Samira Wiley

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Samira Wiley
Samira Wiley 13.jpg
Wiley in 2013
Born Samira Wiley
April 15, 1987 (1987-04-15) (age 27)
Washington, D.C.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2011–present

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

Early life and education[edit]

From Washington, D.C., Wiley is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts.[1] 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.[2][not in citation given]


Wiley studied drama at the Juilliard School in New York, graduating in 2010.[3] She trained in theater performance and worked mainly in theater in her early career.[4] In 2011 she played Maria in a production of Love's Labour's Lost by The Public Theater.[5]

Wiley's first major acting role was in the 2011 comedy film The Sitter.[6] 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.[6] After she discovered that another Juilliard friend, Danielle Brooks,[3] 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.[6] Wiley's audition was ultimately successful; she appeared in all 12 episodes of the series' first season and was featured throughout the second season.[7]

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.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Since September 2014, Wiley has reportedly been in a relationship with Orange Is the New Black writer Lauren Morelli, though neither party has confirmed this publicly.[8]



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


  1. ^
  2. ^ Laiscell, Ed (December 5, 2001). "Renovation Project Rejuvenates Congregation". The Washington Informer. 
  3. ^ a b Abdulhamid, Yassmeen (September 2013). "Fame Is the New Reality for 'Orange' Actress". The Juilliard School. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Brantley, Ben (October 31, 2011). "O, That Rowdy Passage From Celibate to Celebrate". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin. "'Orange Is the New Black' Interview: Samira Wiley Talks Taystee-Poussey, Netflix Model and Season 2". ScreenCrush. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ Steiner, Amanda Michelle. "Samira Wiley & ‘OITNB’ Writer Dating After Divorce From Husband". Hollywood Life. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 

External links[edit]