Uzo Aduba

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Uzo Aduba
Uzo Abuda 2014 (cropped).jpg
Aduba in 2014
Born Uzoamaka Nwanneka Aduba
(1981-02-10) February 10, 1981 (age 36)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater Boston University
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2003–present

Uzoamaka Nwanneka "Uzo" Aduba[1] (/ˈz əˈdbə/; born February 10, 1981)[2] is an American actress and singer. 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 a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015.[3] She is one of only two actors to win Emmy Award recognition in both the comedy and drama genres for the same role, the other being Ed Asner for the character Lou Grant.[4]

Early life[edit]

Aduba was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Nigerian parents, of Igbo origin, from Achi in Enugu State.

She grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts,[5] and graduated from Medfield High School in 1999.[6] She attended Boston University, where she studied classical voice[7] and competed in track and field.[8][9] She describes her family as a "sports family".[7] Her younger brother, Obi, played hockey at the University of Massachusetts and went on to play six seasons professionally.[10]

Career[edit]

Aduba first garnered recognition for her acting in 2003, when her performance in Translations of Xhosa[11] at the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts earned her a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play.[12] Aduba played the character Amphiarus in 2006 at New York Theatre Workshop and again in 2008 at La Jolla Playhouse. In 2007, she made her Broadway debut, portraying Toby in Helen Edmundson's adaptation of Coram Boy at the Imperial Theatre.[13] 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.[14][15] Her first television appearance was as a nurse on Blue Bloods in 2012.[7] She also played the mother of the title character of Venice at The Public Theater in New York.[16][17]

In 2013, Aduba began portraying Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black.[18] 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.[19]

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."[20] In joining the series, Aduba obtained her Screen Actors Guild card, about which she says, "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."[21]

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.[22][23][24] 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.[25][26][27] She won a second Primetime Emmy at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2015, winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. This makes her the first actress to win both a drama and comedy Emmy for the same role.[28]

In March 2014, Aduba performed at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert Broadway Backwards.[29] Aduba teamed with Rachel Bay Jones for a rendition of the song "Lily's Eyes" from the musical The Secret Garden.[30]

Advocacy[edit]

In April 2017, Aduba received the Point Courage Award from the Point Foundation for her support of the LGBT community.[31]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Pearly Gates Corrie
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip TSA Officer
2016 Tallulah Detective Kinnie
American Pastoral Vicky
2017 My Little Pony: The Movie Queen Novo (voice) In production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Project Runway: All Stars Herself Episode: "Putting On The Glitz"
Blue Bloods Nurse Episode: "Nightmares"
2013 How to Live Like a Lady Acting Teacher Television film
2013–present Orange Is the New Black Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren 47 episodes
2014 Saturday Night Live Daughter Dudley Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Kendrick Lamar"
Hell's Kitchen Herself Season 13 Episode 10: "9 Chefs Compete"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Uzo Aduba Wears a White Blouse and Royal Blue Heels"
The Wiz Live! Glinda the Good Witch Television special
2016 Steven Universe Bismuth (voice) Episode: "Bismuth"[32]

Stage credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Seven Amphiarus New York Theatre Workshop
2007 Coram Boy Toby Imperial Theatre
2008 The Seven Amphiarus La Jolla Playhouse
2009 Eclipsed Helena Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
2009 A Civil War Christmas Hannah Huntington Theatre
2011 Godspell Company Circle in the Square Theatre
2013 Venice Anna Monroe The Public Theater
2016 The Maids Solange Trafalgar Studios

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2013 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Orange Is the New Black Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
2015 NAACP Image Award Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Won
2016 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Glamour Awards[33] Comedy Actress Nominated
2017 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Pending

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Godspell Talk Back – Uzo Aduba". Reviewing The Drama. March 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ 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. ^ Emmy Awards 2015: The complete winners list. CNN.com (September 21, 2015). Retrieved on 2015-12-07.
  4. ^ "Uzo Aduba Watch 'OITNB' actress speak Igbo, reveal her favourite Nigerian dish,". Pulse.ng. Chidumga Izuzu. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Aduba, Uzo (August 4, 2014). "Uzo Aduba: My Road to ‘Orange Is the New Black'". The Daily Beast
  6. ^ "Medfield Native Uzo Aduba Attends White House Correspondents Dinner". medfield.patch.com. May 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ 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. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "2001–02 Women's Track Roster". Boston University. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Boston University Meet Results". UMassAthletics.com. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Obi Aduba player profile". hockeydb.com. 
  11. ^ http://www.theatermania.com/washington-dc-theater/shows/translations-of-xhosa_23172/
  12. ^ "Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play – 2004". Awards and nominations Theatre Washington. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  13. ^ Isherwood, Charles (May 3, 2007). "Orphans of the Storm, Assailed by Lurid Evildoers". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Uzo Aduba". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Meet the Cast: Uzo Aduba". Godspell.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  16. ^ Brantley, Ben (June 15, 2013). "Of Shakespeare and Superheroes". The New York Times. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Venice, review, Off-Broadway, New York Theatre". newyorktheatreguide.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba on Crazy Eyes, Flirting Techniques, and Peeing on the Floor". Vulture.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ Loewenstein, Melinda (June 2, 2014). "#1 Reason Seeing Potential Beyond the Audition Created an Outstanding Ensemble for 'Orange Is the New Black'". Backstage.
  21. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 19, 2015). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 8
  22. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards 2014: The winners list". CNN. August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  23. ^ "The International Press Academy Announces Nominations For The 18th Annual Satellite Awards". PR Newswire. December 2, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  24. ^ Atkinson, Kate (June 19, 2014). "Critics' Choice TV Awards: The winners list". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  25. ^ Leeds, Sarene (January 26, 2015). "SAG Awards: The Complete 2015 Winners List". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  26. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (January 26, 2015). "SAG Awards 2015: 'Birdman' feathers its nest as Oscars nears". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  27. ^ 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. 
  28. ^ "Uzo Aduba Is 'Grateful' After Tearful Emmy Win". ExtraTV.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ "BROADWAY BACKWARDS". Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. March 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  31. ^ Sweeney, Emily (April 5, 2017). "Uzo Aduba honored in New York". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  32. ^ Kickham, Dylan (July 7, 2016). "'Steven Universe': Uzo Aduba plays a new Crystal Gem — exclusive". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 24, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Glamour Women of the Year voting 2016". demographix.com. Retrieved August 24, 2016. 

External links[edit]