Random Questions With: Uzo Aduba Uzo Aduba admits she quit acting the same day she was offered the part of Crazy Eyes on Orange is the New Black.

Random Questions With: Uzo Aduba

Random Questions With: Uzo Aduba

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Actress Uzo Aduba Mike Katzif/NPR hide caption

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Mike Katzif/NPR

Actress Uzo Aduba

Mike Katzif/NPR

Uzo Aduba quit acting the same day she was offered the role of Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on Netflix's Orange is the New Black. "I had gone for an audition for another show, and I was late," Aduba told host Ophira Eisenberg on the Ask Me Another stage in Brooklyn. "I remember thinking, 'That went really well, but you were late. This is God telling you [acting] is not for you.'" A couple hours later, her agent called to tell her if she wanted the role of Crazy Eyes, it was hers. And it's a good thing, too. To date, Aduba has won an Emmy Award and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance. The show itself has enjoyed critical acclaim; it's frequently celebrated for depicting a wide spectrum of strong, diverse female characters.

Interestingly, Aduba hadn't read for Crazy Eyes in her audition. "It's not like... I went in for the part of Somewhat Crazy Eyes — I went in and I read for the part of Janae, who plays a track star." But when she "met [the character] on the page," Aduba was hooked. The script describes the character as being "innocent like a child, except children are not scary." Upon reading her lines for the first time, Aduba "had [an] image of a woman with a pacifier in her mouth and a sledgehammer in her hand."

Growing up in the late '80s, Aduba watched a lot of television. For her VIP game, we invited Aduba and her sister Chimoa to identify some '80s sitcoms by their theme songs. The two were so competitive, they almost broke their buzzers!

This segment originally aired on August 27, 2015.

Interview Highlights

On finding out she'd been cast as Crazy Eyes, not Janae

In my head I was like, what in my audition would have ever said, 'You know she's not quite right for the track star, but she's TOTALLY right for Crazy Eyes'?

Heard in Uzo Aduba: Sister Versus Sister