Uzo Aduba Speaks On Her Role As Suzanne In Orange Is The New Black

There is quite the cast of characters in Orange is the New Black, and pretty much all of them are interesting. One of the fan favourites in the show is Suzanne, and the actress playing her, Uzo Aduba, has also gained media attention.

She recently spoke to The Huffington Post in a rather lengthy interview where they discussed her life growing up, her decision to keep her tooth gap and of course – her role as Suzanne. Here’s what she had to say about Suzanne and Orange is The New Black.

“Suzanne was first described to me as being ‘innocent as a child, except children aren’t scary.’ What I cooked into that, once she started her infatuation with Piper, was the motivation of love. It made me ask the question, how far, then, would she go for love? In Season 2, I got my answer, as we saw with Vee, another more maternal kind of love evolved. It really has nothing to do with the object of desire. It has everything to do with how Suzanne expresses love, and that’s through loyalty.”


Uzo then spoke a little bit about the importance of her role in such a big name show, but also about her being a woman of colour in an industry with some serious problems with race and gender issues.

“Growing up, there were not many images of women of color. The only two I had were Claire Huxtable and Oprah Winfrey, and only one of them was real. My wish, my hope is that I’m dealing with it with a level of sensitivity and care. I never want anyone to feel they’ve been misrepresented or that their community has been done a disservice.”

“If you’re choosing to create something and be an artist, you should want to take pause to see, ‘What am I doing for the cause, for the human cause, as an artist?’ There is some responsibility there.”

It seems, though, as if Orange is The Black is the main reason the beautiful Uzo Aduba is on our screens at all. After a long period of appearing in theater productions, her agent pushed her towards film and TV. She played various roles, including a nameless nurse in Blue Bloods, but mostly she was being featured in short films. Eventually, Uzo grew frustrated with Hollywood’s demands and decided to quit.


“I hadn’t seen any images in the medium reflected back to me to know there was a place for me. I started to feel like this was a journey that wasn’t even worth the try, because where was I going to fit in? I was trying and being told, ‘No.'”

That night, Uzo had headed home with the full intention to call her manager and let her known she was quitting. A mere 45 minutes later, she got the call telling her she had been chosen to play Suzanne in Orange is The New Black, whom she had not even auditioned for.

All we can say is: thank you, Orange Is The New Black.

You can read the rest of her interview with The Huffington Post, here.