new mom to a healthy and happy daughter named Zen, and she is preparing to get back to auditioning for more TV and movie roles after going on maternity leave.
“Everything is great,” she says. “I’m so glad Insecure is coming back. And being a mother is awesome. Zen is great and I have great family and friends. So that’s pretty much my life right now, and just gearing up for what’s to come. Everything is pretty positive right now.”
Life is truly Zen at the moment for her, but just a few months ago, she found herself dealing with a flurry of outside opinions about her personal life. When it came out that Insecure co-star Sarunas Jackson, who plays “Dro” is her child’s father, and that he was seeing a woman whom he never informed about the child he had on the way, it was on every blog and even on mainstream publications, too. People jumped to all sorts of conclusions and judgments, and for a new mom dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, it could have been a hurtful time. But DomiNque (with a capital ‘N’ because her mom “was trying to be extra”) says she didn’t pay it any real mind because she had more important things to think about.
“I was in the hospital because I had to have an emergency C-section,” she says. “So when all that came out I was in the hospital. The last thing I was worried about was what other people in the world were saying, especially negative.”
She’s continued to guard herself from hostile opinions and queries about how everything went down. But in our chat, she did want to set the record straight about this idea people have that she was trying to cozy up to the men she worked with on the popular show. According to her, that’s not the case at all.
We talked about that, the future of Tasha the bank teller on Insecure, how Zen changed her, and what’s next for the new mom in terms of her career.
MadameNoire: First and foremost, I wanted to say congratulations on Zen!
DomiNque Perry: Thank you! I appreciate it. She’s a joy.
How has motherhood changed you?
It’s definitely made me want to be a better me. It made me want to do better physically. I want to work out even more. I want to eat healthier because I want her to eat healthy. I feel like in order to take care of her, I have to take care of me first. It just makes me want to be the best person I am like physically and emotionally for her, you know? So it’s changed me in every way honestly, for the better. I haven’t really had any bad thing yet, but I know it’s only two months in [laughs]. Right now, it’s been a joy.
I also wanted to ask you, how has it been trying to get adjusted to motherhood while also dealing with the conversations and things that have taken place on social media? I’m sure it’s probably a nuisance and a distraction. Have you just tuned all of it out?
Oh, yeah. You’re talking about as far as her father and everything like that? I tune it all out. You literally answered my question. First of all, I wasn’t like saying who the father was and things of that nature because of personal reasons. But I literally was like, it’s me and her. I mean, of course he was going to be involved. [Sarunas] is great and his family is great, but I meant just as far as a mother and daughter relationship, I was like, hey, me and her. So I was just focusing on that. And then when the blogs started coming out about who the father was and things like that, I was like, “Okay.” I just was like, hey, it’s whatever. All that came out was who the father was. And the other young lady came out and I was like, that’s his business. I had nothing to do with that, so my focus was literally on Zen and I didn’t respond to anything. I know that I’ve been incognito. I haven’t really been out there doing anything because I’ve been pregnant. But I just literally was like, I don’t care to respond to anything. I kind of blocked out negative comments. I don’t really read them. Like when The Shaderoom and things post stuff like that, I never read the negative comments because I’m like, I’m not gonna let that get in my mind.
I don’t know, a lot of us we soak in the negative over the positive. So I knew that if I would have been seeing so much negativity about me –and people were coming on my page calling me a “homewrecker” and this and that and the other and they don’t even know the situation. I was just like, okay. It didn’t define me. So I was just like, whatever. I just tuned everything out. Like literally just focused on me and getting my emotional state better, because that’s important. Even before the baby, I never listened to the negative comments and stuff like that about me. I just was like, okay. Because everybody’s entitled to their opinion. Hey, if that’s how you feel about me, okay. And I just keep it moving. I can’t go back and forth. It’s not working. I don’t even know you.
This is your first foray into these types of conversations because you’re a newer actress. So I do want to ask you, did you feel like you were painted in an unfair way in general? You know, just even with the joke that you shared about you shooting your shot with Jay Ellis and then it coming out about Sarunas. Do you feel like you have been painted negatively?
No. Well, as far as that, me trying to “make my shot with Jay,” that was all like in fun. I definitely was not trying to really get with Jay. I was trying to make it as a funny story when I did that interview. I knew people were really going to take that as, “Oh! She tried to really shoot a shot with him and then here comes Sarunas,” and I was like, that wasn’t the case at all. I really was not trying to get with him. I’m not trying to get into what actually happened with her father and I, but I know that it was never a situation of me trying to get with both of them at all. Like, I was doing my own thing and her father came at me, you know what I’m saying? And then we just were friends and things escalated and then here goes Zen. But I never was trying to get with Jay. I’m going to clear that up [laughs]! I was never trying to intentionally get with Jay, even though Jay is a gorgeous man. I didn’t want people to think that I was just out here thottin’ and just trying to get with him and her and everybody else. No, I don’t have to.
