Uzo Aduba: ‘Bigger, Higher and Braver,’ Thanks to Queen Latifah

Willie Grace | 12/1/2015, 6 a.m.
Nigerian beauty Uzo Aduba graces the latest cover of UPTOWN magazine in which the actress and classically trained singer dishes ...
Uzo Aduba

Nigerian beauty Uzo Aduba graces the latest cover of UPTOWN magazine in which the actress and classically trained singer dishes on adjusting to life in the limelight, her Hollywood friends and keeping company with only those who appreciate her. She also talks about the pressure of her upcoming role as ‘Glinda the Good Witch’ in the live adaptation of “The Wiz” on NBC.

Uzo made her Broadway debut in 2007 as star of the musical play “Coram Boy” and later was part of the 2011 Broadway revival of “Godspell.” Her breakout role as Crazy Eyes on the Netflix dramedy “Orange Is the New Black” has earned her two Emmy Awards, as well as a SAG win and a Golden Globe nomination.

On having name recognition:

“Before, if someone called my name on the street, I knew that the person knew me. Now, if someone calls my name they may not know me, but they are very clear on what my name is and my resume! That’s new.”

On her Hollywood friends:

“I have loved Viola Davis for a while. She is a phenomenal actor and one that does interesting work and has not been afraid to go over the line. Tracee Ellis Ross is dynamic, her character work is fantastic and she is smart, supportive and super chic. On top of it, she has an incredible generosity. Gabrielle [Union] is a sweetheart and loving and wildly gracious.”

On starring in The Wiz:

“I think it’s going to be wonderful. I am working with Queen Latifah! I have admired her versatility and command for years. She is think bigger, think higher, think braver … I know that I am stepping into the shoes of both the great Dee Dee Bridgewater [from the original 1975 Broadway cast] and the legendary Lena Horne [the 1978 big screen adaptation]. I want to bring a reverence and respect to what they have been and have done. I just want to tell the best story that I can. That relieves the pressure.”

You can read more from the interview here.

THR notes that Aduba is currently in production on Lakeshore’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel “American Pastoral,” starring Ewan McGregor in his directorial debut. She recently wrapped the indie dramedy “Tallulah,” and the racial integration drama “Showing Roots.”

She will show off her vocal skills when “The Wiz Live!” premieres Thursday, December 3rd at 8/7c on NBC. The event features Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, Amber Riley and David Alan Grier.

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