The writer-actor returns with body-swap movie Little. She talks millennial awkwardness and why she’s taking on Hollywood
“Growing up, the only young black female lead that I saw in a movie was in Crooklyn,” recalls Issa Rae. The 1994 film, directed and co-written by Spike Lee, starred Zelda Harris as nine-year old Troy Carmichael, growing up in New York’s Bed-Stuy neighbourhood with her four brothers. “That was the first time I saw a movie and thought: ‘Oh, that girl and her family is like mine,’” says Rae, herself one of five children, who was also nine when the movie came out.
“There was such a dearth of films like that,” she continues. “And the high-school teen movie is a genre that I love. Everything at that age is so heightened and dramatic, and high-school movies capture that so perfectly. But those films are all white, too; there’s no black teen movie genre that exists in the same way.”