Right. There’s plenty of guys out here who are thirsty for you from playing Tasha, anyway.
I know! But like I said, I was tuning that out because that was like, hey, at least you’re talking about me. I can’t even front. Because a lot of stuff I noticed, even if it’s bad, it goes away. I never pondered on what people were saying bad about me because I’m like, that goes away and that was nothing so detrimental to my career that people were gonna remember it for a hundred years, you know what I’m saying? So I just laughed it off. But it definitely was a joke when I was like, “Oh, I was trying to get with Jay.” I was just admiring his beauty when I first got on set. Come on! Jay is gorgeous. Yeah, I was admiring him and he was like, “Why you looking like that?” So I got caught in a daze. Jesus! But I was not trying to shoot my shot with him, so maybe I should not have even said that. That was taken out of context. No, I wasn’t trying to get with the Insecure men. It wasn’t like that at all.
Speaking of Jay Ellis and everything with Insecure, the third season starts this weekend and the presumption is with no Lawrence — because Issa Rae said that we’re going to be kind of looking at how Issa’s moving on with life without Lawrence for now. So the presumption is, with no Lawrence, there’s probably no Tasha.
I can’t say it. I can’t even say about Lawrence — well, about Jay. I just know that it’s going to be a really interesting season. It’s so funny because you can’t really say when you talk to others. I even tell my friends, like my friends want to know. I’m like, “I can’t tell you!” I can’t tell you what’s going on. I know that there will be surprises and that it will be a lot of things happening.
So we can’t say we are, or are not going to see Tasha.
Exactly. It’s going to be a really good season regardless.
Yeah, for sure. But I’m sure you’ve heard of the Lawrence Hive petition that was made. What do you think of that?
I love it. You know I’m Team Lawrence. I think that it’s a good way to get the fans involved even more in the show. Like I think it’s great. Whatever’s going on, I think that was a great strategy. Get everybody involved and that’s going to keep people watching. So hopefully the petition worked [laughs]. Hopefully it worked. We’re going to see. But I really thought that was really nice. And it really shows how great this show is that you have people petitioning for a character to come back. That should make Jay feel so good. He should be wearing his man boots a little bit higher now. They want you back to the point where they’re really trying to sign a petition. I have never heard of that before. Include Tasha in that too, y’all wan’t her back, too [laughs].
[Laughs] There has to be closure for Tasha after the family barbecue situation!
Yeah! So many fans that have come up to me were like, “I just really want you to come back, even if it’s just closure, to see that yes, as a woman, we can overcome and we can move on from a guy that we we were into that wasn’t really into us. I just really want to see how she overcame it. And if she did and things like that.” So I was like, wow, like that makes me feel good. I don’t like to respond too much about things about the future of the show because I don’t want to give away any details. I’m not a writer for that show, so I don’t know what’s to come. But I read it all and I’m like, wow, that’s amazing that they really, you know, want to see Tasha come back. She did get a lot of hate. Then she did get a lot of love as well. But I loved it both. It just shows how good the show is and how good that character was. That would be nice for her to get some closure. But if not, just know she’s doing her thing, regardless [laughs].
So what is next for you? I mean, if you’re on the show then we’ll see you on the show, but do you have any other films or TV opportunities on the way?
Yeah. I’m going to be on Black Jesus Season 3. That comes on Adult Swim, but we filmed that a little while ago so I’m not sure when it comes out. And that was crazy, but thank God I was on it. It’s a great show. Other than that, I became pregnant so I really took that time to just focus on me and my daughter. My team was like, “Hey, you know, we’re going to just make sure you have Zen, get well, and then we’re going to start back. So as of right now, Black Jesus is the only thing that I have to look forward to. But now that I’m back in L.A. from Houston, I took my little four month break and all of this. I’m going to get back into the swing of just auditioning and getting my face more out there again and then we’ll see what happens. God’s will. But yeah, I just had to take my break and gear up for what’s to come.
I figured, let me just take this break now because I know so many of us actresses, we have so much going on in our career that we forget sometimes about having a family. So I was like, okay. I thank God that I was able to do this now and take this break while I was still young, so now I have years to just grind it out, grind it out, grind it out. And no shade, no disrespect to a lot of actresses that don’t have kids, because kids aren’t for everyone. A lot of people just want that career, which is great. I know for me, speaking for me, I always wanted a big family, so I’m glad I got my start now so I can just keep on grinding it out later. And then another child later on. But I got that first one out the way. We popped that out [laughs].
Insecure Season 3 premieres on Sunday, August 12 at 10:30 p.m. EST.