Issa Rae Got an Education in Ivanka Trump for ‘Coastal Elites': ‘The More I Found Out, the More Horrified I Was’

“Ivanka, in particular, I’ve always found fascinating — but not fascinating enough to listen to,” HBO star says

Last Updated: August 5, 2020 @ 11:34 AM

“Insecure” star and creator Issa Rae says she had to learn more about the Trump family than she ever wanted to for HBO’s upcoming quarantine comedy “Coastal Elite,” in which she plays a philanthropist who runs in the same circles as Ivanka Trump.

“For me, this is kind of an education because I do tend to try to avoid as much of the Trump family as possible. And Ivanka, in particular, I’ve always found fascinating — but not fascinating enough to listen to,” Rae said during Wednesday’s virtual CTAM panel promoting “Coastal Elites.”

“So it took a lot to research,” she added, sitting on the Zoom presentation alongside her co-stars Dan Levy, Bette Midler, Kaitlyn Dever and Sarah Paulson, plus “Coastal Elite” writer Paul Rudnick and director Jay Roach. “And the more I found out, the more horrified I was. And a lot of that is expressed through the work. But a testament to Paul’s writing. It was just incredible to read and immediately resonated.”

“Coastal Elites” is a 1-hour, 30-minute satire that “spotlights five distinct and impassioned points-of-view across the United States. When the shutdown forces these characters to cope in isolation, they react with frustration, hilarity and introspection,” per HBO.

Rae plays Callie Josephson, a “well-connected is a well-connected philanthropist whose prep school network leads her to the highest levels of government.”

Here are the descriptions for her co-stars’ characters:

Miriam Nessler (Bette Midler) is a long-time teacher in the New York City public school system, who loves her students, the New York Times and the theater, and who finds herself in police custody.

Sharynn Tarrows (Kaitlyn Dever) is a young nurse from Wyoming who flies to New York to volunteer at a hospital at the height of the area’s COVID-19 crisis.

Mark Hesterman (Dan Levy) is a young actor in West Hollywood videoconferencing with his therapist at a moment of peak career and personal stress.

Clarissa Montgomery (Sarah Paulson) is a YouTube personality filming episode 28 of her Mindful Meditations, hoping to soothe, inspire and heal her followers.

“Coastal Elites” debuts Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8/7c on HBO.