Thursday, January 22, 2015

Uzo Aduba Quotes

1. You think the only thing looking at you is this steel thing, but behind the camera is this living, breathing person operating the camera whose job it is to watch you.  

2. I am the daughter of Nigerian immigrants. My mother is a survivor of both polio and of the Igbo genocide during her country's civil war in the late 1960s.

3. My finding of myself as an artist, which I think in itself helped me to find just who I am and how I want to express myself, is entirely - in conjunction, of course, with my family, particularly my mom - founded on teachers.

4. I'll definitely wear orange on the red carpet!

5. Natasha Lyonne is fantastic on Twitter. She posts hilarious pictures. I don't even know where she finds some of them; it'll be like a random picture of a chinchilla kissing a lion or Bill Murray and Jim Belushi out on a boat or something.

6. I come from Nigeria, and we live by the idea that it takes a village. So my entire team. I live by my team: my friends, my neighbors, my teachers - they're the people who taught me how to be a free actor.

7. On some days in prison you might just need to get out of there, but on some days - not all days, but some - you might be able to see the sky and see the blue in it.

8. My family is first-generation Nigerian, and we grew up in a very small, suburban town in New England, Massachusetts. So I do understand what it feels like to be an "only" in that regard.

9. Onstage, even though you're here together with the other actor, face-to-face, playing out the scene, you also have that other ear pointed out toward the audience and how they're listening. That informs a lot.

10. In performance, you don't always feel that sort of family bond right off the top. It sort of develops and grows over time.

11. I ran track in high school very competitively, and then ran it D-1 at Boston University. I ran there on an athletic scholarship and chose BU because they had both a good track program and an arts program.

12. People were stopping me on the street to say: "Oh my God, it's Crazy Eyes!" Which is kind of a funny thing to have people shout at you on the street.

13. When I was little, I didn't smile much. Don't get me wrong. I was a happy kid, but I couldn't stand the space, dead center, in between my teeth. Yeah, I could whistle through it, but so what? That didn't win me many points on the playground in Medfield, Massachusetts.

14. The magic of landing my first role on Broadway went "poof" in a matter of a few weeks.

15. I think there's something really thrilling to having to get people laughing about something, and then, when you have them in that comfort space, you can drop the weight into the texture of the story.

16. I try to play serious scenes a little funny and the comedy a little serious.

17. There's a myth out in the world that women can't work together. And I don't know if it's a chicken or an egg thing or what, but it's not true. I think it's an idea that is put out there maybe to divide and conquer. It something that I just have to write off as being a lie. If you bring good people together, regardless of gender, they're going to collaborate and support each other.

18. The first information I consume in the morning is probably "The New York Times" and then my Twitter feed. I think Twitter is a really fascinating, easy way to stay on top of what stories are out there.

19. As for the fake teeth, they're officially retired. I haven't really found a need or want to wear them.

20. I kept hiding my smile in pictures throughout middle school and most of high school until picture day came my senior year.

21. I left my home in Massachusetts after college to move to New York City to pursue my dreams of acting. I took roles for free. I waited tables. I didn't care because it was work.

22. I dream in color, and I have visions of feelings and energies that I would love to feel.

23. I like to build a character, trying to stretch my imagination as far to the walls of my brain as I can to come up with something that feels truthful and feels real - as close to the skin as I can get it.

24. I auditioned for the show back in late July or early August of (2012). I had been auditioning that summer for more television and film (after doing much theater). I'd read a lot of scripts and I remember reading "Orange Is the New Black," and it was at the head of the pack. I remember thinking: "Wow, that is really good, I would love to be a part of that." I went in and auditioned for another part, and my representatives called me about a month later and they were like: "Hi, we have some really good news. You remember that audition you went on for "Orange Is the New Black"? You didn't get it." I go, "So… okay, what's the good news?" They said they wanted to offer me another part, Crazy Eyes. I was like: "What in my audition would make someone think I'd be right for a part called Crazy Eyes?" But to be honest, when I got the script for it, it felt like the right fit.

25. I think of myself as a little kid, and I had a wild imagination, but it was something that was encouraged and supported, which helped steer me into the arts.

26. I love De la Renta. I love CoSTUME National; I think they're just incredible. And I love Marc Jacobs, too - they're also great, just a great brand.

27. My mother is a fighter. After she battled polio and learned to walk again, the doctors told her she would be a cripple her entire life. Instead of accepting defeat, she refused this fate and went on to become the West African Women's Singles tennis champion in college.

28. I was in New York doing musicals in the theater and on Broadway before "Orange," so people always ask: "Are you ever going to get to sing? Does she even sing?" But people who know me know I actually do sing.

29. I think it's always a good idea to dress as someone you like, as long as it's done in good taste. That's the key.

30. If you're already somebody who's feeling different, you'll do everything in your power to fix it because children will do everything in their power to fit in and assimilate.

31. I love ensemble work. I love making pieces and building things together.

32. I might literally fall over dead if I meet Oprah Winfrey. I'm kind of joking, but I'm not confident that wouldn't happen.

33. I've heard of nothing coming from nothing, but I've never heard of absolutely nothing coming from hard work.

34. I used to be a huge fan of "Lockup" on MSNBC, and that certainly has helped with my understanding of the world.

35. I love physicality. I love movement very much.

36. I'm obsessed with "Scandal." I love, love, love it. I've gotten to meet all of the cast at this point, and they're all so, so nice.

37. When it comes to inmates, we have boiled them down to just the few things we know about them - their crime, their current life situation, their identification number. But the reality is they were something before they were their crime.

38. I was pursuing the arts with theater in school, and I was doing after-school activities, but not in any real movement towards a professional career.

39. (when asked if she ever considered changing her name) When I started as an actor? No, and I'll tell you why. I had already gone through that. My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means "The road is good." Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said: "Why?" I said: "Nobody can pronounce it." Without missing a beat, she said: "If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka".

40. My parents wanted us to be well-rounded individuals and really have the American experiences as richly as one can.

41. I loved "Ghana Must Go" by Taiye Selasi. It's about a first-generation African family living in America that has to return home to Nigeria when their estranged father passes away.

42. My family is more a sports family, and I figure skated for a very long time, so movement and how I relate to movement is very integral to my process.

What do you think of Uzo Aduba's quotes?

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