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Uzo Aduba ("Crazy Eyes") Promoted To Series Regular On 'Orange Is The New Black'

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 8, 2013 3:49 PM
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Uzo Aduba, who plays "Crazy Eyes" in Netflix's new original series Orange Is the New Black, has been made a series regular for the upcoming second season of the Lionsgate-produced dramedy, marking the first TV series regular role for the stage actress.

She joins Danielle Brooks who was also recently promoted from recurring to series regular on the popular series.

The series, renewed for a 2nd season, has been beefing up its cast, adding veteran actress Lorraine Toussaint, who will play a character named Vee, described as a street-tough inmate who used to run a drug business, using kids are runners.

Created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds), the dramedy stars Taylor Schilling and is set in a women's prison. As Netflix did with its previous original series, all thirteen one-hour episodes in the series were made available at launch.

Its key cast includes a number of actresses of African descent, including Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, Vicky JeudyLolita Foster, Michelle HurstUzo AdubaAdrienne C. MooreLaverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, and now Lorraine Toussaint.

Here's a synop:

Orange Is the New Black follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), whose decade-old relationship with drug-runner Alex (Laura Prepon) results in her arrest and year-long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life with fiance Larry (Jason Biggs) for an orange prison jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes and form unexpected new alliances with a group of eccentric and outspoken inmates. 

Here's a scene featuring "Crazy Eyes" (Uzo Aduba):

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  • valleygirl | August 12, 2013 7:57 AMReply

    I am so happy for her. This was well deserved she was definitely the breakout star to me. I cannot wait to learn more about her backstory.

  • BluTopaz | August 11, 2013 10:30 PMReply

    Anyone who actually watches the show (instead of merely having knee jerk reactions) would be surprised at the references to White woman privilege in a few of the scenes, and even nods to a certain Black actress trope we often complain about and its done in a slick, funny way. In all fairness I had to get through the first 10 minutes of the pilot episode for various reasons I won't go into. But the writing is very good, and the casting of Lorraine Toussaint for next season reeled me in.

  • Bob G | August 11, 2013 9:50 PMReply

    Sorry for the echoes. Didn't think the "Submit" button went through.

  • Franceli Chapman | August 9, 2013 10:30 PMReply

    LOVE UZO & DANIELLE! These lovely ladies were gracious enough to "hangout" with me on my google hangout to talk about the show, their process & all that jazz.. for anyone who is interested in seeing the interview :)

  • Jennigolightly | August 9, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    She is wonderful, and so damn talented. Love her on the show, and I'm hoping she gets more roles (diverse ones of course, would hate to see her typecast on account of how wonderfully she plays this particular role).

  • CareyCarey | August 9, 2013 11:35 AMReply

    Orange is the new black and TV is the new King Cotton. YEA!

    Give me a freakin' break. So now we've reduced the black experience to a delightful and sometimes mysterious cast of women who are locked behind bars? Do I have to say why the title is so disingenuous and so offensive?

    Anyway, new black my ass, this is TV, the white man's new king cotton, and thus, he needs more negros to make his bread. That's right, the more the merrier, come one come all, lesbians, drug smugglers, crazy eyes and transsexuals, we don't care, just tell all your friends were you got it, it's all here in this new world of Blackness.

    WOW, as I am sitting her listening to black folks praise this new form of brainwash, I am reminded of the old RCA Victor Color TV commercial (circa early 1960s). A goofy looking guy waddles out and sings as if he just won the lottery... "Wow, I got color TV, RCA Victor color TV, I know what I've been missing now, WOW, I bought color TV".

    WOW, we got black women on TV, chicks and chains and white women too, I know what I've been missing now, WOW, black faces on TEEEE-VEEEEE!

  • CareyCarey | August 10, 2013 1:14 PM

    Correction, War on Tara, I didn't say anyone was brainwashed. I said it's a new form of brainwash, but I understand your position

    In reference to "the new black" I see your point. I was leaning more towards something on the order of "debt is the new plantation". In other words "debt" can have one in bondage just as with a life on a plantation.

