“To be recognized in that way is just very humbling and overwhelming,” confesses “Orange is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba about her recent double wins (individual and ensemble) at the SAG Awards for her portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the hit Netflix series. As she recalls during our recent webcam chat (watch below), “That day was incredibly special because they are your fellow actors. These are people who know what the beginning felt like. What it felt like that very first day at that first audition, that first agent, that first job for no money.”
Last year, Aduba won the Guest Comedy Actress Emmy but will compete in the Drama Supporting Actress category this time around. The reason for the change is two-fold: the TV academy ruled that the hour-long series was a drama and she was bumped up to series regular. The actress credits that promotion to being helpful in the ongoing development of her character: “It was incredibly special and also very useful. You got to really understand where she comes from and how some of the parts that make up this woman and how she arrived at being sort of the complex individual that she is.”
Indeed, her character is so complex at times that the actress admits she has to work to shake her off: “I take walks. I have to take a walk just to make sure I put all of her stuff away. I don’t want to bring any of her problems into my house so I really take a long walk to really say goodbye to her. On tough shooting days I almost imagine Suzanne as being sort of a doll and you put her on a shelf and sometimes you have to put her on a higher shelf to make sure that she doesn’t come back down.”
That’s not to say “Crazy Eyes” isn’t fun to play. With season three now streaming on Netflix, Aduba shared with us her favorite scene from the new batch of episodes: “It was probably in the finale. Those last 10 minutes, if you know what I’m talking about that involves water. When we shot that everybody was so game and it could have gone a completely different way if everyone had a different spirit in our cast but everybody has an amazing spirit and they were ready to literally jump in.”
Watch the rest of our interview to find out more of her thoughts on season three, the hardest scene from season two and which episode she’ll submit if nominated.
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