‘Orange Is the New Black’s’ Uzo Aduba Shares Her Musical Inspiration

Uzo Aduba plays the role of Crazy Eyes on Netflix’s hit “Orange is the New Black,” and its characters are notorious for their affinity for grimy sounds. Even though many consider her character a “brutal murderer,” the actress said playing the part also influenced her music listening choices.

“What I listen to is a lot like how I’m speaking [to myself] in the show,” Aduba explained. “I listen to like The Beastie Boys, Tom Waits, Radiohead, Adele, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Taylor Swift — just things like that.”

She’s got a good groove on, and knows what to listen to to feel good and get to the heart of it.

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But sometimes TV can’t match Aduba’s inspiration. When she recently played a therapist for “OITNB,” the actress said one of her worst mistakes was letting her mood go south with the shows and music channels.

“At one point I was almost in tears because I would hear music, like a little piece of music, on the [clouds] and I would think, ‘Oh my God, it makes me think of a cabaret, or an opera,’” she recalled. “One time, I was like, ‘I really need to get out of this mood.’”

Like most artists, Aduba’s passion for music led her to start reading about the genre she loves. The actress even had an interest in music education before she was cast on “OITNB,” because she tried to enroll in music classes herself, but teachers were “too nervous” to accept her.

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Now, the actress admits she now goes back to attending music classes “every chance I get,” and covers the lessons she’s missed.

“I’ve taken music coursework and stuff, so I know a lot about it,” she said. “I’m like, ‘Oh man, I missed that!’ So I’m making up for it.”

As an actress for her role on “OITNB,” Aduba is set to return for season four later this year. Though she’ll play different roles in her upcoming projects, there is one thing that will always remain her constant.

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“I’m going to always play a woman and I’m always going to be a woman,” she said. “That will always be my coloring.”

She may look and sound different than the role for which she’s known best, but she’s still been told she looks like a “pretty girl.”

“I don’t really look like my character at all, but the people who kind of judge me, they kind of judge my character and then they look at me. And they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I like you. You’re a pretty girl.’ And I’m like, ‘Aaaaah,’” she said.

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