Jay Ellis On Lawrence Hive & Being The "Bad Good-Guy"

Should we still be Team Lawrence?

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There are many moments on HBO's Insecure where situations and characters can feel familiar and even a little triggering. One, in particular, is Lawrence. He is far from the guy we were introduced to in the first episode who was bumming it on the couch. However, he has still made quite a few mistakes along the way. And I have such a love/hate relationship with him. Because, while it's hard to ignore some of his shortcomings, he does genuinely seems like a good guy who is learning and growing.

But as many of us know, the"good-guy" quality can sometimes make people hold on to relationships for longer than they should. And it's this thought process that has caused the character's fan base to become somewhat divided. Some feel like his actions are always completely justified (side-eye to #LawrenceHive), while others feel like his mistakes are unforgivable, and Issa needs to completely end that chapter.

Well recently, GQ had an in-depth conversation with Jay Ellis, who plays Lawrence, and they addressed the elephant in the room. The interviewer boldly explained that some women see the problematic good-guy as more of an issue than the blatant playboy types. They can be "more dangerous because red flags aren't as clear," GQ shared. To which Ellis surprisingly agreed, "All of the anger and scorn is justifiable. If you don't feel that after watching this character, then I haven't done my job."

He then explains further saying, "He's [Lawrence] not intentionally being malicious, he just doesn't know or isn't vulnerable enough to ask the people around him about the direction he should be taking or how he should handle a situation."

Later, the Top Gun: Maverick actor also commented on the growth of the characters and their audience. The first season aired in 2016; it is only natural for the feelings and opinions on situations to change over time. "I think there has been some maturity with the Hive, the audience, and how this character moves throughout this world, but we all have blind spots."

However, in the end, Ellis just hopes that people can learn something from his character.

"Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Don't be afraid to experience growth. Not everything can be dealt with through the lens of either anger or happiness. We're humans, we have a multitude of emotions for a reason and there are words to express all of those emotions."

He continues, "I hope people can use his journey as a litmus test and realize they can skip some of the lows and go straight to where they're happy."

"Lawrence isn't out here like, 'Oh, I'm 'bout to wreck all these women's lives!' He's like, 'Yo, I'm trying to be a good dude, but I'm also looking out for me. I think this is how this is supposed to go, so I'm gonna do it' without realizing that, at times, that has ripple effects in other places."

While the divisive groups mentioned earlier are understandingly passionate. I think there are a lot of us who also fall somewhere in the middle. We realize Issa Dee and Lawrence have made some major mistakes but just hope they end up truly happy. And in regards to real life, my opinion is that just because someone is a good guy doesn't mean they are good for you.

Still, hardships are going to happen either way, and no one is completely good or bad. But, it's how you respond to bad situations that really define character.

New episodes of the fifth and final season of Insecure premiere every Sunday on HBO Max.

Featured image by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HBO

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