The tweet pinned to the top of Natasha Rothwell's Twitter feed isn't a promo for her new movie "Love, Simon" or even a sneak peek at Season 3 of "Insecure," the HBO comedy that put the actress on the map.
No, the tweet Rothwell doesn't want any of her fans to miss is a year-old dis aimed at President Donald Trump: "Saddened and sickened by Frederick Douglass' silence surrounding the Bowling Green Massacre."
The joke, which pokes fun at Trump's understanding of American history and conspiracy theories, Rothwell said, is just how she rolls. Sorry, trolls. And there are more burns to come (she recently called Donald Trump Jr. "messy") because as the comedian's star rises (a new movie and her own HBO show are in the works), there's one thing that she said won't change: her sense of humor.
You've been described as a "scene stealer" on both "Insecure" and now in "Love, Simon." Is that a compliment?
It's affirmation that I'm doing the right thing, something that is compelling and intriguing. Hopefully it's just proof that I'm doing my job - when folks are watching, that they're drawn to my character.
Does the fact that fans are so drawn to you, a self-described "plus-size, fat-loving, body-positive feminist," say anything about the culture writ large?
When someone on screen portrays a character that behaves in a way you don't expect, you're subverting ideas. So if there's a Venn diagram between why people are drawn to the characters I play, it may be that. But I'd like to think that the craft of acting and the choices I make as an actor are drawing people on their own merits.
You don't shy away from calling out politicians, including the president, online. (Sample tweet: "[email protected] you're an idiot.") Is there any fear of negative blowback?
Any backlash that I would incur, I welcome. I'm not going to run or be silent for fear of keeping a fan base. One of the things I pride myself on is that my fan base is progressive, but I don't shy away from people who think differently from me. I welcome productive conversations, but it's important for me to not hide where I stand. My feet are firmly planted in my political ideology. To me, it's being authentic in every area and that includes politics.
There must be plenty of trolls then.
When the trolls come out, I'm doing something right. It's part affirmation that I'm saying something provocative to people who need to hear it.
But with a punchline thrown in.
There are things that are going on in my country and the world I'm scared about, and I use humor to deal with it. It makes the real fear a little less anxiety-ridden. We have some comic relief, but are saying something important at the same time.
So then how do you feel about celebrities running for office? Cynthia Nixon just announced her run for New York governor.
There is more gray than there is black and white. Honestly just the idea of Miranda running for office speaks to me as a die-hard "Sex and the City" fan, but the levelheaded educated voter that I am wants to know what her platform is. It's her job to prove to us that she has the political acumen to make her platform a reality.
So all famous-people politicians don't fall under the same category of "please don't do it"?
The instant juxtaposition of Cynthia Nixon to Donald Trump is a false comparison. "Hey lefties, you didn't like this celebrity politician so therefore all celebrity politicians are trash!" There's a question of qualifications to be asked regardless of who is running.
You tweeted about Saturday's March for Our Lives recently. Will you be there?
I have signs ready! I'm going to put on my good walking shoes and let people know we need sensible gun laws before we have any more casualties. One of the benefits of having a platform now is to get my followers to show up. It's not about having a meet-and-greet with me, but about all of us being there with one united voice letting folks in office know that we're unhappy, and we're registered to vote, and both of those things have a cause and effect.