When We Talks

bitchy | Quinta Brunson doesn’t talk about her husband, she likes to keep it ‘sacred & safe’


Quinta Brunson is one of People’s 2022 People of the Year. Well deserved, I feel. She’s made a great TV show, Abbott Elementary, that is both critically acclaimed and wildly popular. She acted immediately to make the popularity matter by getting school supplies to schools and raising the profile of many comedians. She’s been true to her hometown of Philadelphia and shown it in the best light possible. In her People interview she talks about Abbott, her confidence, and her upbringing. One thing she doesn’t talk about much? Her husband Kevin Jay Anik, whom she married in 2021. But that’s by design because Quinta wants to keep her marriage “sacred and safe.”

Her name means ‘fifth’ in Spanish: My name’s really simple. I’m the fifth child, and my parents [Norma Jean and Rick Brunson] weren’t necessarily creative, but I love it. My siblings [brothers Kwei and Kalid and sisters Njia and Kiyana] all have real names that mean things, and they have a lot to live up to. My name is just a number, and I could decide it meant whatever I wanted.

Instagram changed her life: I was doing improv around L.A. and broke. Very, very, very broke. A hearty meal was a banana and a Cup Noodles. If I could get both or get two bananas in one day, I was doing well. I was working at [an] Apple [Store], but I still loved comedy so much. At the time SNL was kind of a goal. Then Instagram added video. I loved making my friends laugh, and then it took off, and that kind of changed my life.
She’s always been confident: I think it’s always been there. I was a very confident kid. My parents always taught me to look at people and situations like everything’s equal. Nothing seems too intimidating to not be confident. I think the most intimidating situation I was in recently was meeting Malala [Yousafzai, the Pakistani education rights activist].

On doing Oprah justice in Weird: When the script got sent to my agent, and they said Daniel Radcliffe was playing Weird Al, I was like, “Yeah, I would love to come hang with him.” And then they said Oprah, and I was like, “Whoa, hold on!” But I read it and thought I could do it justice. It wasn’t too serious, but it also wasn’t too dumb, because I didn’t want to insult Oprah or tarnish her legacy. The movie is so stupid, and I say that in the best way. I love dumb comedies. Austin Powers in Goldmember was my favorite movie growing up. My mom wanted to burn the DVD. She hates stupid stuff.

Husband Kevin is off limits: I don’t talk about my relationship that often, because it’s something that I like to keep sacred and safe. Nor do I bring him out to be analyzed or attacked by the world. We’ve had such a year together. He truly has been by my side and supportive every step of the way, so for him to be there with me at the Emmys and help me up to get my award and to be able to thank him was so special.

This tearful fan encounter: I don’t go out that much to public places. I have a little bit of social anxiety that I’m working through. The biggest risk I’ll take is Universal Studios, ’cause I kind of feel like that’s my turf, even though I have no right to say that. But I had a really interesting fan interaction at a party recently, where a girl came up to me and said she had a friend she was watching Abbott with before she passed away. One of the things her friend asked her to do was to finish the show. And now I’m crying at this party. Part of me was like, “Why would you tell me that right now?” But also I’m so happy she did. It put into perspective what a good comedy can do. The best thing I can hear is that it’s bringing people together.

[From People]

I remember people were shocked to learn Quinta was married. I also remember there was some rumbling on Twitter about the fact that Kevin is white. I didn’t know Quinta was married or anything about Kevin, but I wasn’t shocked when I found out. Because I don’t know anything about Quinta besides her work and what I’ve come to learn in interviews. She really does keep her personal life on lockdown. For instance, she was asked again about the bit in which Jimmy Kimmel stayed “passed out” on stage during her Emmy acceptance speech. Once again, she was truly unbothered by it primarily because of her friendship with Kimmel. I had no idea they were such good friends prior to her success, either. It’s funny how much familiarity we assume when we like a person’s work so much.

Also, I posted the quote about Quinta playing Orpah in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story to give that movie another shoutout. She’s great as Oprah, it’s a great romp, watch it if you can. I love Quinta’s description of the script. She’s spot on.

Photo credit: People, Instagram and Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency/Avalon


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