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If we were asked to name the most divisive character on “Insecure,” it’s Tasha. She’s been dismissed as a bird, blamed for the reason Issa and Lawrence are no longer together and later, lauded as a hero when she told Lawrence the truth about himself.
So in an attempt to get to know the woman behind the role, The Jasmine Brand sat down with actress DomiNque Perry to discuss what she thinks about Tasha, how she felt watching Lawrence with those two White women, her own sex scenes and the people who slid in her DMs afterward.
Cheating in an open marriage
I don’t feel like it’s cheating if you have an open marriage because she knows and it’s kind of like their agreement. So, if you have somebody that you see, is it cheating? That’s kind of what you signed up for as the wife or the husband. I don’t think it’s considered cheating.
I feel like it’s considered cheating if you start really getting feelings for that other person. I feel like it’s only supposed to be what it is and then you go back to wifey or hubby. But if you start getting feelings, like emotionally, then it’s emotionally cheating.
Lawrence sleeping with them White girls.
I didn’t want to see that. Because sometimes I do embody myself as being Tasha. So when I was watching I was like, ‘I don’t want to watch that.’
I know that’s what guys do. When they go through breakups they do so much crazy stuff, because they don’t know where their head is right now. They’re in such a crazy head space. But just to see him do that, and Lawrence being so sweet. It was shocking him go like that. It was like ‘C’mon that ain’t even you bro.’ Because the Lawrence I know would have been like, ‘Oh, thank you ladies. I’m about to leave.’ But he actually went through with it. He did “the Chad.”
Did it bother you that they were White?
Umm…initially it did. But I think even if they were Black or another race, it probably would have still be the same. Just because putting myself in Tasha’s mind, I don’t want nobody touching him. But I know that it would create a little controversy because they were White…Just the flirting the interaction with them, it’s like ‘Don’t do it!’
We talked about it when we did the initial table read. He was like, ‘Look what you made me do.’ I was like don’t blame that on me Lawrence, I mean Jay.
Her start in acting
I’ve been acting since 7, literally. I started at the Ensemble Theatre downtown in Houston. There they taught me stage production, singing, acting, and dancing. I was with them during their main stage plays and musicals until 17. Then I went to Prairie View A&M [University] to major in Theatre. After that, I went to Texas Southern [University] and then I moved to Atlanta to start acting there. It’s been an ongoing thing. I’ve been acting forever, I never had a plan b.
Moving to LA and getting the role of Tasha
I was just supposed to be here for pilot season. I moved here [Los Angeles] last February, and my manager at the time told me about an audition for a new show they had coming up. I went in, did the audition. I was making everybody laugh. It was amazing. And that’s when I met Issa and everybody. It just went on from there.
There was a period of time where I didn’t think I got the role. But I really wanted the role. For like 2-3 weeks straight I didn’t hear from them. Then I looked on Issa’s page and they had a picture of the table read. I was like ‘They done choose a Tasha.’ I’m calling my mom crying, ‘But I wanted that role. I was her.’ And before I knew it they called me for a chemistry read with Jay [Ellis]. Prentice Penny, the showrunner he DMed me. He was the one who intially told me I got the role.
What she thought of the role of Tasha
I loved her. I thought she was so fun. She was so colorful. She exudes sexiness but she was also a person who knew what she wanted. She was an around the way girl, from the streets but she’s trying to go back to school. When I was reading it, I said, ‘Oh no, I like her.’ She’s a little hood but she educated.
How she’s like Tasha
I really didn’t [do anything drastic to prepare for the role] because a lot of stuff that she went through, I’ve been through that before. Like with guys, I’ve been through that as far as liking somebody fresh out of a relationship. Which I don’t suggest. How she’s sexy but knows what she wants and educated. Very fun, flirty, carefree personality. I didn’t have to do too much digging because I kind of am her in a sense.
The Sex Scene with Jay Ellis
Oh my God! It’s a lot. It’s amazing though. It’s not as fun as everybody thinks. You have to keep that energy going on every take. So, it can be very tiring. You don’t even realize you’re pretty much naked and the world is going to see it when you’re doing it. And it’s a closed set and everyone’s really respectful. Jay, Melina, Prentice, Issa. I had fun but it is very tiring.
It was my first time doing something this intense. Melina [Matsoukas] is the greatest. Shout to Melina. She is the greatest when it comes to directing sex scenes. She was like, ‘Pull her hair.’ ‘Slap her.’ ‘Slap her ass.’ ‘Grab her.’
Her family’s reaction to the scenes
The nudity as weird. My family never talks about it. It’s kind of the elephant in the room. I’m kind of like, ‘Hey Granny, you know episode one you may want to just…’ She’s like, ‘Girl, we watching it all.’ So, they never really tell me their opinions about it. We just leave that unspoken. I don’t want to know your opinion. I know when my mom saw it at the premiere, my mom was like, ‘Uhh your nipple rings.’ I was like, ‘I know mom.’ But she was like, ‘You did good girl.’
I have been getting a lot of slander, hate mail. But I think after episode three when I told him off, told him how I feel, I gained a lot of respect. It was the season finale that they…because they thought that I was the woman in the way of Issa and Lawrence.
Sometime, certain things I take personal. The whole thing about ‘Please leave.’ ‘I don’t want to see you.’ ‘Whenever she gets on the camera, I just go ugh.’ And I was just like ‘What?!’ At first I had never did a role that created so much controversy. But now I just count it all joy because that means I did my job. To my face, I get nothing but love. I had one girl come up to me and be like, ‘Girl, I wanted to fight you. But you cool in person.’
I love the attention, just because I’m apart of an epic show. I think that’s what I love the most about it. I think that’s how my life has changed, people are starting to take notice, which is what I been wanting them to do.
Men trying to approach her
I’ve had a couple yes, slide in the DMs. Just from last season I had it. You know what? I noticed that ever since that season finale, I kinda separated it like – okay, you’re one of them “Finale N*ggas”. I call them “Finale N*ggas”. If you ain’t hit me up before that, you a “Finale N*gga” and I don’t want to rock with you. Cuz now I know what’s up. I know what you want. You ain’t even looking at my face!
You can watch the full interview in the video below.