It’s not news that there’s a television phenomenon out there called Orange is The New Black; we’d like to thank Netflix for another three-day weekend time suck. A testament to that was Uzo Aduba’s (Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren) Creative Arts Emmy win Saturday night as outstanding guest actress in a comedy series. We meandered around Times Square with the show’s newest golden girl, and covered everything from her first big break to what qualities she shares with her character.
From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?
My absolute favorite breakfast is a mushroom and cheese egg-white omelette with turkey bacon, some blueberries, and a green tea. Lunch would be a turkey sandwich or a salad. For dinner, I love salmon, so probably that with some roasted potatoes and either roasted Brussels sprouts or sautéed spinach. Also, I absolutely must have ice cream for dessert!
Could you tell us about the day you found out you got the part for Orange Is The New Black?
The day I found out I got a part on Orange Is The New Black is the same day I quit acting. After a stream of nos that summer, I arrived twenty minutes late for an audition and took it as a sign that I was not meant for this industry. I quit in my heart. I went home ready to move on with my life, and an hour or so later, I found out I got a job on Orange Is The New Black from my audition the previous month.
What was the first day on set like?
Nerve-racking! I had only worked on television one day the week before, and felt completely unfamiliar with the medium. I just wanted to tell a good story and not get fired! But, everyone was so nice and welcoming, my nerves quelled.
What’s been your most memorable moment so far?
I love when we have group scenes. When a bunch of girls are on set in the cafeteria, those are always really fun days because everyone just talks a lot and hangs out in the hallways and catches up.
In your part as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, where do you draw inspiration from?
[I draw inspiration from] The words and the relationships that the writers create. That is incredibly helpful in figuring out who Suzanne is. There’s a particular way that she talks and was initially described. I also find watching and listening to The Dance of the Wounded Souls very helpful.
How has the part made you look at the world differently? What have you learned from it?
It’s certainly helped me to better understand that we are all human and that good people can make mistakes. We are all more than the one label the world around us might try to place on any of us.
Walking. I love to walk beforehand to invite Suzanne in, and I like to walk afterwards to tell her goodbye.
What are some words to act by?
“Tell the truth or suffer the lie.”
“Stop holding your breath.”
“Stop holding your breath.”
What vices do you share with Suzanne?
The hard side of love.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
Tokyo. The sushi and the fish are just incredible. In Nigeria, any village to eat truly and completely organic. The meat is like butter there. In South Africa, anywhere, but I love Cape Town and Durban. The seafood is unmatched. In New York, Jane Restaurant in SoHo is so good. Get the Parmesan Ricotta Gnocchi. You’re welcome.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead who would be there? What would say before the meal started?
I would invite to a dinner party Jesus, Oprah Winfrey, William Shakespeare, Michael Jordan, and Nelson Mandela. I would say, “Thank you for coming. I can’t believe you all made it.”