Samira Wiley

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Samira Wiley
Samira Wiley 13.jpg
Wiley in 2013
Born (1987-04-15) April 15, 1987 (age 27)[1]
Washington, D.C.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2011 (2011)–present
Partner(s) Lauren Morelli (September 2014 (2014-09)–present)[2][3]

Samira Wiley (born April 15, 1987)[1] is an American actress best known for playing Poussey Washington in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black.

Early life[edit]

From Washington, D.C., Wiley is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts.[4] Her father Dennis W. Wiley and her mother Christine Wiley are the co-pastors of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ. She has two siblings: Aiyana Maat and Joshua Wiley.[5][not in citation given]


Wiley studied drama at the Juilliard School in New York, graduating in 2010.[6] She trained in theater performance and worked mainly in theater in her early career.[7] In 2011 she played Maria in a production of Love's Labour's Lost by The Public Theater.[8]

Wiley's first major acting role was in the 2011 comedy film The Sitter.[9] When the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black—based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name about her experiences in a women's prison—came into development, she was told about the auditions by a friend from Juilliard, Marco Ramirez, who was a writer for the show.[9] After she discovered that another Juilliard friend, Danielle Brooks,[6] had won a role in the show, Wiley asked Brooks to rehearse lines with her to prepare for her audition for the role of Poussey Washington, the on-screen best friend of Brooks' character.[9] Wiley's audition was ultimately successful; she appeared in all twelve episodes of the series' first season and was featured prominently throughout the second season.[10] She will be promoted to series regular for the third season.[11]

In between seasons of Orange Is the New Black, Wiley filmed Rob the Mob, an independent crime film directed by Raymond De Felitta and released in March 2014.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Wiley identifies as lesbian.[12] Since September 2014, she has been in a relationship with Orange Is the New Black writer Lauren Morelli.[2][3]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Sitter Tina
2012 Being Flynn Asha
2014 Rob the Mob Agent Annie Bell


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Unforgettable Gina 2 episodes
2012 Person of Interest Triage Nurse Episode: "Many Happy Returns"
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Poussey Washington 24 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series


  1. ^ a b "Samira Wiley - Biography - Movies & TV -". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Berlin, Mike (November 11, 2014). "OUT100: OITNB's Samira Wiley, Ingenue Of The Year - Out Magazine". Out. Here Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Steiner, Amanda Michelle. "Samira Wiley & ‘OITNB’ Writer Dating After Divorce From Husband". Hollywood Life. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Laiscell, Ed (December 5, 2001). "Renovation Project Rejuvenates Congregation". The Washington Informer. 
  6. ^ a b Abdulhamid, Yassmeen (September 2013). "Fame Is the New Reality for 'Orange' Actress". The Juilliard School. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Martin, Rebecca (July 29, 2013). "Orange Is the New Black's Samira Wiley on Playing Poussey and Tweets From Regina King—Exclusive!". Wetpaint. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ Brantley, Ben (October 31, 2011). "O, That Rowdy Passage From Celibate to Celebrate". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d Morales, Wilson (October 22, 2013). "Exclusive: Catching Up With Orange is the New Black’s Samira Wiley". Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin. "'Orange Is the New Black' Interview: Samira Wiley Talks Taystee-Poussey, Netflix Model and Season 2". ScreenCrush. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  11. ^ Rowles, Dustin (July 8, 2014). "Everything You Need to Know About Samira Wiley, The Extraordinary Poussey on 'Orange is the New Black". Pajiba. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Alexa Rae (11 November 2014). "Sam Smith joins Samira Wiley, Ellen Page and Zachary Quinto on multiple edition OUT magazine - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 

External links[edit]