(NEW YORK) — Orange Is the New Black alum Samira Wiley never intended to be an openly gay actress, but she didn’t have a choice after one of her OITNB cast mates accidentally outed her.
Samira, who played Poussey on the Netflix show, admits she wasn’t exactly open about her sexuality when she first got the role.
“First season [of Orange Is the New Black] I wasn’t out at all,” Wiley said on the Nancy podcast.
“Someone from my cast actually, during [an] interview, they were talking about out gay actors in the cast…and they mentioned my name, and I saw it in print, and I cried. I cried a lot,” Wiley, who currently stars in The Handmaid’s Tale, recalled.
She added, “That’s something somebody took from me. You should be able to come out on your own terms, so that was probably a little deeper.”
However, Wiley says her OINTB character helped her come to terms with her sexuality and to become the outspoken advocate we know today.
“I wasn’t out in the beginning, and I think falling in love with Poussey, which is a real thing that happened to me, helped me fall in love with myself, as well,” she said.
Wiley continued, “I think that if I wasn’t portraying these characters, I wonder how my own journey with my own sexual orientation, how I would embrace that, how I would walk the world if I wasn’t able to embrace the characters that I have been.”
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