Orange is the New Black fans know her as Janae, the former track star-turned-tough-girl, who is left bitter for taking the fall for a crime that she and her boyfriend committed. Through her craft, Vicky Jeudy brings to life one of the most complex characters on the show.
Describing herself as bubbly and positive, Jeudy got her first taste of entertainment doing beauty pageants (not something Janae would be caught dead doing, right?), which taught her confidence and how to truly pursue dreams. The native New Yorker may intimidate while the cameras are rolling, but it’s obvious from the warm smiles and laughter Jeudy creates around the room, that she has little in common with her unapproachable alter ego. Stemming from Caribbean roots, you’ll never catch the demure actress cursing, carrying, or brawling on the block. You have to wonder what it takes to conjure such a potty-mouthed pugilist…
Jeudy’s graceful leap from pageants to the penitentiary wasn’t as easy as she makes it look. “At the end of the day you need training,” Jeudy said. “You need to know what you’re doing and when you do have an audition, you have to walk in with confidence and knowing the character you’re playing.”
As the season progresses, we finally get a glimpse of Janae’s softer side, although most viewers never thought they’d see the day. From sashes to stripes, Jeudy is well on her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most compelling actresses.
Photo Credit: Geoff Barrenger