Danielle Brooks On Juggling It All And The 'Sassy Black Woman' Stereotype

Photo by Bruce Glikas / Contributor
Danielle Brooks opens up about her life on stage and on camera and all the stereotypes in between.

Danielle Brooks' Broadway debut has earned her a Tony nomination and she deserves it. While juggling her roles in Orange Is The New Black, Master of None and The Angry Birds Movie, she still somehow managed to pull off a flawless performance in The Color Purple, no doubt because she's one of the most talented women in Hollywood. 

In an interview with NYMag's Vulture, the actress revealed that when she got the call to audition for The Color Purple she hadn't even thought about the possibility that she might be considered.

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But, when asked if she'd be able to juggle her hit Netflix show, Orange Is The New Black, and Broadway, Brooks jumped at the chance. "Both parties were willing to play ball and negotiate my time. So I was shooting Orange at the same time as The Color Purple, and I’ll be going back to that schedule next month. It wasn’t something I expected, but boy am I glad it worked out."

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The actress also talked about going beyond the "sassy black woman" stereotype in her roles.

She acknowledge that while her characters have elements of that, she tries to dig deeper and add depth to the roles.

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"I hate stereotypes, but a part of who Danielle is is that [stereotype]. That doesn’t make me a one-noted person or my characters one-noted. There’s so much depth to who they are: They’re broken, they’re heroes, they’re mothers, they’re sisters, they’re women fighting for their marriage, fighting for their lives — there are so many elements to who these women are," adding, "That’s why I love storytelling: You can bring people into the theater or have people sitting at home from all walks of life, watching Taystee or Sofia, and they get to see how they relate to these women. I think it takes a really fine actor to massage the words — even when you don’t have good material — and milk that character for more than what’s there. Fortunately for me, I’ve had a lot to work with."

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