Danielle Brooks Of OITNB Dishes On Making Ends Meet Before Getting Her Big Acting Break

While the lifestyles of famed actors and actresses are quite glamorous, they don’t always start off that way. Sometimes, while first beginning their careers, professional actors have to wear a bunch of different hats before getting their breakout role. Take Danielle Brooks for example, who plays Taystee on “Orange Is The New Black.” During a recent interview, the actress revealed that she did everything from babysitting to styling hair to make ends meet while waiting on her big break.

“Before [ONITB], I was not [getting a lot of scripts]. It was very hard to get a job,” she told The Breakfast Club. “I was out here grinding. I was babysitting and doing hair and all of this other stuff. But once I booked ‘Orange’ a lot more opportunities started to arrive.”

Although her character was initially only supposed to appear on two episodes, she eventually became a regular on the series.

“When I had gotten the script, it said my character was only supposed to be there for two episodes,” Danielle explained. “Then, from there, it developed into 6, 7 and I was on there for 10 or 11 episodes for season one. Then they made me a season regular.”

Danielle adds that she didn’t know much about Netflix series prior to booking the role of Taystee, but the amazing storyline is what pushed her to take a gamble with it.

“It is my breakout role, but I was doing theater. I didn’t really know how long I was going to be on the show. For me, it was the script. I also feel like I’m not playing a stereotype. There’s so much depth to all of these characters and as a black woman, I think that’s so important to show. That’s one reason I was like I have to do this. I have to be a part of it.”

As for how she made it from being a hopeful in Greenville, South Carolina to becoming a big-time actress in New York City, Danielle credits the support of her parents.

“I have to give credit to my mom for putting me into programs. In South Carolina there’s a lot of arts programs. So I was blessed enough to go to the Governor School For Arts & Humanities. From there, I landed Julliard… It’s number one, they say… in the world. I got some scholarships. Thanks to ‘Orange’ I’m able to pay off the rest. I just graduated three years ago.”

Speaking of her parents, Danielle also discussed how her mother, who is a pastor, feels about some of her more risqué roles—including that sex scene from “Girls”

“My mother is a pastor. I think she has her moments where she’s like, ‘Dani, what are you getting into,’ but at the end of the day, she really supports me as an actor. She doesn’t always approve, but she always supports me.”

“I didn’t even tell them [my family] I was doing it. I just said I got a spot on “Girls.” [When they saw it], they were shocked.”

While she made it clear that she doesn’t wish to discuss her personal life, she did reveal that she is not interested in women.

“No [I don’t like girls]. Ahhhh don’t talk about my personal life. Y’all are coming for me.”

Watch Danielle’s interview below. Thoughts?

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