Fresh off an Emmy nomination, the actor takes on Lady Macduff alongside Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand
How did she get her start?
When Moses Ingram was 10 and growing up in West Baltimore, a teacher encouraged her to join an after-school theater program. “It became the dangling carrot: ‘If you don’t behave, you can’t do this thing you love,’” she says. That love truly blossomed when she went to a production of A Raisin in the Sun: “It was the first time that I had seen Black people on stage. I was captivated.” Ingram later attended Baltimore City Community College, where she studied acting vicariously through friends in prestigious programs. “I didn’t wanna feel left behind, so in my mind the best way to stay on par with my peers was to bootleg it and get their syllabuses and buy their books,” she explains. She would go on to the Yale School of Drama, but as she recalls, “I did more reading outside of training than I ever did in training.”
Which projects has she worked on?
Just one month out of Yale, Ingram auditioned for Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit and landed the role of brash, confident Jolene, the one friend that chess-prodigy protagonist Beth makes at the orphanage. “I was shocked to see how the world latched onto it,” she says of the 2020 hit, “because it was about a girl and chess.” Ingram earned an Emmy nomination for her performance, but she very nearly had to sit out the awards show due to a false positive on a COVID test. “I was like, Oh, well, guess I’m not going. Can’t miss what you never had,” she remembers. “But my team, bless them, was like, ‘No, girl, you gotta get another test!’”
How did she prepare to play Lady Macduff?
This month, Ingram returns to her theatrical roots with Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, in theaters now and on Apple TV+ January 14. Ingram, who plays Lady Macduff, admits she was nervous to work alongside Hollywood heavyweights such as Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, but that feeling soon dissipated. “We rehearsed it around the table as though we were doing the play, and it really leveled the playing field,” she says. “It was nice to watch people not know and figure it out and be along for a whole ride. It definitely was akin to what I was used to in theater.”
In Disney+’s hotly anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi, fans will get to see Ingram in full force once more—although they’ll have to wait to find out exactly who she’s playing in the Ewan McGregor–led series. Keeping that under wraps hasn’t been easy: In May, she teased the top-secret production on Instagram with a video of her wielding a blue lightsaber. “I thought, If I’m posting it to my Story, it’ll be gone in 24 hours,” she says. “I quickly learned my lesson. Lucasfilm said never do that again, and I will never do that again!”