Talk It Out

‘Twenties’ star Jonica Gibbs on playing a queer masc stud and working with Lena Waithe

Sometimes, stars rise more like meteors. Meet one: her name is Jonica Gibbs.

Gibbs grew up in North Carolina before studying journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Even with her practical degree, she couldn’t resist the siren call of showbiz, eventually moving to Los Angeles to work as a writer and actress. She first made an impression with her stand-up comedy and her web series No More Comics in LA. The show landed the notice of another star: Lena Waithe, who, at the time, was developing a semi-autobiographical TV series. Gibbs landed the lead in the show, titled Twenties.

Twenties covers the life of three African-American women living in LA with Hollywood dreams. Gibbs plays Hattie, a “masculine-presenting stud” based on Waithe herself. Throughout the first season, Hattie struggles to find her footing as a Hollywood writer, contend with the racism and nepotism of the industry, and her penchant for attracting closeted women.

We caught up with Gibbs to discuss her role on the show, newfound stardom, and that time she ran into Jay-Z…