Uzo Aduba: I’d quit acting before Orange

Uzo Aduba

Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba had quit acting when she won her part in the series.

The actress has made her name portraying Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren in the Netflix original series, about a group of women prisoners. Crazy Eyes has won fans over with her blend of kindness and extreme behavior, but for Uzo the character is special for a very different reason.

“The day I found out that I got Orange I actually had given up acting,” she told Access Hollywood Live. “I had been trying to do it, and was working in New York doing theatre, I had been spending the summer – my first time trying – to do film and television and it was hard, and I was like, ‘Maybe I’m not supposed to be this,’ you know? And then I got home, and about an hour after that I found out I got this job.”

Uzo has been nominated for the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy Award this year and can’t believe how far she’s come.

She can vividly recall what led her to decide the profession wasn’t for her, explaining she was late for an audition for TV show Blue Bloods which sent her into a downward spiral.

“I had gotten completely lost in Brooklyn somewhere, and then I had my audition and I was like, ‘I think that went OK, but I bet you’re not going to get it because you were 20 minutes late, because you were lost,'” she revealed. “And I thought, ‘That’s a sign, you’re not supposed to be doing this – find something else to do,’ and I was boo-hooing all the way home.”

However, when she got back to her property she received a phone call saying she’d landed the role of Crazy Eyes. This was something of a surprise as the star hadn’t actually auditioned for that part. It lead Uzo to start wondering what about her made her perfect for the role of Crazy Eyes, especially as she’s always thought she had small peepers. She decided not to focus on that in the end because the role was so exciting.

“I was like, oh, I know who this woman is – she’s really passionate about life and everything about her is just a tad off,” she recalled. “And I just had this vision in my mind of a child, with like a pacifier and a sledgehammer.”

© Cover Media