For five years straight, Yvonne Orji was a lead on HBO’s “Insecure” as Molly Carter.

While the critically acclaimed show was a success early on, the Emmy-nominated actress and comedian has revealed a time when she was still choosing to be on a budget.

In an interview on Charlamagne tha God’s “Hell of a Week,” Orji openly shared details about where she was living during one of the heights of her career.

@cthashow Yvonne Orji said #JayEllis asked her why she’s living in squalor 🤣 #HellofAWeek #Insecure #IssaRae #YvonneOrji ♬ original sound – Hell of A Week

Balling On A Budget

“I remember it was probably like season three of me being on ‘Insecure’ and I was still living in the same apartment I was living in when I was shopping at the 99-cent store for groceries,” Orji told Charlamagne.

Scarcity Mentality

According to Orji, she was paying $700 for rent at the time, but deciding to stay at the apartment was all for a bigger purpose. 

“I remember Jay Ellis hopped the fence to my apartment and he was like, ‘I know how much you make. You should leave.’ And I was working on saving up to buy a house because I was like, ‘Imma get this rent-controlled rent and Imma go to my next blessing.’”

“But I still had a poverty mentality because when you’ve been poor for so long… it’s scarcity mentality,” she further explained. “It’s like, ‘I never want to go back.’”

Mental Freedom Through Therapy

Orji was able to free herself from the mental shackles with the help of therapy, which she goes into detail about the experience in her HBO comedy special, “A Whole Me.”


“….That’s trauma because what happens then when you inherit the blessings?” she told Charlamagne. 

Orji added: “You need therapy to help you usher in a phase because like I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t know if there’s generations of people who had wealth and knew what to do with wealth — that wasn’t my testimony. So, it was just like — you need therapy for that, you need therapy when you’re in transitions,” she continued. It’s like, ‘Okay well I’m happy doing this, but what happens when there’s a new season?’ Just like you need different kind of coats — if it’s fall if it’s winter — you need different kind of covering.”