Natasha Rothwell who has been a reoccurring character on HBO’s Insecure, and recently starred in The White Lotus, has opened up about her time as a writer on Saturday Night Live.
Rothwell was a writer on the sketch comedy show from 2014-2015 and has explained how during her time there it was difficult for her voice to be heard. In a Los Angeles Times profile, Rothwell discussed her time on SNL and her struggles with the environment.
1. Rothwell explains that when she first started writing for SNL, she wanted to prove herself and make her mark, which put a lot of pressure on her saying:
“I didn’t want folks to think I got in to satisfy a requirement…I wanted to show that I belonged. I wanted to be at the table at ‘SNL’ and I wanted them to think, ‘F—, she’s funny. I like what she has to say. And I see her and, oh, that joke is great.’ That’s a lot to carry.”
SNL has had its fair share of diversity problems over the years, with a recent shift appearing to position the show in a more diverse and inclusive direction. Natasha Rothwell remarked on how her experience differed from her white peers, saying:
“I think that’s also an expression of privilege for white writers: They don’t know what it’s like to walk into a room and feel like the audition is not over,” she said. “I didn’t feel seen, always.”
2. According to Rothwell, her writing on Insecure and her supporting role in the HBO show helped her regain her confidence and changed how she approached her work.
Rothwell explained how using her voice and being confident benefited her in her starring part in The White Lotus, saying:
“Me six years ago would have just said yes to the part, no questions asked,” Rothwell told the Times. “But me now said, ‘I need to talk to the director because as a person of color, in a servile position with a homogenous group, I want to make sure we do this right.’”
Natasha Rothwell is thriving right now, with multiple film roles coming up as well as a multi-year deal with ABC that she has.