Life Before Fame: 'Orange Is the New Black's' Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba at the Orange Is The New Black Final Season Premiere in New York City, 2019

15. August 2019 - 13:33 Uhr / Laura Pérez

Did you know that Uzo Aduba got the call that she got the role of "Suzanne" in Orange is the New Black just a couple of minutes after she decided to quit acting? Before being famous she struggled with some unsuccessful auditions but it seems that her work in OITNB opened her a lot of doors!

"Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren" is probably one of the most interesting characters in Netflix's series Orange is the New Black (OITNB)From the very beginning she showed a very particular personality which involved values like loyalty and friendship, combined with some mental breakdowns and existential crises regarding her life in prison. "Suzanne" became one of the favorites throughout the series and part of it was thanks to the actress who portrayed her, Uzo Aduba.

Uzo Aduba as "Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes'" in the second episode of the seventh season of the 2013 Netflix's series Orange is the New Black

Uzo Aduba - her life before fame

Uzo Aduba is certainly a very talented actress, but it is true that she was not very famous before OITNB. Back in the days Uzo Aduba only had three major participations on screen, the first one was in 2012 when she appeared in Project Runway: All Stars; the second one was also in 2012 when she played the role of a nurse in the police drama series Blue Bloods; and the third one was in 2013 when she portrayed an acting teacher in the television film How to Live Like a Lady. 

Uzo Aduba actually struggled with a couple of unsuccessful auditions at some point of her career, but one day, just 45 minutes after she gave up and decided to quit acting, she got the call that she got the role of "Crazy Eyes", and since the series started she hasn't stopped gaining public attention!

Uzo Aduba attends 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Los Angeles, California

Uzo Aduba - her life after Orange is the New Black

It seems that Uzo's career has only reached high peaks since she appeared in Orange is the New BlackIn the past years she had worked in other shows like the American animated television series Steven Universe where she has voiced "Bismuth" since 2016. She also played the roles of "Pearl" in the 2016 film Showing Rootsand "Julia" in the 2018 film Candy Jar, and she is currently working on the upcoming drama television miniseries Mrs. Americawhere she will portray "Shirley Chisholm", the first black woman who became elected to the United States Congress.

Uzo Aduba at the 2018 Women's Media Awards in New York City

Four quick facts about Uzo Aduba

-Her full first name, Uzoamaka, means "the road is good" in her parents' country of origin, Nigeria

-Uzo is one of the two people to win Emmys in both Drama and Comedy categories for playing the same character. The other one is actor Edward Asner

-When she was little, she wanted to change her name to Zoe because nobody at school could pronounce Uzoamaka. But her mom made her change her mind by saying: "If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka"

-She is very active on social media. She often gives Instagram updates!