Black Women in Hollywood: One-on-One with Danielle Brooks

BWIH honoree Danielle Brooks on inspiring young Black girls and the importance of Orange Is The New Black.

ESSENCE.COM Feb, 20, 2015
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[MUSIC] Hi Danielle. Hello. So lovely to meet you. You as well. The lovely Danielle Brooks, let me say your full name. [LAUGH] Thank you. A year ago did you ever imagine that you and your castmates would be here winning the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Van Gard award? Not at all. You know, I was here a year ago at this event. And I was sitting in the audience, and just wow, and I was like wow there's Loretta, and there is Alfri, and just everyone. And to, to like your point, a year later here we are being honored and we're just so humbled, I'm so humbled. Thankful that we get to stand before all of these woman and be considered one of them, it's really awesome. Orange Is The New Black [UNKNOWN] the world by storm, did you ever see this coming, and what has been your reaction and experience in this? You know, starting out in Orange Is The New Black, the day I got the script I was nervous. Because I was playing an inmate and I didn't know if they were gonna go on the re, go in the direction of a stereotype. But then as I read the script and I got to work with the women, I was like this project is very important because we're telling stories that haven't been told. You know, we're stripped of. All of the glam, you know, the hair and the make up and the costumes. And all you get is us. The core of who we are. And I feel like that's people relate to. And to now be in a position where there are young chocolate girls that see me and they're like, oh, I can do it to, you know. Because of my. They're inspired to do what they love. So, it's been a great journey and I'm glad this is the beginning of my career, working on a piece like this. Okay, finish this sentence. I love acting because- Hm. I love acting because. I'm able to look inside of me and highlight the, the beautiful parts and work on the not so beautiful parts that I find in the character and because of that reflection that I have within myself, others are able to respond. What's in themselves. [MUSIC]