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Jay Ellis opens up about fatherhood and his 'Insecure' directorial debut

Written by on April 17, 2020

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Photo Credit: Jasmine Jasseiuo DurhalJay Ellis is having a moment. The Insecure actor, who is featured on Essence‘s digital cover, has had a non-stop year of filming, producing and even directing an episode of his hit HBO series.

Still, even with projects like the Tom Cruise-led film Top Gun: Maverick, The FX miniseries Mrs. America and additional projects to come, Ellis–  who welcomed daughter Nora with fiancée Nina Senicar late last year–  tells Essence that his biggest accomplishment this year has been his growing family. 

“I have always been like, ‘Yo, my family is the one thing on this planet, when it’s all said and done, if it goes away today or tomorrow, it’s the only thing that I have that’s mine,” he says. “[I]never want my family to ever feel they had to sacrifice…I never want that dynamic to change because at the end of the day, as we’re watching right now in this moment, stuff comes and goes fast.”

Of course, it’s not easy being a first time dad.

“You get tired and you break down,” he says. “But mentally and physically, you’re probably stronger than what you actually thought you were.”

“That’s one of the biggest things that I took away from it: I can do this,” he continues. “I didn’t want to not be there for my baby. I wanted as much chest-to-chest time as I could get. I wanted all the bottles. I wanted all the diapers.”

Meanwhile, Ellis is also excited to share with fans his upcoming Insecure directorial debut. The actor directed episode seven, “Lowkey Trippin’,” which is set in Mexico. Ellis says he “felt… comfortable” behind the camera.

“I just felt I was where I was supposed to be,” he added.

Insecure airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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