‘Orange Is the New Black’ Star Uzo Aduba Felt Like An Outsider Growing Up, Like ‘Crazy Eyes’
Marion Curtis for Netflix

Uzo Aduba’s transformation into Orange Is The New Black fan favorite Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren is Emmy worthy — no really, she’s nominated this year.

From her appearance to her temperament, Aduba couldn’t be more different than her character. Despite that, fans sometimes still get it confused. “I’ll be on the train and it’s like people expect me to come in with Bantu knots and a jumpsuit, or just start striking conversations up with them while stroking their leg,” she recently told Vulture.

The actress did reveal that she and Suzanne have one thing in common: their childhoods. Like “Crazy Eyes” Aduba says she never fit in growing up in her hometown of Medfield, Massachusetts where she, her parents and her four siblings were the only Nigerian family.

“It’s not something impressed on you or said to you, but there’s a feeling like one of these things is not like the other — feeling a step outside the center,” she explained. Despite being an outsider, Aduba says she’s thankful that, unlike her character – who was adopted by a white family that didn’t understand what a little girl of color needed—she had a family to “negotiate the waters with together.”

“My parents wanted us to be well-rounded individuals and really have the American experiences as richly as one can,” she said.