Adepero Oduye

  • American actress

Adepero Oduye ( AD-ə-PERR-oh oh-DOO-yay) is an Nigerian-American actress, director, singer, and writer. She is known for her leading role in Pariah (2011), as well as supporting roles in 12 Years a Slave (2013) and The Big Short (2015). All three films received widespread critical acclaim.

I want to tell authentic, real stories with real characters.

There are conservative people in all colours in America.

That's what you want art to do, to open people up and start conversations.

I took acting classes in my senior year in college and I loved it.

I think L.A. is beautiful.

You look up to your parents and you want them to accept you, and you don't want them to look at you in a negative light. So you do things to make them proud and accept you.

At the end of the day, if I can say that I had a career where I was able to play all different kinds of characters and I'm known as someone who is well-respected for my approach to the craft, that would be a beautiful life.

I love that you can watch a film and 10 years later still be affected.

I have friends who are black whose families opened their arms to them when they came out; I have friends who were white where they were rejected.

My intention is to do more films.

I would come to L.A. for a job, but I love New York.

The reason why I found acting is because my father passed away. He passed away really young. I was going to go to med school. My father's dream was that all of his kids become doctors. I realized in school I didn't like it. When he died, it was like a wake-up call. Life is too short to do something you don't want to do.

I have a Twitter handle, but I never sign on.

My mother's a pretty warm, open person.

My first audition was an open call and I had no picture and no resume - that's how clueless I was. I just thought I could show up.