This past August, I attended two events where most of the crowd was part of some critically acclaimed web series. From actors to filmmakers, I met so many talented individuals who I had been in contact with before and one of them was Yhá Mourhia Wright. At the premiere for Uhuru Now, an exciting new web series that just finished their first run of episodes, I finally met Ms. Wright and she was everything I expected. From an infectious smile to a positive presence, Yhá Mourhia was nothing short of fantastic and her web series, #LoveMyRoomie, is just as great.
For those who don’t know, #LoveMyRoomie follows the trials and tribulations of New York City roommates Giselle, U’Moriah, and Yasmine. Written and directed by Yha Mourhia season one focused on the roommates as they filmed a web series focusing on their lives in NYC. The three women are then forced to cope with their differing personalities and interests while having to live in very close quarters in their two bedroom apartment. Season two, which premieres this Fall, delves much deeper into the mental, financial, and societal pressures that these three women face as they grapple with the tug-of-war in life as they attempt to establish their independence during an age of self-discovery.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yhá Mourhia, who also stars in #LoveMyRoomie as Giselle. Check out my interview with Yhá Mourhia Wright where she discusses #LoveMyRoomie, what fans can expect from season two, what’s next from her, and more below.
1-At what point did you decide that you wanted to become an actress?
I decided this at a very early age—I will say about 7 or 8 is when I knew it but didn’t know how to follow that passion. When I was about 10 years old, I wrote a letter to Burger King—the Burger King kids club—asking how I can be in their commercials. They sent me a one-year burger king kids club subscription!! Funny story but I’ve been passionate for quite some time, I’ll say!
2-Who is your favorite actor?
Viola Davis for her wisdom in both the history of the field and the way in which she is grounded in her craft. She also reminds me so much of my Mom so when I saw her in person just looking at her face, I felt lost in how familiar she felt to me—I’d love to play her daughter in…anything that she’s in(lol) someday and if anyone asked questions I’d say—look at her, look at my Mom. Boom! I’d love that life-changing challenge.
Her transparency also speaks volumes to me—I saw her when she came to Inside the Actors Studio just several months after I graduated last year. It felt like a church service—speaking of which, that’s what I feel about her acting—she is there to serve the story. Also, I love how imaginative she was a little girl via the stories she’s told in interviews—it reminds me of how I was as a child—I didn’t know other people were like that since I spent so much time by myself and my imaginary friends!
3-How did you come up with #LoveMyRoomie?
In February 2016, I had an assignment—I was still in Grad school—in playwriting. My professor gave us a prompt and we had to write 10 pages based off that—nonstop, no judgement…just write 10 pages. I wrote a play called Expulsion about two roommates who kind of can’t stand each other but somehow love each other—I adapted that into a short film. We never wrapped filming and needed extra funding to do so. I thought it would be cool to make little short episodes giving the backstory of the two characters in Expulsion and calling it #LoveMyRoomie. It was meant to serve as a fun tidbit for people to see during the crowdfunding campaign–here we are now and that’s all happened in just a little under 12 months ago.
4-Are there any similarities between you and your character, Giselle?
Her quirky nature when she tells jokes is most like me. I also think Giselle is more of who I could have become if I allowed myself to go off the path ahead of me—there’s a lot of my shadow in her but I don’t think we’re alike. Many people assume so, but naw. Still, I don’t judge her because that prevents me as the writer, actress, and director from accessing her in the ways that are necessary to storytelling.
5-If you had a chance to play either U’Moriah or Yasmine, who would you play?
That’s such a hard question! I would love to play…Yasmine. People would assume that I am like U’Moriah because I chose to make her name a play on my own—I feel like it would give the viewer a hard time to separate me from U’MoMo(her nickname, haha) if I played her in the show.
6-What’s been your favorite scene to film from #LoveMyRoomie?
Honestly, I had the most fun filming that scene at the end of season one when Giselle is all drunk and upset. I know it might be kinda not “fun” but we improv’d so much of that so it was such a joy to film. I have other scenes from season two that are great but they’re deeper scenes.
7-What can fans expect from season two of #LoveMyRoomie?
I have a feeling they’ll be surprised…especially if they’ve followed season one closely…they’ll be surprised.
8-Season one was very comedic while season two includes more drama and tears. Why the change of tone?
Haha—drama and tears! That’s hilarious. I dug deeper into the characters this season. You know, like I mentioned earlier…I didn’t plan to even have a season two, so when I realized I was being called to do that, I really needed to focus closer on character development. I binged season one the night before the season two trailer released and I really enjoyed seeing how many tiny nuances were embellished in season two.
I digress…there’s a lot of comedy in season two, but because I’m dealing with some deeper issues women face, I think it took on a more serious tone. Hopefully, the comedy that pops up in season two will be appreciated by viewers because it’s definitely needed.
9-What advice would you give to up and coming actors?
To be completely honest, my advice to up and coming actors is to remember that your time is precious. A better tomorrow is what we aim for but we are not promised another day on this earth. Every day you wake up is gift. So, if there’s a role that excites you and makes you happy — but doesn’t pay much or at all — unless you’re in a dire financial situation, take it! Always protect your brand, your integrity, and your pockets—but remember that you never know who will see your performance or what doors will open.
Remember that it’s about serving the story—or in my opinion, it should be. There are a lot of factors in a production that are outside of your control and you have to find the happy medium with communicating your needs and understanding the needs of an entire show or film or commercial set, etc.
Lastly, the easiest way to understand all these factors is to create your own work. Our job as actors is to go out and audition, it’s the first performance. However, if you feel called to create your own work and take a break from the audition circuit, you should answer that call. Be at peace with your path.
10-What is NEXT for Yhá Mourhia Wright?
My play, Sins Have Come: An American Story, is being revived and the read is on Thursday, November 9th. See below for ticket information—it’s going to be great and is produced by New Voices in Theater.
Ticket information: CLICK HERE
Photo Credit: Yhá Mourhia Wright