Photo Credit: Oliva Malone
Your initial interest in Orange Is The New Black may have been sparked by Piper’s plight, or the return of Laura Prepon, or possibly even a Modern Love column (or a book). And then, perhaps you met Crazy Eyes and decided you had to stick around. But, regardless of how you felt in the beginning, by the time you binged your way halfway through season one, you without a doubt had developed a major crush on Poussey Washington. Whether it was her hilarious sound bites (“My name is Poussey. Accent à droite, bitch.”), her enviable friendship with Tastee, or that unbeatable smile, Poussey steadily inched her way up to become one of, well, everyone’s favorite characters. And, that’s all Samira Wiley (especially the smile). A Juilliard graduate, Wiley only started auditioning a few years back, and since then, has managed to book a hit series with Netflix, an indie film with Robert De Niro and Paul Dano, and a slapstick comedy with Jonah Hill.
But, that’s not to say that she’s in any sort of rush. Much like her character on OITNB, Wiley doesn’t try to win you over right away — she’s far too genuine for that. “I’ve learned that trying to win people over isn’t a good way to do anything,” she said. “I think being okay with myself and who I really am has been the biggest and most valuable thing I’ve ever learned.” And of course, that approach won us over in the span of a heartbeat.
Check out the full spread here.