I’ve been here since I moved out at 17 to go to college, and I really fought for the show to be shot here. Initially, there was some discussion of like, “Maybe we could do it in LA on soundstages…” and I was like: “No, no, no. New York is in its DNA.” I’ve lived in Crown Heights, Kensington, Clinton Hill, all those areas. I love all those areas. I want to show actual Brooklyn, not just the parts that have been gentrified.
Is there a message you want people to take away from the show?
I just want people to embrace where they’re at. We’re always so focused on, Oh, I have to get this next thing and I need to improve in this way. This is a celebration of people who aren’t in a rush to change who they are. They’re just like: “OK, this is who I am. This is my truth. This is my journey.” I hope that when people watch, they laugh a lot, but then maybe apply a little bit of that to themselves.
You’re going to see different kinds of Blackness, you’re going to see beautiful Brooklyn, you’re going to see people make mistakes and try to figure [expletive] out and hopefully get more things right than wrong. People just get so down on themselves because they think they’re not doing enough or they’re failing in some way. And I’m like, You’re doing fine.
One of the things I really fought for: I didn’t want it to be like, Oh, Phoebe’s so messy, and then by the end, she’s going to settle down, move to Connecticut, have kids. I don’t know how her journey is going to end, and she doesn’t either, and I think that’s OK.
I look at you now: You have a production company, a publishing imprint, an apartment with color-coordinated bookshelves, a Peloton. Are you still trash?
A Peloton doesn’t make you Mother Teresa. Come on! I’m always 10 to 15 minutes late for stuff. I can be stubborn. I can be forgetful sometimes. Of course I’m trash. Listen, everyone’s trash. MLK Jr. was trash. Let’s be real. He was great. He did a lot of great things. He was also trash.