Interview: Veronica Mannion
We were lucky enough to ask Veronica Mannion a few questions. Veronica had done a little bit of everything before landing on HBO’s show “Insecure”. Starting as a stand up comedian she also has written and directed.
“Insecure” is based on Issa Rae’s web series “Awkward Black Girl”, which follows the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman. Veronica plays Kitty, Issa’s coworker who tries, but fails, to be Issa’s friend throughout the season and almost sabotages one of Issa’s work projects due to her gossiping and prejudiced skepticism.
What can you tell us about your character in “Insecure”?
We first meet Kitty in the pilot asking Issa what “on fleck” means. We know why she’s asking Issa… because she’s the token black person in the office and Kitty thinks she’s cool enough to be “in the know”. Have you ever assumed something about someone based on the way they look? I think it’s a fine line playing Kitty; she isn’t intentionally prejudiced, but just oblivious to it or doesn’t see it because she thinks she’s already giving back by working at We Got Ya’ll.
Had you watched the web series “Insecure” is based on before being cast?
I watched the first episode before I auditioned for the pilot and liked it so much I became a fan! The web series and show have a lot of similarities, but “Insecure” and Issa’s voice and vision have evolved and grown into its own special thing.
How has stand up prepared you for TV acting?
Stand up has given me the confidence to be able to perform in any sort of environment. It’s also good practice being in the moment and responding off the cuff, something that definitely helps in TV. You never know what take the editing room is going to use, and the take isn’t over until “cut” is called! So you improv a few lines, because you’re confident and in the moment, and you stay in character, and sometimes magic happens.
You have also done some directing – how do you like being behind the camera?
I love it! You learn so much watching other actors interpret the scene. I also speak the actor’s language and, since I’ve been in their shoes, I feel I know how to direct them into getting a great performance. It’s a lot of fun and anytime you spend on set watching you learn something new.
What’s your favorite TV show?
Besides “Insecure”? Right now I’m loving “Westworld” and can’t wait to see where it goes. “South Park” is killing it this season; they are so genius.
Is there a charity that you support or a cause that you are really passionate about?
I support Planned Parenthood and am active on change.org. I am passionate about the #blacklivesmatter movement. Issa Rae raised money to ease #AltonSterling’s family’s tragedy – if you feel helpless you can donate here now: GoFund Me
Insecure airs Sundays at 10:30 on HBO