In just two seasons on the Netflix original show, Orange is the New Black, Samira Wiley has managed to grab a lot of attention for her strong and demanding character. And with a name like Poussey, it seems almost impossible for her not to turn a couple of heads.
Although the actress’s character was locked up for drug charges, she proves to be a stand-up kind of gal, persuading her BFF Taystee to do the right thing. But it seems it wasn’t too hard for Wiley to play the part. She sat down with Brooklyn Magazine, revealing that she is just the same funny and humble person she portrays on television.
Along with a series of flawless pictures showcasing the actress’s knack for both high fashion and comfortable clothing, she opens up about what it is like playing Poussey and how her life has changed since the show blew up two years ago.
As far as why OITNB caught her eye in the first place, she pins it all the way back to reading the script:
“When I first read the script, I remember thinking that it was so different from anything else out there. There were so many women characters! I’m also a fan of Jenji Kohan, so I think that was the first thing that drew my eye, but also the women in the pilot were so different from each other, and so different from what else I’d seen on television. They were all fully fleshed out characters with different backgrounds, and they were different sizes and shapes… different everything. It just felt like something I could be a part of.”
But it was Poussey’s character that really spoke out to her.
“I think Poussey has an incredible amount of integrity. She’s that stand-up guy, you know what I mean? She’s going to do the hard thing, like when all her friends are jumping off a bridge, she’s going to be the one saying,“Wait, why are we doing this again?” I love playing someone who has so much integrity, who has so much joy and so much life—even though her life is now in prison. She’s locked up, but she’s able to build up joy anyway. You see it with Taystee in the first season, and then you see more in the second season, like when we learn about the kind of background she comes from, one with a loving home and some stability. You can see how that’s shaped her, and I think it’s so important to have had that.”
In fact, Samira’s character has become so recognizable, she says it’s hard for her to even walk down the street, especially in New York City.
“My sense of anonymity—even in New York City—is definitely waning. It’s a little difficult to walk down the street. People do really love Poussey, and they want to connect with this character and with the person who brings this character to life.”
It’s safe to say that Samira Wiley isn’t dropping the act just yet. She’s focused on Poussey and the series right now, but she does have other career goals in the future.
“I’m a firm believer in being where you are when you’re there, always being present. And so I’m all about Orange right now, but I have to do a play. That’s home for me. My dream would be Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. [laughs] So cliché!”
You can check out the rest of Samira Wiley’s interview on the Brooklyn Magazine site. In the meantime, check out her stunning images from the shoot here.
SOURCE & PHOTO CREDIT: Brooklyn Magazine