Uzo Aduba

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Uzo Aduba
Photograph of US American Actress Uzo Aduba.jpg
Born Uzoamaka Nwaneka Aduba[1]
1980/1981 (age 33–34)[2]
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater Boston University
Occupation Actress
Years active 2003–present

Uzoamaka Nwaneka "Uzo" Aduba[1] (/ˈz əˈdbə/) is an American actress.[2] She is known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black (2013–present), for which she won the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series.

Early life[edit]

Aduba was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Medfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of Nigerian parents (of Igbo origin).[3] Aduba graduated from Medfield High School in 1999.[4] She attended Boston University, where she studied classical voice[5] and competed in track and field.[6][7] Aduba describes her family as a "sports family".[5]

Career[edit]

Aduba first garnered recognition for her acting in 2003, when her performance in Translations of Xhosa at the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts earned her a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play.[8] In 2007, she made her Broadway debut, portraying Toby in Coram Boy.[9] From 2011 through 2012, she sang "By My Side" as part of the original revival cast of Godspell at the Circle in the Square Theatre.[9][10] Her first television appearance was as a nurse on Blue Bloods in 2012.[5] She also played the mother of the title character of Venice at The Public Theater in New York.[11][12]

In 2013, Aduba began portraying Suzanne Warren, also known as "Crazy Eyes", in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black.[13] On being cast, Aduba said,

I auditioned for the show back in late July or early August of [2012]. I had been auditioning that summer for more television and film [after doing much theater]. I'd read a lot of scripts and I remember reading "Orange Is the New Black," and it was at the head of the pack. I remember thinking, "Wow, that is really good, I would love to be a part of that." I went in and auditioned for another part, and my representatives called me about a month later and they were like, "Hi, we have some really good news. You remember that audition you went on for 'Orange Is the New Black'? You didn't get it." I go, "So… okay, what's the good news?" They said they wanted to offer me another part, Crazy Eyes. I was like, "What in my audition would make someone think I'd be right for a part called Crazy Eyes?" But to be honest, when I got the script for it, it felt like the right fit.[14]

Casting director Jennifer Euston explains the selection of Aduba for the role thus: "Uzo Aduba...had her hair in those knots for the audition...They saw something amazing in her and were able to connect it to what they were looking for in Crazy Eyes."[15] In joining the series, Aduba obtained her Screen Actors Guild card, for which she relates, "I was just like, 'Wow, this means I'm a full actor now.' It was such a big deal, and I remember being so thankful and feeling so proud."[16]

She has been recognized for her performance as "Crazy Eyes": Aduba won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards as well as Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series at the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 18th Satellite Awards for her season 1 performance.[17][18][19] Aduba's season 2 performance earned her the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series as well as recognition for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards and a nomination Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.[20][21][22]

In March 2014, Aduba performed at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert Broadway Backwards.[23] Aduba teamed with Rachel Bay Jones for a rendition of the song "Lily's Eyes" from the play The Secret Garden.[24]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Notes N/A Short film
2007 Over There N/A Short film
2011 Wwjd Bartender Short film
2013 Sing Along Cafeteria Lady Short film
2013 How to Live Like a Lady Acting Teacher Television movie
2015 Pearly Gates Corrie

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Project Runway: All Stars Herself Episode: "Puttin' On The Glitz"
2012 Blue Bloods Nurse Episode: "Nightmares"
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren 23 episodes
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2014 Saturday Night Live Daughter Dudley Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Kendrick Lamar"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Godspell Talk Back - Uzo Aduba". Reviewing The Drama. March 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Wright, Celine (August 12, 2013). "'Orange Is the New Black's' Uzo Aduba on a good road as Crazy Eyes". Los Angeles Times. 32-year-old Aduba 
  3. ^ Aduba, Uzo (August 4, 2014). "Uzo Aduba: My Road to ‘Orange Is the New Black'". The Daily Beast
  4. ^ "Medfield Native Uzo Aduba Attends White House Correspondents Dinner". medfield.patch.com. May 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Champagne, Christine (June 8, 2014). "Behind the Breakout Role: Orange is the New Black's Uzo Aduba on Creating Crazy Eyes". Co.Create. Fast Company. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "2001-02 Women's Track Roster". Boston University. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Boston University Meet Results". UMassAthletics.com. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play – 2004". (Awards and nominations) Theatre Washington. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Uzo Aduba". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Meet the Cast: Uzo Aduba". Godspell.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Brantley, Ben (June 15, 2013). "Of Shakespeare and Superheroes". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Venice, review, Off-Broadway, New York Theatre". newyorktheatreguide.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba on Crazy Eyes, Flirting Techniques, and Peeing on the Floor". vulture.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ Ryan, Maureen (August 23, 2013). "'Crazy Eyes' From 'Orange Is The New Black' Talks Flirting, Jodie Foster And That Infamous Scene". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ Loewenstein, Melinda (June 2, 2014). "#1 Reason Seeing Potential Beyond the Audition Created an Outstanding Ensemble for 'Orange Is the New Black'". Back Stage.
  16. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 19, 2015). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 8
  17. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards 2014: The winners list". CNN. August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ "The International Press Academy Announces Nominations For The 18th Annual Satellite Awards". PR Newswire. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  19. ^ Atkinson, Kate (2014-06-19). "Critics' Choice TV Awards: The winners list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  20. ^ Leeds, Sarene (January 26, 2015). "SAG Awards: The Complete 2015 Winners List". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  21. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (January 26, 2015). "SAG Awards 2015: 'Birdman' feathers its nest as Oscars nears". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  22. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 11, 2014). "Golden Globes: Fargo, True Detective Lead Nominations; Jane the Virgin, Transparent Score Multiple Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 20, 2014). "Uzo Aduba and Rachel Bay Jones Join Lineup for Broadway Backwards; Rush Tickets Will Be Available Day of Performance". Playbill.
  24. ^ "BROADWAY BACKWARDS". Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. March 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2015.

External links[edit]