'Insecure': Inside Keke Palmer's Season 5 Cameo as Condola's Sister (Exclusive)

Keke Palmer and showrunner Prentice Penny break down her appearance in episode 3.  

After the trailer for the fifth and final season of Insecure dropped at the end of September, it was revealed that Keke Palmer was going to appear in one of the upcoming episodes opposite Christina Elmore, who plays Condola. At the time, the Scream star posted to Instagram, “Careful what you wish for,” as she revealed that after tweeting at co-creator and star Issa Rae, she was asked to be on the series.  

However, instead of being brought on “to beat Condola’s a** real quick” as Palmer had hoped, she was cast as her sister, Kira, and appeared in season 5’s emotionally charged third episode, “Pressure, Okay?!,” about the birth of Condola and Lawrence’s (Jay Ellis) son, Elijah.  

“That’s how crazy life is. You never know what you gonna get. I mean, I had no idea that it was really gonna happen,” Palmer tells ET of being asked to appear on Insecure, before quipping, “I didn’t do the casting... Honey, Issa cast this.”  

While she was unexpectedly playing a character that was not on the side of the person that fans may have expected her to be on, “the humor of my role is excellent,” Palmer says, with showrunner Prentice Penny adding that “it was just funny to make her Condola’s sister because she couldn't stand Condola.”  

Not only that, but Kira can’t stand Lawrence and is very quick to throw him under the bus during their brief interactions together.  

But what really makes it work is the chemistry between Elmore and Palmer. “They were just so fun together,” Penny says, adding that because Christina “carries so much grounded-ness in the show -- because of her character and the relationship she has with Issa -- it was fun to watch Keke, who has such a very different energy.” 

“Just watching them together, I was like, ‘Oh, man, I would love to see more of Christina and Keke together,’” he says, before adding that one of his favorite moments in the episode was when Kiara “was crip walking with little Elijah.”  


Penny also revealed that Palmer knew the series inside and out. “She was the real thing. Like, we were on set and she was like, ‘Why is this? And what does this mean?’ And I was like, ‘Good lord, girl, you could do a deep dive.’ She was accurate. I was like, ‘Wow.’”  

While Penny loved having her on set -- especially in such a fun role for fans of the show -- Palmer says the whole experience was “the opportunity of a lifetime.”  

“I love Issa. I love the opportunity of working for her. I’m a big fan of the show,” Palmer adds, before noting how “it’s also a very full circle because first season she was working with the non-profit [We Got Y’all] and she was like, ‘Oh yeah, the kids would love it if Keke Palmer came.’ And then now in the fifth season, I’m getting the opportunity to work on the show. So, it’s fun.” 

Insecure airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Want to watch more? The entire series is now streaming on HBO Max. (We may receive an affiliate commission if you subscribe to a service through our links.)

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