The Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Uzo Aduba
Many know Uzo Aduba for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Below are five things you may not have known about the Nigerian-American star.
Her Early Life
Uzoamaka Aduba was born on February 10, 1981 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her parents originated from the Igbo portion of Nigeria. She grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts, graduating from Medfield High School in 1999. She later attended Boston University to study classical voice and compete in track and field.
The People Who Supported Her
It was Aduba’s mother who first began encouraging her interests. Out of five children, her mother sent her alone to sing for the church choir. Aduba’s second grade teacher later expressed the same kind of faith in her, volunteering her for a one student part in a Theater for Young Audiences play. Years later, a middle school teacher persuaded her to perform Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in the school talent show. In high school, as Aduba was applying to colleges, her creative writing teacher gave her one last push to enroll in art school.
She Almost Quit
Aduba began doing theater in New York. After some urging from her management, she moved on to film and television auditions. Many of these auditions proved unsuccessful, earning her only small roles, if any at all. After arriving twenty-five minutes late for an audition for an episode of Blue Bloods, Aduba decided to call her agent and quit acting for good. She intended to instead become a lawyer as her parents originally wanted. Forty-five minutes later, on September 15, 2012, she received a call offering her the part of Suzanne on Orange is the New Black.
Her Role in Orange is the New Black
In Aduba’s script, Suzanne Warren was described as “innocent like a child—except children aren’t scary.” Growing up as a woman of color in a society full of racial and gender discrimination, Aduba found it easy to connect to her character. She says she “knows what it is like to feel different.” Aduba is also aware of the significance behind her role as, growing up, there were very few woman of color represented in the media. She is pleased that television is more diverse now than it has ever been.
Aduba always despised the gap between her two front teeth. As a child, she never smiled in her photos. Only after her mother explained to her that the gap was considered a “symbol of beauty” in Nigeria did she grow to love it. Now, despite urgings from multiple Hollywood agents, Aduba refuses to make any physical alterations. “One of the most difficult things about this industry was getting people to understand that I’m okay with me,” Uzo said in an interview. “I’m just fine the way I am.” Have you grown to love your Gap?