Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba Talks Crazy Eyes, Peeing On Floors, Laura Prepon, And Show Success

August 24, 2013  |  

If you haven’t already checked out the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, you’re missing out on the incomparable Uzo Aduba. Dressed in all brown like a potato sack with the freshest set of Bantu knots you’ll find in a women’s prison, 32-year-old Aduba plays the hilarious character of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren. She’s definitely a little crazy, but a whole lot of misunderstood. And maybe that’s why people have taken so strongly to her character, now a second-season regular. So what did it take to become Ms. “Chocolate and Vanilla Forever”? We caught up with the humble Nigerian-American actress (Igbo folks stand up!) to chat. She took time out to praise her rumored-to-be-exiting co-star Laura Prepon (“reps tell us “Nothing has been confirmed” about her exit). And while she couldn’t open up too much about the second season, which is being filmed now (“I just know audiences will be excited to watch second season when it comes out”), she did speak about her future in Hollywood, the art of playing crazy, and her character’s love of peeing on floors…

How She Ended Up Playing Crazy Eyes And How She Prepared:

“I know for myself, I love words. And I love scripts and language and it felt like everything about her came from a space of love. Even if she goes in a place of like, you know, throwing pie or whatever, or peeing on the floor, it’s just from a place of love. You know, we can all sort of play crazy, but for me, I was really interested in answering the question of, how do you get someone to fall in love with you? And more specifically, someone like Suzanne, where she’s coming from, how does she get someone to fall in love with her? So that was pretty much my fate, to follow that love, and the rest, besides peeing on the floor [laughs], came naturally.”

Why People Can Relate To Crazy Eyes:

“I love Suzanne. I feel so protective of her now as a person. She wants to be happy just like everybody else and wants to find love, and comfort and friendship and all of those things. And to just be respected and treated well by the community, whatever the community is. In this case, the community happens to be that of Litchfield Federal Prison. And like anybody else, what I think was so great was that you realize that Suzanne has feelings too, just like anybody else. All of these women have feelings. They may cry, they have laughter, they have anger, and they respond to being treated well and not being treated well. Just like anybody else on the outside might.”

On The Positive Reception To The Show:

“It makes you feel really good and really proud. We spend all this time when we’re shooting and we loved what we were doing…and then you put that out into the world and people receive it the same way and with the same amount of love that you put into making it, it’s just awesome. It’s really, really great that it’s just been received so well.”

Future Film Endeavors And Who She Would Love To Work With:

“I would love to work with Meryl Streep. I think she is a beast, and the bomb [laughs]. Also, Alfre Woodard, who can also do anything. Glenn Close, Whoopi, these are people that I’ve admired for so long. Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis. I admire their ability to navigate various mediums, be it television, be it film, be it stage. Their love for their craft is so, so bomb. It doesn’t matter where they are. It’s just amazing and I love, love, love, love, love those actors.”

And About That Pissing scene…

“It’s a lot to take in. But when I read the script, I had an amazing writer, Sean Header. He put that in and at first I was like, ‘Whoa, okay. We’re going there…okaaaaaaay. Here we go.’ [laughs] But when I started thinking about it and when I started learning that Sean had done all this research and that’s not uncommon within the prison system, I said, ‘Okay it makes sense then.’

When I think about how these women have lost so many things and been stripped of so many civilized ways of existing–you know how we exist outside of the prison system all “civilized” and we cross the Ts and Is and everything is dotted, yeah? But in the system, they’re stripped down to their primal and animalistic selves, and if you’re existing in a culture like that, then yeah, of course it makes sense. But as for preparation for the role, that made sense to me then. Not only does, A, it make sense for someone like Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” to do it, but B, when you’re in a culture like that where you’ve been stripped of so much and you’re just living almost like an animal and you’re pushed, you go into that animalistic state and you might behave like a dog would. So I was like, “Okay, let’s get it! Let’s go for it! I’m going to pee on the floor. Let’s do it! [laughs]”

Love me some Uzo! Season 2 will be ready in 2014, so get acquainted with season one for as long as you can…

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