"Orange Is The New Black" Star Uzo Aduba On Why She Wouldn’t Change Her Nigerian Name

Uzo Aduba, the actress behind Orange Is the New Black fan favorite Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, talks about her Nigerian name and wanting to be called “Zoe.”

1. In an interview with The Improper Bostonian, Aduba talked about why she never considered changing her name as an actress.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

2. Did you ever consider changing your name?

When I started as an actor? No, and I’ll tell you why. I had already gone through that. My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means “The road is good.” Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.

4. You can read the rest of the interview in Uzo Aduba’s recent cover story for The Improper Bostonian.

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