The cast of Orange Is the New Black captured two Screen Actors Guild Awards a couple of weeks ago. One was for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast in a Comedy, and the other went to Uzo Aduba for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren. Digital Spy is reporting that Aduba will leave the Orange Is the New Black cast after this season to take on a role in Jamie Lloyd’s production of The Maids, a modern version of Jean Genet’s dark drama by the same name. The play will show in London’s West End. The Orange Is the New Black cast member said that she has long dreamed of performing in the West End and on Broadway, so this is a dream come true for her.
The Orange Is the New Black cast is sure to miss Uzo. For her, it’s another step down a road that allows her to continue pursuing her passion. In August, she talked to Deadline about the day she got the call about the opportunity to become part of the Orange Is the New Black cast. Earlier that day, she had decided to stop acting. After a string of bad luck, she arrived 20 minutes late to an audition. She thought it went well but she was told the following.
“… you’re not going to get it, because you were 20 minutes late, and this is God’s universe telling you, this is not for you, and you need to stop trying to take something that is not yours.”
Here’s how she described what happened next.
“I was crying on the subway all the way home, and not like, loud, audible crying, but the tears, the ones where you just can’t stop them from coming down your face. I just couldn’t stop it. I was sitting on the train, and I said to myself, ‘this is it, I’m done.’ I had never in my life before quit. Then, 45 minutes later, I got home and I got a phone call. I’ll never forget it for my entire life. I could be 98, and my grandkids can be like, ‘Grandma, when did you get Orange is the New Black?’ and I’ll say, ‘5.43 pm. September 14.’ “
Uzo has been part of the Orange Is the New Black cast from the very first season in 2013. For her performance as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, she has received five nominations, including two Golden Globes, plus seven awards, including two Primetime Emmys and four Screen Actors Guilds.
The role for which she is leaving the Orange Is the New Black cast is one the actress says any female actor would love to have. She considers herself very lucky to have this opportunity and says she’s “interested in bold choices, either in or outside the box.”
On Friday, the Hollywood Reporter posted a story confirming that Orange Is the New Black has been renewed for two more seasons. So far, Aduba is the only Orange Is the New Black cast member who has been reported to be leaving. The show will move forward for at least two more years following this season, and Jenji Kohan will continue producing. Netflix’s vice president of original content, Cindy Holland, commented on the renewal.
“Jenji and her team have produced a phenomenal and impactful series that is both funny and dramatic, outrageous and heartfelt. Audiences around the world have come to love the ladies and men of Orange is the New Black, and we are eager to see where three more seasons will take them.”
The Orange Is the New Black cast returns to Netflix on June 17 for its fourth season. The show is based on a book titled Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison, which was written by Piper Kerman.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]