Danielle Brooks Loves Girls & Christmas

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post-2Getty Images for WIRED.
Though you may know her best as the eccentric Taystee of Orange Is The New Black, Danielle Brooks is a force all her own. And, at last night's Wired pop-up store party, we had the chance to get in some one-on-one time with the actress. By "one-on-one time," we mean we stood in awe of how very cool she is. It's not an understatement to say we were thrilled to chat with Brooks about her plans for the holidays and what other projects she's got in the works. You know, Girls updates, more videos with Crazy Eyes, anything and everything. It's no real surprise that Brooks is just as fun as we hoped she would be. We may have even danced a little.

We loved your Christmas video with Uzo Aduba. What inspired you to make it?
"It's my favorite holiday, and a lot of the fans had been saying, 'You're a great singer. Put something out!' So, I thought, 'This is perfect!'...I love Christmas. It just seemed like the right thing to do, and I'm glad everyone was so receptive. Everybody enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making it, so that's cool."

What's your friendship with Uzo like off set? Do you hang out a lot?
"Oh yeah. That's my girl. We hung out last night. We went to an Autism Speaks event. We're going to Japan together soon, so we're very good buds."

So, she's like your partner in crime.
"That's my boo!"

Let's talk about your Twitter account.
"Oh! I feel like it's so boring!"

Not at all! You really use it to share inspiring messages and empower both your fellow actors and your fans. When you're acting — whether it's Orange Is The New Black or your upcoming role on Girls — how do you create a similar sense of inspiration for your audience?
"I think that we're all different, we're all unique, and we all should be respected. We should take the time to really get to know someone for who they really are, and not look at them from the surface and judge them. I think that's what I'm doing right now with the roles that I'm taking. So, we'll see. I'm excited for people to see Girls, because my character's totally different from Taystee.

"I'm glad you check out my Twitter, and I really appreciate that Refinery29 put out something really lovely yesterday about the video. It was really nice what you all said about us not just being our characters. We're way more than that. I appreciate that."

We meant every word of it! Speaking of acting, what do you think of Kenan Thompson's statement that there simply aren't any funny, black women to cast in comedy shows?
"I think it's bullsh*t. Honestly, I think it's bullsh*t."

Is that Taystee we hear?
"It's Danielle, too! Look at our show. You have women like Adrienne Moore, who is funny as hell. You know, there's just a list of black women that are really humorous. If you don't believe that, go and look. I went to Juilliard. I have friends that went to NYU and Yale that are talented and ready to work. So, I don't believe that. If that's the excuse they want to use for not hiring women of color, that's their problem."

So, since it's your favorite holiday, what do you want for Christmas? You know, the weird stuff you see online, but won't send to anyone as a wish-list item.
"I want a record player! A vintage record player! I'm dying for that."

Then you can go to Brooklyn and buy up all the records. It's perfect for your Girls role.
"That's what I want! I want to listen to old, classic jazz music on a record player!"

And, dance around your Christmas tree? We're into that.
"Yeah!"