Watch Uzo Aduba mimic her mum, talk family and embracing her birth name

Uzo talks being Nigerian and an American immigrant

It’s no easy feat being different in a world where the norm is what’s expected of everyone. While some may slink into what is acceptable by the status quo, others stick up for who they are, gradually shine through it and eventually stand out for it, while making themselves a role model for others to follow. As a little girl growing up in elementary school, Uzo Aduba was somewhat of the former but her mother was there to nurture her and instill values in her, of which she continues to remain grateful for. The actor says her mum is a strong woman, “She’s lived 10 lives”. Her mum made her embrace her name Uzoamaka Aduba, of which she says when she asked her mum if she could call her “Zoe”, she said to her -now imitating her mum’s Igbo persona- “if they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Dostoevsky…then they can learn to say Uzoamaka.

This was Uzo’s reply to a question from Tracy G of Sway’s Universe during an in-studio interview, saying: “A lot of people in hollywood, they’ll tend to change their names, and I also have a lot of Nigerian friends who have changed their names to make it easier for people in America to say aloud. Was that ever Something that you considered or was it easier for you because of your Nigerian pride?“. Regarding this, Uzo narrated her experience as a child, saying never again since then has she considered it as an adult.

She also spoke about the new season of Orange is the New Black (OITNB), the American comedy Drama Web series, where she plays the character of “Crazy Eyes”. Coincidentally, Uzo donned a similar hairstyle to that of Crazy Eyes when she went to audition for a role (not for Crazy Eyes, but another character) in the series. She was told a No, but called back for the role of Crazy Eyes, which she has gone on to win several awards for including the Emmy’s. The hair did it.

Uzo talks being an immigrant, being Nigerian, schooling, keeping up with about eight teachers from her school days including the Kindergarten ones too. To wrap up the interview the broadway actress sang in an operatic voice with its strained vowels, the scream of the high and strangulated sound in the soprano’s throat over a hip-hop beat (“hip-Opera“), suggested by Sway.

Enjoy the interview below.

Feature Image Credit: Instagram/Uzoaduba

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