    So now we have the word "black", which is frequently used in a negative connotation (and it describes a race of people), being used in a metaphorical phrase. In this case, I don't believe it's about the color of the jumpsuits per se. I believe anyone who wears those bright orange jump suits, regardless of their skin color (in this case Piper Kerman), is now the NEW BLACK.

    Historically, on many fronts black folks have been treated as less than human, their rights have been denied, and they've been shamed and humiliated. So goes the ways of many who are incarcerated, thus... "the new black"

  • WarOnTara | August 10, 2013 11:53 AM

    I think the title is a play on the fashion industry's almost yearly declaration that one color or another is "the new black" aka the new staple of women's wardrobes. And I understand your concerns about the show, but I personally appreciate the depth of characters and diverse representation on the show. That doesn't make me brainwashed.

  • WarOnTara | August 10, 2013 11:52 AM

    I think the title is a play on the fashion industry's almost yearly declaration that one color or another is "the new black" aka the new staple of women's wardrobes. And I understand your concerns about the show, but I personally appreciate the depth of characters and diverse representation on the show. That doesn't make me brainwashed.

  • CareyCarey | August 10, 2013 12:09 AM

    Hi Grrljock,

    Okay, the title of the show is the same as the book it's based on (Piper Kerman's), but what is the title saying? In particular, what's the significance of the words "new black"?

  • grrljock | August 9, 2013 4:38 PM

    @CareyCarey, the title of the show is the same as the title of the book it's based on. The show's premise starts with the fact that prison inmates are disproportionately minorities. Characters initially appear to fit stereotypes but progress beyond them and become enriched as individuals over the progression of the series.The show's not meant as a reduction of the black experience, it (mostly) wants to show how the lives of blacks and other minorities/ones in lower classes get so easily reduced by the rigged system.

  • Edwina@WINONA, INC. | August 9, 2013 10:03 AMReply

    Dammit. Of course the cast would include loads of black actors. It's set in a prison.

  • Peggy | August 9, 2013 12:15 AMReply

    I. Just. Can't. All these wonderful black actors playing criminals. Again. Just like Jenji's black characters on Weeds. Can't wait for her next show. I'm sure it will take place during the civil war.

  • Michael | August 9, 2013 9:45 AM

    I dig what you are saying, but as someone who has done time, the demographics displayed in the show ring true to me.

  • Africameleon | August 8, 2013 9:24 PMReply

    She's hands down my favorite character, next would be Ms. Claudette. Can't wait for season 2.

  • grrljock | August 8, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    @Lily, keep watching. There's enough Crazy Eyes in the subsequent episodes. Episode 11 will show how good Uzo Aduba is, though it will break your heart. Taystee and Poussey are up there with her, though.

  • Tina | August 8, 2013 6:48 PMReply

    She is fabulous. Honestly I have a new favorite every episode. Sometimes it is her, sometimes it is Danielle Brooks (Taystee), sometimes it is Samira Wiley (Poussey)...Frankly all of the characters on that show are wonderful and the ..what, five! black actresses who are on there are well drawn. The Image awards could fill up the whole category with just them. Also, the show is incredibly quotable.

  • Monique | August 8, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    She is an OUTSTANDING actress!

  • JP | August 8, 2013 4:38 PMReply

    Since its obvious Kate Mulgrew will get the emmy love out of this cast, I hope the Image Awards steps up and nominated Uzo for the work shes doing. She is OUTSTANDING in this role!

  • Lily | August 8, 2013 4:38 PMReply

    Love her character! She's the ONLY reason I'm hangin' in there and trying to finish this series. Liked the first few episodes but by the time I viewed 5 and 6, sort of lost interest. I'll start number 7 tonight.

  • Muse | August 8, 2013 4:15 PMReply

    I can't wait to see her backstory on OITNB!

  • Georgia | August 11, 2013 4:28 PM

    Wasn't there an episode that showed her with her two white, conservative-looking parents?

    I think she's fabulous, too!

  • BluTopaz | August 8, 2013 4:29 PM

    Me too! Funny thing is whenever I saw stills of the show with Crazy Eyes I thought here we go, another bug eyed crazy black fool. But her character is beginning to show so much depth, plus she is funny as hell.

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