Orange is the New Black, the acclaimed Netflix series that ended this summer after seven seasons, didn’t have one star. It had many. Still, among such a stellar cast, Uzo Aduba, who played Suzanne Warren, stood out. Perhaps it’s because she was in every season of the show, while many other characters came and went. Perhaps it’s because she was so unpredictable – her character’s nickname was “Crazy Eyes,” after all. Perhaps it’s because her backstory was particularly tragic, even among so many tragic backstories. In the final season, when she finally starts to realize that she’s mentally ill, Suzanne asks her mother if she “deserves” to be in prison. Her mother says no.
She was also perhaps the only truly sympathetic character on the show. Suzanne never meant to harm anyone, even under the most trying circumstances, and she always lifted her fellow inmates up. In turn, the other prisoners looked out for her. She was never anyone’s target.
Aduba proved to be a unique talent in every scene she performed, an actor whose dimensions were revealed slowly over the course of those seven years. She showed depth, heart, whimsy and compassion. She’s also an extraordinary singer. And yet, while Orange is the New Blackcertainly elevated Aduba’s profile, she has until now had only supporting roles. READ MORE