Belfast Telegraph

Uzo Aduba: I take nothing for granted

Uzo Aduba has praised Oprah Winfrey for helping her to dream.

The US actress came to prominence after being cast as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in Netflix smash hit Orange is the New Black.

She's spoken openly about how she was on the verge of quitting the industry before she was cast, but winning acting jobs isn't the only struggle she's had to deal with. Her mother lived through Igbo genocide during the Nigerian Civil War in the mid-60s, finally finding a home in America.

"My mom has lived a life that I don’t even know if nine people could live," Uzo told British magazine Stylist. "I know the sacrifices that were made here [in America] and overseas for me and my siblings to be gifted the opportunity to live in this country and to have been exposed to the things that we were exposed to growing up. I would never want to be so foolish as to take it for granted. There was a lot of blood and sweat and tears shed for me to even have the choice to be an artist.”

Citing the likes of Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Glenn Close and Whoopi Goldberg as her inspirations, Uzo, who's known for the gap in her teeth, says she has always been drawn to people who don't look like everyone else.

Oprah Winfrey was another source of encouragement, and a young Uzo would write countless letters to her idol. One day she even received a reply.

"She filled my mind with limitless possibility. It’s where my power to dream comes from," she smiled.

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